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By I & I Editorial Board
Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse. Photo: Senate Democrats, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en).
The blasé response to the revelation that Rhode IslandDemocratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse belonged to a private “whites only” club and even owned a stake in it, should come as no surprise. In the Democrats’ race-obsessed world, only Republicans are racist.
Whitehouse confused the issue last week when asked about his membership in Bailey’s Beach Club and its alleged all-white membership, saying: “I think the people who are running the place are still working on that and I’m sorry it hasn’t happened yet.”
Well, it turns out, his family is among the “people who are running the place.”
As GoLocalProvidence online TV, which broke the story, noted:
“Both Whitehouse and his wife Sandra as well as their families have been members of the club for decades. Whitehouse did transfer his (ownership) shares in the club to his wife years ago, and she is now one of the largest shareholders in the all-white club. The club’s membership is a who’s who Newport, Palm Beach, and New York wealth.”
And on Monday, Whitehouse appeared to defend his membership, calling such clubs “a long tradition in Rhode Island.”
However, after those remarks raised even more questions, Whitehouse denied that the beach club was whites-only, and said that he “was assured that … the assertion was wrong, there is diversity in the membership and there are non-white club members.”
An honest mistake then? Nope. Whitehouse had been asked about his membership in the club dating back to 2006. But, as a Democrat, he could conveniently count on the media not letting such inconvenient facts intrude on his political career, and on his colleagues saying nothing.
Moreover, the club itself issued a statement saying that it had “people of many racial, religious, and ethnic backgrounds” as members, but refused to elaborate.
But Whitehouse did clarify that he belongs to a yacht club that, by his own admission, has only white members.
So, to ask the by-now-cliched question, if Whitehouse were a Republican would he get a pass from the Democrats? Of course not.
The reason is simple. Whitehouse, like so many Democrats, portrays himself as a staunch anti-racist, as he did recently during a Senate “moment of silence” to commemorate the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor: “We can and must do better to root out systemic racism in its many forms and meet America’s full promise of justice for all.”
Republicans in Congress are routinely accused of being racists, with evidence of their guilt never being offered. They get called racist simply for opposing Democratic proposals, even ones that have nothing to do with race. Or for telling the truth about our nation’s violent, troubled inner-cities. Or for defending America’s symbols of freedom, such as the American flag. Or for supporting Donald Trump.
But Democrats belonging to racially exclusive clubs, real racism? Pass.
That no one in his party seems to care much and Whitehouse appears secure in his position tells you a lot about the Democratic Party. Contrary to its image as a champion of downtrodden minorities, the Democratic Party is in fact racist at its core. And always has been.
Hard to believe?
Columnist Mona Charen accurately summed it up back in 2015:
The Democrats were the party of slavery, black codes, Jim Crow, and that miserable terrorist excrescence, the Ku Klux Klan. Republicans were the party of Lincoln, Reconstruction, anti-lynching laws, and the civil rights acts of 1875, 1957, 1960, and 1964. Were all Republicans models of rectitude on racial matters? Hardly. Were they a heck of a lot better than the Democrats? Without question.
Democrats argue this is “ancient history.” Not true. Former Senate Majority Leader Robert Byrd, dubbed by colleagues “the Conscience of the Senate,” was a former exalted cyclops of his local Ku Klux Klan. He tried, along with President Bill Clinton’s mentor J. William Fulbright and former Vice President Al Gore Jr.’s father, to filibuster the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
Still in office, Byrd died in 2010, a much-revered figure in his party.
Granted, today’s racism of the Democratic Party is of a different kind. Gone are the white sheets of the Klan, and the ugly American apartheid of racially separate bathrooms, hotels, schools, drinking fountains and the like.
In their place is the pseudointellectual creed of Critical Race Theory, a branch of Marxist thought that adds race to class conflict and insists that all white people are racist. It’s a new religion.”Systemic racism” is original sin, and only the “Woke” are redeemable.
CRT has been extensively debunked by historians on both the left and right. That anyone gives it any credence underscores the utter debasement of reasoned debate, especially in our so-called institutions of higher learning. And to the extent that the Democratic Party embraces CRT, it inescapably becomes an avowedly Marxist party.
Do Democrats care? As they have through history, Democrats today work assiduously to drive wedges between people based on race and income; undermine the egalitarian ideals of our nation’s founding documents, the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution; and expand government power over individual citizens’ lives, liberties and livelihoods.
Given all this, maybe it’s understandable that Democrats and the leftist media would give Sheldon Whitehouse a pass. After all, in the context of the Democratic Party’s profound racist history, Whitehouse is really not the worst sinner. Not by a long shot.
Author: Frances Rice