Remember the dustup last month surrounding Rhode Island Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse’s membership in an “all-white” beach club?
Now a Black Lives Matter leader is warning that the movement is demanding the senator denounce and quit the club — or else.
What’s the background?
Just before Juneteenth, the leftist senator was confronted about his longtime involvement with Bailey’s Beach Club in Newport, Rhode Island, which has a reputation as a secretive private club for the wealthy that has a long record of a lack of diversity.
Instead of decrying the club’s racial reputation, the liberal lawmaker defended his membership in the club.
“I think the people who are running the place are still working on [diversifying membership] and I’m sorry it hasn’t happened yet,” Whitehouse told a reporter who confronted him on the issue.
When asked whether such clubs should even exist, he replied, “It’s a long tradition in Rhode Island and there are many of them and I think we just need to work our way through the issues, thank you.”
What’s BLM saying?
This week, a leader with Black Lives Matter Rhode Island drew a line for the senator — publicly quit the club or prepare to have BLM make your life miserable, WLNE-TV reported.
If Whitehouse refuses to quit and denounced the club by next Friday, then he should expect a visit from BLM activists — at the club, at the office, even at home, Mark Fisher with BLM R.I. told WLNE.
“This is an issue that’s not going to go away,” Fisher said, “and Sen. Whitehouse needs to address it, he needs to take it on.”
If the senator thinks BLM is “just going to forget about it,” then he has another thing coming, the BLM leader said. “If he thinks that it’s going to get swept under the rug; it’s not.”
Should the Aug. 6 deadline pass without Whitehouse publicly leaving the club, then BLM will be prepared to make life very uncomfortable for the senator.
“We’ll go to his club, we’ll go to his office, we’ll go to his home,” Fisher said to WLNE, “wherever we need to go.”
Asked about Whitehouse’s milquetoast response to the controversy last month, Fisher said he and BLM would not tolerate inaction.
“It doesn’t matter, you know, what type of black people he brings in,” Fisher stated. “This club is a proven racist club with exclusive ties to supremacy and exclusion, and that’s something that’s not going to be tolerated by me, by my associates, my affiliates, or my organization.”
WLNE said it reached out to Whitehouse’s office but did not receive a response.
ONLY ON @ABC6: well-known member of BLM R.I. has a message for @SenWhitehouse tonight; cut all ties w/ Bailey’s Bea… https://t.co/HMZkOiutQg
— Darren Botelho (@DarrenBotelho)
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Author: Chris Field
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