Sheldon Whitehouse belongs to all-White beach club he promised to quit years ago

Sheldon Whitehouse is among the most obnoxious members of the Senate. He’s also among the most hypocritical.

Whitehouse calls himself progressive and an opponent of “systemic racism.” Yet, the New York Post reports that the Rhode Island Senator has belonged for decades to an all-White beach club. I call that regressive.

Whitehouse has confirmed the truth of this report. What’s his defense? He says “I think the people who are running the place are still working on that and I’m sorry it hasn’t happened yet.”

Asked whether all-White clubs should exist in this day and age, Whitehouse responded, “It’s a long tradition in Rhode Island.”

Since when is “tradition” an excuse for membership in a racist organization?

Whitehouse added that “there are many of them [segregated clubs]” in Rhode Island.

Maybe, but no one is forcing Whitehouse to belong to one of them.

Bill Otis invites us to contemplate what the reaction would have been (1) to reports that Jeff Sessions belonged to an all-White club and (2) to answers like the ones Whitehouse gave in response to such reports. Sessions would have been skewered by the Sheldon Whitehouses of the Senate.

“We’re working on it”? “It’s a long tradition”? “We just need to work our way through the issues”?

What year is this, 2021 or 1971?

It’s worth adding that Whitehouse’s wife Sandra is one of the three largest shareholders in the all-White club. Thus, the Whitehouses aren’t just club members, they are major stakeholders.

Furthermore, Whitehouse pledged to quit the club in 2006, when he first ran for the Senate, according to the New York Post’s report. That was 15 years ago. I guess he’s still “working on it.”

When confronted in 2017 with his broken promise, Whitehouse said, “I think it would be nice if they changed a little bit, but it’s not my position.”

In other words, racism, though not “nice,” is acceptable. So says the “progressive” Democratic Senator who now chairs the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Federal Courts, Oversight, Agency Action, and Federal Rights.

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