How an exclusive Rhode Island beach club became embroiled in a political controversy – Boston, Massachusetts

Boston, Massachusetts 2021-06-24 13:55:19 –


The Baileys Beach Club in Newport has denied allegations that its members lack racial diversity.

On August 4, 2020, surfers entered the waters of Bailey’s Beach after feeling the effects of a tropical cyclone, Isayas, in Newport, Rhode Island. David Goldman / AP

Located on the calm coast of Newport, Rhode Island, the Private Beach Club is currently behind a tumultuous political debate over racism and exclusivity, and is also involved with one of its prolific affiliates.

In response to comments from Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, whose family has long been a member of the elite club, public attention and scrutiny was directed to the Baileys Beach Club this week.

what happened

Located at the southern tip of the mansion-lined Bellview Avenue, Baileys is officially known as the Spouting Rock Beach Association, where wealthy industrial giants and socialites flock to summer villas in the seaside town. It goes back to the times.

A stubborn Democrat, the White House has faced criticism over the years about its involvement with the institution.

GoLocalProv approached the White House in 2017 Why the outlet was a member of a club that was described as a “white” club.

“I wish they changed a bit, but that’s not my position,” the White House said at the time.

And the White House Ask again from GoLocalProv The eve of June 16th last week, a holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States.

He was asked if Baileys had diversified its membership over the last four years.

“I think the people who run the place are still working on it, and I’m sorry it hasn’t happened yet,” says Whitehouse, whose wife is one of the club’s largest shareholders. I did.

Asked if a club like Baileys will survive in 2021, the White House said, “Rhode Island has a long tradition and there are many clubs. I think we need to solve the problem.” I am.

The interview was spurred Onslaught of Political attention of the country And news coverage, and Questions about the role of exclusive clubs in perpetuating institutional racism..

Baileys Beach Club Breaks Silence

Bailey’s has historically been publicly silent on its membership and operational issues. They usually refused to answer questions from past media outlets. According to WPRI..

But that changed when Wednesday pushed back the claim that the club was catering to white members.

“Recent features in the press and other commentary on the Baileys Beach Club are inaccurate and incorrect,” the club told WPRI in a statement.

“For many years, club members and their families have included people of racial, religious, and ethnic backgrounds from around the world who come to Newport every summer,” the statement continued. .. “Our members come to our small clubs from all over the world and welcome the diverse perspectives and backgrounds they bring to our community.”

The club did not provide demographics or statistics for its members, and its general manager said the agency would not comment further, the press reported.

However, WPRI also got a note It was sent to club members by President Alexander Awespelg on Wednesday.

“As a private club, we have a duty to protect the privacy of our members and take great care not to comment on inquiries from the press,” said Auerspel, Prince of Austria and son of Sunny von Bülow. Gu wrote in the email. “But we also have a duty to correct this misconception, which is very offensive to us all, our staff, and our friends in the Newport community.”

Auersperg added, “When Baileys made a statement that he was discouraged from joining a minority club, a couple of members were out of context, misquoted, or totally wrong.”

“As president of this club, and on behalf of my fellow governors and management, we do not discriminate against racial, religious or ethnic backgrounds regarding the membership development process or staff recruitment. Our board. Can guarantee that no one tolerates such offensive practices, “he writes.

Auersperg reiterated that the statement released was the only statement the club planned to make to the news media.

“To avoid such a catastrophic misunderstanding, please use the same restrictions and pay attention to the comments,” Auersprg wrote.

The White House says it made a “mistake” in accepting the assumptions of the reporter’s question that was inaccurate.

White House has also released a follow-up statement On Wednesday, he said he was surprised last week by a reporter’s question.

“I was attending an unrelated event and wasn’t ready for the question,” he said. “At that time, I made a mistake in accepting her assumptions. Next, I checked the assertions. First, I found that the assertions were wrong, the membership was diverse, and there were non-white club members. Second, improving diversity remains a priority and a positive challenge for the club’s new board of directors. “

The White House also addressed a call to resign from the club.

“I have no members to resign, and I don’t ask my wife or other family members to resign,” he said. “First, they are on the right side to drive improvement. Second, and more importantly, my relationship with my family is not about teaching them what to do.”

Earlier this week, some of the White House’s congressional colleagues defended the White House.

“I don’t know anything about the club, but I know Senator Whitehouse is an active champion of justice, inclusiveness, and people of all disciplines,” said US Senator Jack of Rhode Island. Reed told reporters on Tuesday. .. “It’s who he is, and what he fights every day.”

Congressman David Siciline wrote: twitter: “The Sheldon White House was a lifelong fighter for racial and economic justice. The end.”

And Congressman Jim Langevin Social media platform: “I know
In the heart of @SenWhitehouse, and I’ve seen his relentless work fighting for fairness for all Rhode Islanders. Otherwise anyone who proposes is completely wrong. “

However, the controversy clearly urged the White House to scrutinize his other affiliations, he said, especially if the organization near the White House contained “unfair or exclusive policies.” ..

“I’m not a member of the beach club, but I own a boat and belong to a sailing club in Newport,” he said. “There are no membership exclusion rules for this club, but it lacks diversity.

“I’m honest and sorry for not being able to deal with the lack of diversity in sailing clubs,” continued the White House. “I promise to work with clubs and communities to build more comprehensive membership and connect with them.”

Senators also acknowledged the country’s “long history of injustice and practice, excluding minorities from the opportunity to climb housing, schools, and economic ladders.”

“As a Senator, I pledge to overcome that history and continue to do everything I can to strive for greater diversity and justice in all areas of society,” Whitehouse said. ..

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