Posted on June 23, 2021

Sen. Whitehouse Defends Membership in Private Beach Club That’s Allegedly All-White

Dareh Gregorian et al., NBC News, June 21, 2021

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., defended his family’s membership in a private Rhode Island beach club that’s allegedly all-white on Monday, telling reporters “the club has informed me that it does in fact have diversity of membership.”

Bailey’s Beach Club has “a long tradition of being a family club, and they’re working on improving diversity. I think that’s pretty fair,” Whitehouse said, elaborating on comments he made to a Providence website where he appeared to shrug off the club’s history.

Asked Friday about his family’s continued membership at the “all-white” Newport club, Whitehouse, a progressive Democrat who has spoken out repeatedly against “systemic racism” in the country, told GoLocal Providence “I think the people who are running the place are still working on that and I’m sorry it hasn’t happened yet.”

Asked if such “elite all-white wealthy clubs” should still exist, Whitehouse said, “It’s a long tradition in Rhode Island and there are many of them. I think we just need to work our way through the issues, thank you.”


Bailey’s Beach Club, which has been described as one of the most exclusive in the country, has roughly 500 members, according to a 2003 article in the New York Times.

The paper asked one member about the club’s diversity at the time.

”Jewish, yes,” the member said, but ”Blacks, not really.” {snip}