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Lawmaker, Husband Won’t Join Forest Lake Club




S.C. Rep. Beth Bernstein – a Democrat representing Richland County – says she and her husband will not join a Columbia, S.C. country club after it failed to make sufficient progress in diversifying its membership.

Bernstein and her husband Rip Sanders – who received the invitation from the Forest Lake Country Club two weeks ago – believe the organization hasn’t done enough to attract minority members.

They’re right: Forest Lake currently has zero  black members, although sources at the club tell The (Columbia, S.C.) State  newspaper that an interracial couple has been placed on its waiting list.

Wow … how big of them, right?

Obviously as freedom-loving libertarians we respect the right of private clubs to admit – or refuse admittance – to anyone they please, for whatever reason they please.  That’s their prerogative.  However in 2014 it strikes us as ridiculous that an organization wishing to be respected or taken seriously would discriminate on the basis of skin color.

Oh, and public figures who join discriminatory organizations – or maintain there memberships in such clubs – need to have their heads examined.

Forest Lake’s “whites only” policy – part of the deed to the property upon which the club sits – made headlines again last week when S.C. Rep. Bakari Sellers (D-Bamberg) challenged his lieutenant gubernatorial opponent, Henry McMaster, to resign his membership.

McMaster’s membership at the Forest Lake Country Club was first exposed by FITS back in 2008 – along with his membership in other “whites only” organizations.

McMaster is one of several prominent “Republican” politicos who belongs to the club – including S.C. Sen. John Courson and former SCGOP chairman Katon Dawson.

Dawson – who followed McMaster as head of the state party – pulled a rope-a-dope related to his membership at the club while he was running for chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC) in 2009.  First he “resigned” his membership at the club in protest of its policy toward blacks, however it was later revealed that he never left.

The Dawson debacle was the latest in a litany of bad press for the club, which famously refused to invite a commanding general at Fort Jackson due to his Jewish faith.  Five Jewish couples now belong to the club.  Bernstein and her husband would have been the sixth.