Black Lives Matter is giving a Rhode Island senator an ultimatum to cut all ties with a controversial country club accused of only admitting white people — even though he has already denied being a member.
BLM Rhode Island told WLNE that Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse has until next Friday to either resign or cut ties with Newport-based Bailey’s Beach Club — or it will make his life miserable, the station said.
“We’ll go to his club, we’ll go to his office, we’ll go to his home — wherever we need to go,” one of the chapter’s directors, Mark Fisher, vowed.
“This is an issue that’s not going to go away and Senator Whitehouse needs to address it, he needs to take it on,” Fisher said.
The threat comes more than a month after the state’s junior senator denied being a member of the controversial club, and insisted it was not his place to force family members to quit.
Bailey’s Beach Club also dismissed as “inaccurate and false” the characterization that its private membership was “all-white.”
“Over many years, Club members and their families have included people of many racial, religious, and ethnic backgrounds,” the club told the Providence Journal, saying it included a “diversity of view and background.”
Yet BLM insisted Whitehouse’s denial was not enough to stop planned protests.
“If he thinks we’re just going to forget about it, if he thinks that it’s going to get swept under the rug — it’s not,” Fisher told WLNE.
The activist group is also not buying the senator’s claim that the club was on “the right side of pushing for improvements.”
“It doesn’t matter, you know what type of black people he brings in,” Fisher said.
“This club is a proven racist club with exclusive ties to supremacy and exclusion, and that’s something that’s not gonna be tolerated by me, by my associates, my affiliates or my organization,” he said.
Whitehouse did not respond to requests for comment, the outlet said.