Flashback: The Hagans' 'Whites Only' Country Club Problem

Flashback: The Hagans' 'Whites Only' Country Club Problem

With Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) locked in a tight reelection bid and in need of a good Democratic turnout in a few short weeks, Democrats appear eager to promote the claim that North Carolina Republicans and their candidate for Senate are hostile to African Americans.

Monday evening Hagan and MSNBC host Chris Matthews charged that the new North Carolina voting rules are intended to target African Americans, not because they are Democrats, but because they are African Americans.

“African Americans think that they’re being targeted because they’re African Americans not because they’re Democrats,” Matthews said on his MSNBC show. 

Hagan responded, “Well, you know, I tend to agree with them.”

Earlier that day, left-leaning publications, the DSCC, and Hagan campaign made hay out of a racially charged statement state House Speaker Thom Tillis released in 2007, essentially calling government redistribution of wealth to be “de facto reparations.”

While Democrats attempt to gin up racial strife in the final weeks of the election, Hagan has faced charges of racial insensitivity herself. 

In 2008, when Sen. Kay Hagan was first running for Senate against then-Sen. Elizabeth Dole, Hagan came under fire for her husband’s membership in the exclusive Greensboro Country Club which was not integrated until the mid-1990s.

That cycle, Politico reported that despite the fact that her husband “supported opening up membership,” Chip Hagan remained a member of the club for years before the it admitted its first black member in 1995. 

“Chip supported broadening the membership to include African Americans and others,” Hagan spokeswoman at the time Colleen Flanagan told Politico. “Though it took longer than it should have, Greensboro County Club fully desegregated in 1995 and remains so today.” 

According to Flanagan, Hagan herself was never a member and her husband inherited the membership from his father. 

“Greensboro was one of the last all-white clubs in the area to integrate,” Politico reported at the time. “In the mid-1990s, members claimed they had never received an application from a black person, even though African Americans make up about 35 percent of the local population — and the city was site to groundbreaking civil rights demonstrations in the 1960s.”

At the time the National Republican Senatorial Committee argued that Hagan should have demand her husband leave the club. 

“She has a history of putting many things before her so-called principles,” then NRSC spokesman John Randall told Politico. “I think she needs to answer whether or not she was aware of the situation — it would be shocking if she didn’t know. She needs to explain why she didn’t push her husband to terminate his association with such an organization.” 

The Hagan campaign accused the Dole campaign of “textbook Washington desperation” according to the 2008 report

Six years later the election between Tillis and Hagan is very tight. A recent High Point University poll has the pair tied with 40 percent to 40 percent of the vote.

The Hagan campaign did not respond to request for comment. 


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