Hilton Faces Lawsuit Over Hampton Inn Racism

Filed Under: Hilton, Hotels

A few days ago I posted about an incident that occurred at a Hampton Inn in North Carolina, where a Black family had the cops called on them for using the pool.

Well, a lawsuit has just been filed over a Black family having the cops called on them at a Hampton Inn in North Carolina… except this is a different incident involving a different family.

Basics of the Hampton Inn lawsuit

A lawsuit has been filed today over an incident that occurred in November 2018 at the Hampton Inn I-95 in Wilson, North Carolina.

The plaintiff is Delores Corbett, a business owner, who was staying with her husband Alvin Corbett, a masters-level mechanical engineer, and their two teenage children. This was a trip to celebrate the life of Alvin’s mother, Fannie Corbett.

It’s noted that Fannie Corbett was declared a “civil rights pioneer” by North Carolina’s House of Representatives, for being “the mother of community development in North Carolina.”

The Corbett family

According to the complaint, here’s what happened:

  • The plaintiff went to the front desk to seek clarification of a billing error for a prepaid room
  • The front desk employee loudly stated that the credit card for the reservation had been declined
  • The plaintiff clarified that the room was paid with points, and that the prepaid status was verified during check-in
  • The employee loudly repeated “your credit card was declined”
  • The plaintiff asked the employee to stop making the comment, to which the employee continued to repeat loudly “your credit card was declined”
  • The plaintiff pulled up information to confirm the reservation had been paid with points, but the employee refused to look at the information, so the plaintiff asked to speak to a supervisor
  • The employee then shouted “get off my property” and proceeded to call the police
  • The plaintiff gathered her family and hurried to leave, fearing the employee may fabricate a story, unaware of “how law enforcement may respond to the African-American males of the family”
  • The family was escorted off the property, and followed by police as they drove off

What damages is the family seeking from Hilton?

The family is suing Hilton because they chose to stay at the Hampton Inn specifically because of their Hilton Honors participation.

According to the lawsuit, here’s how the family is suffering as a result of the incident:

“As a result of Defendants’ unlawful actions described above, Plaintiffs have suffered, continue to suffer, and will in the future suffer irreparable loss and injury, including but not limited to economic loss, humiliation, embarrassment, emotional distress, feelings of racial stigmatization, an increased sense of vulnerability, and unlawful deprivation of their federally protected rights to exercise and enjoy equal treatment in the making and enforcing of contracts in places of public accommodation and having full access to and enjoyment of places of public accommodation without regard for race and/or color.”

The family is seeking:

  • Compensatory damages to fully compensate for economic loss, humiliation, embarrassment, and emotional distress
  • Punitive damages that would punish Hilton for the willful, wanton, and reckless conduct, and that would effectively deter similar conduct in the future
  • Attorneys’ fees and costs

What does Hilton have to say about all of this?

Also shared in the lawsuit is the correspondence that the guest had with the hotel. Shortly after the stay, the guest reached out to the hotel, and received a response from the general manager of the hotel.

He acknowledged that “the front desk agent’s actions were unprofessional and unwarranted,” and stated he’s “not sure why the front agent panicked and contacted the police for an issue.”

He did state that the agent claimed she felt threatened and feared for her safety, but he “did not believe that this situation arose to anywhere near that level of dispute.” He also noted that this employee had been reassigned as an internal review was conducted.

The plaintiff also reached out to Hilton corporate, and more or less got a canned response.

My take on this lawsuit

My take here is largely the same as my take on the latest Hampton Inn racism incident. Let me address a few points.

There is obviously systematic racism in our country. While we don’t know what exactly the interaction was like between the employee and the front desk associate, I think it’s highly likely that a white guest wouldn’t have had the cops called on them.

Heck, here we have two Hampton Inns in North Carolina that called the cops on Black families. Is it a coincidence? I highly doubt it. I’d love to hear from any white families that had the cops called on them at a Hampton Inn in North Carolina.

Also, whatever happened to customer service? The front desk agent claimed she felt threatened. How bad was she at deescalating the situation that it got to the point where she felt threatened during a billing dispute?

How do you go from “hi, I was billed incorrectly,” to “get off my property, I’m calling the cops?” Generally that doesn’t happen if there’s decent customer service. Also keep in mind that the manager even acknowledged that the guest was right when it came to the billing dispute.

Lastly, regarding the lawsuit, I’m sure some are going to say “well that’s just ridiculous.” While I don’t love how litigious US society is in general, the sad reality is that this is often how you create change. Look at how this guest was blown off by customer relations when she contacted corporate.

I can’t blame her for filing a lawsuit, especially after finding out that just a few days ago another Black family had the policy called on them at a Hampton Inn in the same state.

Bottom line

A Black family is filing a lawsuit against Hilton, after the cops were called on them during a stay at a Hampton Inn in North Carolina. This came just days after another Black family had the cops called on them at a Hampton Inn in North Carolina.

I hope Hilton — and other hotel groups, for that matter — take this opportunity to retrain their employees both when it comes to deescalating situations, and racism.

  1. Just FYI, major journalism outlets have recently updated their style guides to capitalize the B in Black as a marker of identity.

    In before the trolls…

  2. I’m appalled at the response from Corporate. Not only is it full of errors, but the fact it wasn’t escalated to someone in a position of authority shows that there is a lack of training for frontline staff to identify and raise up critical issues for the brand. While I’m very loyal to Hilton and know how to get the proper attention on a case when it is warranted (and that is very rare), I’m disappointed with them on this item.

  3. A bit confused as to why you post these articles.
    On the one hand, I appreciate they are travel-related and you feel compelled to report and add your takes.
    On the other hand, is this related to premium travel, the point of your blog?

    The banner at the top, telling us (someone?) to do better and linking to someone else’s site still has not be addressed by you. Is that other person’s position also your position?

  4. William,

    The article brings a “warning” to Black individuals/families to be aware of this situation in NC/Hampton. Clearly, there is a total lack of training and oversight for front end employees. Unfortunately, all these properties are independently owned and managed from Hilton corporate. I was at Hampton ($159/night) in Feb and the whole hotel had no soap (not one) for a week!!!! All customers were asked to go out and buy it in near by Walgreens/cvs/Kroger, etc… laughable. The state of Hampton Inns today

  5. How was the room booked with HH points when the remedy warranted a refund to Expedia? Did the Plaintiff use Expedia Rewards and cause a misunderstanding with the hotel staff by insisting that the room was booked with HH points? The Plaintiff’s complaint makes a serious allegation about racial stigmatization, but I’m not entirely convinced based on the available facts.

  6. If there’s systemic racism in this country and ‘we need to do better’, perhaps you should help lead the way by hiring a POC at OMAAT. You know, instead of limiting it to the 9 white contributors you currently have on the “About” page.

  7. As a Hospitality Professional for over 26 years this disturbs me. I used to work for Hilton and I’ve always loved the inclusiveness I felt there. I am a white male, so I can never truly know what it can feel like.
    I’m also curious if this was a Hilton Managed property or a Franchise. If its a Franchise, which I suspect it is as most Hampton Inn’s are, they’re suing the wrong company.

  8. A bit of a correction, I’ve been in hotels 36 years, not 26. And worked for all major brands.

  9. Definitely agree. Why points in the complaint and Expedia booking on details? Especially when family states they were staying there because of Hilton Honors? Also, your assumption that this happened because the man is black is just that, an assumption.

    Your attention to detail was much better when you were focused on logic and not feelings Ben.

  10. @GoAmtrak

    The practice of purposefully capitalizing the word Black and subduing the word white is something introduced by progressive, white-led media outlets simply trying to maximize the perception of their public image while really just obfuscating hidden white fragility. It is wildly condescending and offensive in the extreme. You are essentially communicating that black people need special considerations, special treatment, and special rules because blacks are otherwise incapable of standing par with the superior white race. Outrageous! So…to throw a bone…you publicly show your alleged unwavering intolerance for racism by offering up token gestures that are utterly meaningless and only draw attention away from underlying root causes.

    Read the book: White Fragility. Progressive whites need to stop with all these over-the-top attempts to prove to the world their undivided commitment to racial equality and start implementing legitimate measures to start seriously treat everyone fairly and without unconscious bias. Like as @Chuck Sullivan states, not a single black person on the OMAAT staff? Stop treating people differently based on skin color.

  11. BTW, not sure there is enough evidence here to suggest racism, but a credit card denial that ultimately leads to a call to the police?!? This BS needs to stop. The viral video of that Karen in Central Park with her dog who called the police on a black man because of a conflict over a dog not on a leash…c’mon?!?!

  12. white, black, yellow, red, <- adjective
    … American, African-American, German, Chinees, <– adjective

    In general, an adjective is capitalized if its meaning is "pertaining to X", where X is some specific person, place, language, or organized group. Most capitalized adjectives are derived from proper nouns; for example, the proper adjective American is derived from the proper noun America.

    Can we say White or Black people, as we say American people or German people? I'm just asking from a proper grammatical point of view. I don't give a cr*p how people feel it should be. Until something grammatically is unacceptable, i won't use it. CNN or FOX is not setting the American language for me.

  13. @Lucky
    To stay true to the clickbait headlines.

    Maybe “Another Hampton Inn Racism Incident”

    At first I thought it was the one from your last post and they filled lawsuit.
    This is separate so they deserve another clickbait. 🙂

  14. Children, stop.

    It’s not about race. People need to just grow up.

    People are so entitled (this goes beyond race) it’s ridiculous. Just move on guys! You’ll all be dead in a few years.

  15. @ david H
    They are not suing the wrong party. They are both going after the deeper pockets and challenging Hilton to step in and make good. Follow the money.

  16. Totally agree with @Mark. This whole thing is just blowing out of proportion. Seems it is just every one testing the patience of every one and see where the border lies before they explode and it becomes the next story.

    @Ben – do agree also that highlighting these stories does not help, let’s please go back to pure travel related news and developments.

  17. @Mark yeah, people are just so entitled that they feel they shouldn’t have the cops called on them over a billing misunderstanding! I mean, people these days…

    Racism exists. Black people disproportionately have the police called on them for minor incidents or just for existing. This is a thing that happens. You can either accept it, or you can continue living in your little bubble of privilege. I’m willing to bet you are white and have never had the cops called on you for anything as minor as a billing misunderstanding, or asking someone to leash their dog.

  18. Just a suggestion, but do you want to delete/ censor the email addresses in the images above?

  19. This could well be racism or it could just be a scared clerk that overreacted or maybe a videotape will show the clerk reacted properly. Since none of us were there it’s impossible to know.
    I agree that what you’ve outlined looks to be racism, however In these volatile times I believe you’re stoking the flames by reporting accusations like this. You’ve apparently reached your verdict, GUILTY until proven innocent.

  20. So what policy does Hilton or the Hampton Inn have that’s racist to make this a systemic racist issue? One (or two) bad apples does not make systemic racism. In this particular case, racism may have played a part in the outcome, or the worker could have just been a jerk. I know it’s easy to say the guests were treated this way because of their race, and it sure fits the narrative that the media loves to play up, but I don’t think we know for sure. Either way, the worker obviously deserves to get fired.

    When someone is a jerk to a black person, it’s automatically because of racism. When someone is a jerk to a white person, it’s because that person is a jerk right?

  21. Super interesting to see the details here. If they’re staying because they’re HHonors members using points, why in the world would Expedia be involved at all? Why would the desk agent be charging the guest’s card (except for the incidental hold), as Expedia gives the hotel a virtual corporate card?

    It seems like the desk agent was confused, the guest’s made a weird booking (or booked third party and then wanted to swap out for a points reservation last minute) and there was miscommunication all around.

    FWIW, I’ve sent plenty of emails like this GM did. Just refund the people so they go away. These particular people went ahead and are making the cash grab lawsuit, but good luck proving anything about he said/she said with the desk clerk.

  22. Even if it is in some court record I wouldn’t recommend putting email addresses in your photos/posts.

    I’m still confused. Did she pay with points? If she did, was the cc declined because they wanted to use it for incidentals (i.e., every place I’ve gone always wants a cc just in case you put stuff on room service or pay tv, etc.)?

  23. I am also confused by some of the details in this story. I don’t understand how their AMEX was charged if their card was declined. I can’t understand why they would stay there because of the Hilton Honors program but book through Expedia. My guess would be that they probably used Expedia points but truthfully none of these details really matter.

    I live in North Carolina. There is more deep rooted racism and hate in this state than I could ever have imagined before living here. It is so rampant and utterly evil that I am embarrassed and ashamed to be a resident of this state and can’t wait for the day that I can leave. There is no question in my mind that both the incident in this post and the one we read about a few days ago were absolutely racist acts. I don’t for a second believe that the cops would have been called on a white family using the pool or a white family that approached the front desk over a billing error.

    For those of you who feel there isn’t any evidence of racism in this story, please take a moment to consider that the situation in many parts of NC (as well as parts of other states) may not be the same as the situation where you live. If you live or have lived in NC and you don’t see it then I think you need to look deep inside yourself because the racism isn’t hiding.

  24. @Brooke – Little curious where you moved in from. North Carolina is, and historically has been, less Southern than the rest of the South. It’s on the verge of going the way of Virginia and being a reliable blue state. Raleigh has the same vibes as DC, and it’s definitely nothing like where I grew up in Alabama and Louisiana.

  25. Even if the reservation was on points, the room would have required a credit card or cash deposit for incidentals. Did they offer cash instead of the invalid credit card? Their embarrassment of being unable to provide a hold for the incidental charges on a card is not the fault of the front desk agent, who is not required to speak in muted tones.

    Given that their credit card couldn’t even support incidental charges for a Hampton Inn stay, I can see why they are going after Hilton to try and pocket some money.

    We need to do better. We should remain committed to fighting these never-ending bogus charges of racism. Tawana Brawley, Jessie Smollett, the Bubba Wallace garage door pull / hamster noose and now this event. We’ve all had enough of it. North Carolina especially has a horrible history of persecuting white people, as happened in the Duke Lacrosse case and this poor front desk clerk is just another case.

    Bottom line, the hotel general manager should be singing this employee’s praises for potentially not creating a chargeback or negative economic event for the hotel and for starting the process of bringing in the police to manage a potentially volatile situation with a hostile guest who may have threatened the security of other guests in the hotel.

  26. Face it, until Lucky musters enough courage to resume his premium travel, we will be subjected to more of these columns.

  27. We can thank Kafoury & McDougal for stories like these. It starts with Jermaine Massey on December 22, 2018 at a Portland, OR DoubleTree and an ensuing $10M lawsuit against Hilton for racial profiling and discrimination. Lucky, how about other blog articles on Richard Willock and Albert Law? If this act against Delores Corbett was so racially charged and egregious, why wasn’t a lawsuit filed in late 2018 or early 2019? Why wait until after the $10M Massey lawsuit makes national headlines to make a move and suddenly feel the need to recoup for punitive damages?

    Under the circumstances, these are all starting to seem like cash grabs taking advantage of Hilton’s unfortunate situation and seemingly deep pockets. In each of the documented instances (Corbett, Massey, Wright, etc…) the data more suggests behavioral profiling that has been misrepresented by the victims as racial profiling. The former — while annoying and arguably still wrong — wouldn’t likely result in a cash settlement as would the latter.

    The real downside is the precedent set. We’re seeing some potential for abuse with a possible get-rich-quick-scheme for blacks and other minorities: book a room at any Hilton property; purposefully engage in repeated, disruptive, and damaging behavior off-camera; wait until approached by employee; turn on cell phone and start recording; incite a racist confrontation; hope for an exaggerated and disproportionate response. If unsuccessful, try again with another employee or property. Repeat until a condemning video is collected, can be uploaded to social media, and a lawsuit is filed shortly thereafter.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if a few less-than-honorable individuals try such tactics, making things all the more difficult for the countless people that are truly being attacked by racial profiling and discrimination.

  28. “The Plaintiff’s complaint makes a serious allegation about racial stigmatization, but I’m not entirely convinced based on the available facts.”

    Imagine saying this and not having the self awareness to realize that you’re literally having systemic racism pour out of your mouth.

  29. Spot on Roger.

    The manager did the right thing from the facts, and was more than helpful.

    Yet the family are now taking it further, in pursuit of some extra bucks. Without any evidence of anything systemic that warrants that. The matter has been dealt with, yet some people just want to keep dragging it on, obviously just to hustle some money. Very disappointing.

    It’s these attitudes that only widen the divide as people look for angles to exploit.

  30. It’s also disappointing Ben has updated the previous story to link to this – yet hasn’t updated to correct that it was incorrect as it seemed to be upfront, and that the woman was questioned as she had left the children by themselves, so there was much more of a backstory and context to the situation.

    Guess as long as it attracts attention, it’s done its purpose.

  31. If you want to label this incident as a racial incident, you really need to answer the questions multiple commenters raised about the reservation details (and btw NO ONE addressed).

  32. I am very disappointed at how the quality of this blog has fallen. Let’s again refresh ourselves what racism is: the belief in the inherent superiority of one race to another or, conversely, the inherent inferiority of the other race to the first. We are now worrying about whether to capitalize a letter B (and I presume W if we are being fair but we know fairness isn’t a high priority right now) but we can’t even pretend to be able to define a word. That is not unique to Lucky but it’s beyond frustrating: if you can’t define a problem, you can’t solve it.

    Moving along, there is ZERO EVIDENCE of racism or even prejudice in this situation. Evidence. Not what Lucky assumes but evidence. Could the agent be prejudiced (that’s far more likely than racist)? Of course. It’s certainly a possibility. Bad customer service? Yes. Poor way to handle a problem? Quite possibly. But despite there being no evidence of even a racial angle, Lucky’s headline declares that to be the case. Frankly, I find the timing of this very convenient, two years removed from the incident but right in the midst of national racial protests and riots. Honestly, this lawsuit smacks of a money grab to me. I can’t imagine that want this to go to court in front of a jury unless there’s actual evidence they have not shared. I have to believe in the current climate their legal team
    Is expecting a fast settlement by Hilton to avoid being seen as “racist.” I would love to see a company allow it to get to a courtroom where for once a claim of bias in a commercial setting would have to be substantiated. But I doubt that is going to happen. Hilton willl write a check.

    This is poor quality writing. This blog used to consider political and social issues objectively. I didn’t always agree with your conclusions but they typically were reasoned and supported by a degree of actual logical analysis. Now it’s like so many other outlets: jump on the bandwagon without any deeper examination of the situation.

    This has been my go-to points and miles blog for years. I’ve gotten excellent advice and tips. But it’s sliding down toward the same liberal cesspool like so many blogs. Travel shouldn’t be this partisan. Come to a different conclusion than I might but do it with reason not mere feelings. You can offer better quality, Lucky, because you have done so in the past.

  33. Hiring/Not hiring someone based on their skin color is racist and discriminatory, no matter how hard Chuck advocates for this practice. It’s nothing but virtue signaling.

    Back to the topic: One lesson my company has learned is: all front desks are now video and audio monitored — just in case an incident happens OR someone fabricates a story for clout.

  34. @Derek

    @Lucky, hopefully you give this some thought. We all love your blog and your travel writing, but you have been turning your blog into something else with these posts.

    Please understand that there is a good reason for rule-of-law, fair trials, innocent-until-proven-guilty etc.
    No matter how much you feel one side is right, if you jump to a verdict without the above, you are doing wrong, always. Very simple.

  35. Ok this happened in a hotel but is getting more politics now.

    I’m ok with it but please keep truth to the facts. The woman was sitting in her car and the kids were playing in the pool. The hotel did check (which is good policy) and noticed the kids alone in the pool (isn’t that dangerous?). The mother was in her car in the parking lot. Don’t you find this strange? The woman did not want to tell her room number or identify herself. Even more strange. So, the hotel did call the police which is according to most large hotel chains policy.


    The hotel employee is fired (why? He followed hotel policy. I would expect him/her to fill a lawsuit against Hilton!!)

    The woman is preparing a lawsuit to Hilton. (on which grounds) She happens to be black but I fail to see what that has to do with this issue. It’s not about her color, it’s about not following rules, not wanted to identify herself, not telling her room number. Leaving her kids alone in the pool without supervision.

    It appears to me she is just filing this lawsuit to get $$$$ from Hilton. The world is gone crazy. Not only due to corona measures, but also due to people not thinking straight anymore.

  36. I consider myself liberal in all social aspects, conservative fiscally. This whole story reeks of embellishment on all sides. Hilton and General Managers always send out responses that either don’t even touch on the issue or plead we will work with our team to do better. The desk agent “loudly” claimed the card was denied seems absurd. Maybe the comment seemed loud as it might have been embarrassing but I doubt you heard it outside of the immediate area. We have all had issues at checkout that we’re eventually resolved to our satisfaction and this points use confusion has happened to me as well. America is so over the top with suits. No, lawsuits do not create change. Hilton will pay these people off and no change will take place. I certainly can’t connect an occurrence 2 years ago to the most recent one and no judge will either since millions of transactions have occurred between them just in NC alone. Racism exists, yes. Is every dispute now between a Caucasian and a POC now reach based. Please, let’s not go from just accepting racist behavior to the opposite end of the spectrum. If this starts we will find ourself saying “another money grab” and nothing will change in people’s minds and hearts.

  37. @ Ben – “There is obviously systemic racism in our country”.

    Care to support that assertion with facts or just care to make that claim as if it were factual because it’s the “woke” thing to do in a PC sub-culture? I’m open to learning if you care to to make the effort.

    Obviously, our country has had a history of systemic racism along with widely practiced anti-Semitism, but I fail to see where this is “systemic” today. Sure, there are isolated instances. Yet, there are isolated instances of other violent and non-violent crimes and these are not condoned systemically by society at large.

    As far as this particular instance was concerned … you weren’t there. I wasn’t there. We really have no idea of the tenor of the conversation. Perhaps the family spoke to the desk clerk in tones that made her or her rightfully feel threatened. Perhaps not. Perhaps this was an instance of racial bias. Perhaps not. Yet, if it was, given the letter sent to the family by the GM of the hotel, this hardly seems to be a systemic problem related to that property as a whole.

  38. Getting a refund was not enough for her?
    It’s not just this issue that I am appalled at the response from corporate.
    Many incidents recently the major hotel brands just push down to hotel level.

  39. Several observations:

    1. When booking with points, Doubletrees (and probably Hamptons) ask for a credit card for “possible incidentals” when I’ve done it. Declining a card by the credit card processor would set off something.

    2. Woman could have been very nasty, maybe due to the funeral. We know that in Aurora, Colorado, the dead black guy was acting very weird, like wearing a ski mask in August and pre-covid as well as initially saying that he has the right to go wherever he wants when told of a report of a suspicious man. Oh the other hand, the woman could have been as sweet as pie.

    3. The son’s hair is so bad, it doesn’t do the young man justice. No justice, no peace!

  40. @Ron, if you’d like to read up on systemic racism, Google is right there. It’s on you to educate yourself. Lucky was stating a well known fact. It’s not his job to prove it to you.

    Seriously, the amount of white people on here that would rather play the victim than acknowledge the existence of racism is mind boggling. You wouldn’t survive a day as a black person on this country with your fragile ego.

  41. @Ana, I can’t speak for everyone, but no, we will not merely agree when there is no evidence. No matter the issue, some think “This is the way it is. I say so. You must accept it.” is the end of the story. Sorry, but it’s not. Many of us think and want evidentiary support for such claims. Expecting people to simply bow and agree with you is what is truly mind-boggling.

    Even if we accepted the claims of systemic racism everywhere – and that is by no means a certain fact because many disagree with this assertion – where is the evidence that that is the case here? If, based on the evidence presented, you conclude this situation is exemplary of systemic racism, that implies that ANY confrontation between a black person and a white person must be “racist.” Frankly, that’s a ludicrous implication. Fortunately, not everyone sees the world through a prism of race and many can treat individuals as individuals and not be biased for or against them because of their race.

  42. @ Derek — The people who “disagree with the assertion” of systemic racism are either mistaking “systemic” for “systematic” (for which there could be some disagreement) or are being intentionally obtuse.

    This situation is absolutely exemplary of systemic racism. White Americans treating 911 like a customer service hotline and feeling like they are “afraid” because they are in a minor disagreement with a Black person, and thus feel they need to be “protected” by armed force…that is literally one of the ways systemic racism presents in the US.

    As @ Ana said, Google is right there, but there are also links to many helpful resources to educate yourself in the banner at the top of this page.

  43. We are hearing one side of the story. We also need to listen to the other side of the story. Everyone knows when you check into a hotel when paid by points they still put a hold on your card for incidentals. Maybe it could be handled better. Some people are downright assholes to people and when called on it act innocent. If I had a dollar for each time I saw some asshole yell and swear at a clerk/ticketagent/flightattendant and when confronted they act like they are the victim, I would be really rich. Maybe the customer was confused, or maybe she was yelling and had an attitude or maybe embarrassed by her card being declined. Quit thinking that when its Black Vs White its always racism. You woke people annoy me. Yes there is racism but its not systematic. People are assholes and some will take advantage of the current situation because whitey doesn’t want to look racist.

  44. @Derek

    When you typed “ If, based on the evidence presented, you conclude this situation is exemplary of systemic racism, that implies that ANY confrontation between a black person and a white person must be “racist.” you couldn’t have really wanted to say that. You seriously don’t think that is what @Ana thinks or anyone does. While I disagree with you wholeheartedly, it is your opinion and nothing anyone sends you will change your mind even though there are articles all over google on the subject. Google is easy enough to use and as others say, not anyone’s job to search for you. It would be a waste of time. I think you just want to dispute it to create argument.

  45. @Tiffany
    None of us were there. Ask any hotel clerk or ticket agent how many jerks they deal with, from drunks, scammers, and people that swear at them the whole time. They are trained to handle jerks and don’t call the police at the first hint of a Black person talking to them in a loud voice. There is more to this story.

  46. @Dan

    That argument can go both ways, and I don’t have a clue which is true since (as you say) we weren’t there. They could have called the police because 1) the guest was deserving, or 2) they had a short fuse because the guest was black.

  47. @Tiffany, that is your OPINION. I could list several YouTube videos of people discussing this very issue who do NOT share your conclusion. I respect that you think one way. Why do you summarily dismiss their counter-view rather than trying to persuade them of your position?

    You said:

    “White Americans treating 911 like a customer service hotline and feeling like they are ‘afraid’ because they are in a minor disagreement with a Black person, and thus feel they need to be ‘protected’ by armed force…that is literally one of the ways systemic racism presents in the US.”

    As I have asked and others have asked, where is EVIDENCE to support this claim? Who put you in a position to decide whether a person felt threatened? Do you even have ALL the details of this situation to make a supported conclusion? I heard a discussion today about the Redskins name and the commentator made the argument that you don’t get to tell someone who is offended what offends them. Fair enough. Why do you get to tell someone what threatens them?

    Dan nails it: we need to know both sides of the story. Furthermore, we need to have some reason to support that this was BECAUSE of race and not just an incident that happened to involve people of two different races.

  48. @Ray, sir, I do not post things I do not mean. There is NO EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT THAT RACE IS A MOTIVATOR HERE. Several have asked for it. No one has produced it. It comes back to “Well this is what it is because some articles found via Google said so.” Who wrote the articles? Do they have an ulterior motive or a bias that might influence their conclusion? What about content that takes issues with that conclusion?

    I am not saying this absolutely was NOT motivated by race. I recognize that it could be (though I would still argue that is more likely prejudice than racism). But unlike many, I will NOT make that assumption. I will NOT jump to conclusions to confirm my preconceived notion. You don’t solve problems by detracting from actual incidents of the problem by assuming EVERYTHING that has a surface similarity is an example of that problem. I prefer to analytically look at a situation, consider evidence, and make certain suppositions that are reasonable given the known facts, then come to a conclusion or opinion.

    Per your response on my answer – and I think I saw this question posted somewhere above – is it possible that a black and a white person can have a confrontation and it NOT be racially MOTIVATED?

  49. @ Derek — To be clear, I’m not denying that the clerk felt threatened. The point that Ana and others have made is that the factors that lead to some people feeling threatened by a Black person (much less finding it worthy of escalation to law enforcement) are heavily influenced by other factors. Similarly, it’s why young women with babies-in-arms are disproportionately successful shoplifters — as a society we inherently trust mothers, and that subtly influences behavioral responses.

    As for the rest, there’s a YouTube video for literally everything (watched one just now to fix a clanking sound in my dishwasher!), but the existence of systemic racism (again, not necessarily systematic, though some of the former is likely an artifact of the latter) in the United States is not an opinion. It is a fact. I’m not going to waste my time trying to persuade anyone when it comes to reality. One can have opinions about how this particular event unfolded (I personally think calling the police was ridiculous, and that the lawsuit is even more ridiculous) without dismissing the real and pernicious impacts racism has had on our society. Being able to acknowledge these things as part of our societal structure is deeply uncomfortable, and very personal — again, links at the top of the page if that’s work you’re ready to do.

    @ dan — You have amazing expectations of retail training procedures.

  50. “It’s not an opinion. It’s a fact.” Yet no logical reason has been given to support your narrative of WHY this incident occurred. (I won’t ask again – no evidence or reason is forthcoming.)

    This type of dogmatic, “I’ve spoken so you must acquiesce to my position” stance is why no discussion race (or any other issue oftentimes) is possible. In turn, no real progress where there are issues will be possible. You can’t have a conversation when someone sets the ground rules as requiring acceptance of their views.

  51. @ Derek — Is this particular incident an example of the consequences of systemic racism? I don’t know, but what folks have been trying to explain to you is that this is often how it presents. An evidence chain for this particular event ought not be required to understand that this is something that does happen, and far more frequently than it should.

    Chalkboards are biased against left-handed people. That isn’t “a view that requires acceptance”, it just is what it is. Once everyone is on the same page about the existence of an issue, we can discuss and debate and have conversations about the impacts, and how (or if, in the case of chalkboards), to fix it.

    You keep demanding proof. There are lots of resources (again, linked at the top of the page) that discuss all these things more thoughtfully than any of us could do in a comment exchange.

  52. @Tiffany I took your suggestion and I found this article on systemic racism. I took it from a left-leaning publication to get the perspective of those who argue for this concept. (https://www.google.com/amp/s/time.com/5851855/systemic-racism-america/%3famp=true )

    And to be honest, it’s much of the same victim mentality we see in other publications. I read “Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehesi Coates last fall and it was a similar “black people are victims and it’s all the fault of white people.”

    To be fair, are there some issues where black people truly are victims. Absolutely. One can logically find data to support that and make a reasoned argument. But not everything. Many of the things in this article are differential outcome. That can be completely objective fact. But life has differential outcomes and not just along racial lines. The question is WHY? What this concept does not include are the effects of life-choices.

    I am saying this to “blame” people who have worse outcomes but in some situations choices a very real factor and if you ignore that factor you have little hope of solving the differential outcome. For example, regarding difficulties voting. A perfect example is here in metro Atlanta. First, I don’t think there’s any dispute that statistically black people vote for Democrats in overwhelming majority. Well, the areas that tend to have the most issues voting in my area, where polling places are administered by the county, are more often than not blue counties (or purple). Red counties, who use the same state selected equipped to and training, don’t have these issues. (This does not stop the assertions that it’s the GOP causing the issues so so much for making assertions and they must be credible.) Is this racism or is the reaping the results of those for whom you cast votes in the past? Given that the biggest differentiator in the problem areas and the non- problem areas are those running the polling place, I’m going to argue that choice of elected official is a far greater factor.

    No that’s not true in all other differential outcomes. And when that’s the case, we need to work for solutions. I don’t think any reasonable person would disagree. But when everything is attributed to racism, and we ignore the factors, large or small, that are based on choices, we have little hope of solving the issues that most need our attention.

    Which brings us back to the case at hand. The mere fact that a white person called the police on a black person does not automatically mean that it was racially motivated no matter how often you imply it was. It could well have been, but many plausible motivators that are not racial have been offered. To stand firm that it must have been racism, suggests a political agenda as it necessarily dismisses other explanations, none of which including racism are refuted or supported anything outlined in the original article.

  53. @Tiffany I was in customer service for a long time. I often had to go in to a place where no one is happy to see me. You learn very fast how to diffuse situations. Ask anyone that has to deal with the public and they will tell you that there are very wonderful people, and there are total assholes that no matter what you do, you can’t make them happy. You will never know what will set someone off, and people will cause drama for the sake of drama. I am certain some Blacks are using the current situation to their advantage.

  54. @Tiffany

    Arguments in favor of the factual existence of continued, systemic racism are repeatedly specious and circular in nature. Causality is not bi-directional and the converse of a factually true statement is not necessarily true. We cannot infer causality through simple observation of a response. Your Hampton Inn articles are perfect examples: inferring causality (i.e., racism) where no evidence exists and then publishing as yet another example of systemic racism.

    Many of the supporting studies on systemic racism focus on empirical observations like disproportionate wealth distribution, disproportionate unemployment rates, and disproportionate prison population composition and infer racial causality where no evidence exists. The studies and statistical analysis all presuppose that everything should be uniformly distributed and equally enjoyed by all persons and all races and that any failure in this regard is an act of bias, bigotry, or racism. Such stereotypical analysis is naïve, fails to consider individual choice and responsibility, and is itself discriminatory in nature. Approximately 13% of the U.S. is black. By this logic the NBA must be a wildly racist organization, with over 74% of players being black. Time for a riot or lawsuit, right?

    Numerous articles, observables, and consenting opinions that all co-exist in favor of certain matters do not – in aggregate – somehow prove the factual nature of such matters. For example, this being a travel blog, perhaps you would like to comment on the ubiquitous bibles in hotel rooms as well as the pervasive churches, cathedrals, mosques, and synagogues you’ve likely encountered across the globe during your travels? By your reverse causality and logic, this must somehow prove by popular opinion the existence of God and, moreover, the simultaneous correctness of multiple co-existing views on religion.

  55. Hard to stomach the denial in the US of the problems that exist. Do you people ever do wrong? Exceptionalism is such a myth. No wonder Border’s are blocked keeping you out. For once in your lives accept your short comings and correct them. It really isn’t that hard. In short:GTFU!

  56. @Chad: Brilliantly stated!

    @Ray2: Exceptionalism is very real. Our independence and bend toward freedom is challenging us now but, so long as we do not allow the enemies of such to use a crisis to destroy it, they will serve us well going forward. Our history is replete with solving our problems but we can only solve real problems (see Chad’s fantastic breakdown of this question).

  57. Your exceptionalism is as real as an earth built in six days with the seventh day as rest. It is one check away from bankruptcy just like 3/4 of the population. If not, your idiot leader would have taken a serious approach to protecting the citizens and not the economy. Your military cost billions but can’t win a war without nuclear bombs. Your 100 years are over. Prepare for a bleaker future as this stupid approach to COVID will break you with medical costs.

  58. @Ray2 I would suggest you get tested for Trump Derangement Syndrome and a nasty anti-American bug. It seems to have dramatically tinted your perception, so I won’t dignify your ranting with logic and highlighting obvious issues with your arguments. I hope everything works out for you.

  59. @Derek

    I think your President is an idiot. But I don’t care about how he destroys your country. I no longer have an interest financially in it. Take a look at your det ( yes it only matters when Dems are in office, I get that ). Your political system is breaking. Your financial system will soon add a few more trillion in debt. Wake up. Your health system is on the ropes. And I get you don’t think you have racial issues, but your streets are saying the opposite. People like you feel you are above it all. Your are the problem. You don’t see it. Good luck. I have no concern if idiot gets 4 more years. It is entertainment for me.

  60. @Ray2 Do you have some (possibly partially) valid points? Yes. Are you capable of a rational discussion? It does not appear so. Are you extremely biased? It does appear so. And most importantly, is this the most appropriate forum for this general discussion? Obviously not.

  61. @Ray2 and Tiffany

    Sorry, but I have to concur with Derek, Chad, and dan on these topics. I don’t read a single comment here that refutes the existence of racism. Absolutely it exists. Is it universally institutional or systemic in nature? I see no proof of this in any articles, any scenarios, or any references. Is it locally systemic within certain groups, neighborhoods, or subcultures? Perhaps, almost without question. But to assume, by default, that it exists anywhere and everywhere without supporting evidence is to stereotype in the absence of evaluating individual merit. As for the employees in these Hampton Inn cases, your blog is casting judgement not based on individual merit, but based on a category to which these employees belong: namely, Caucasian.

    Now, please recall the very definition of discrimination and ask yourself why you find acceptance in practicing it, even if so doing in favor of a minority individual:

    The treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favor of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing belongs rather than on individual merit.

  62. Only in America can so many people have so many opinions on a situation they know so little about.

  63. ” While we don’t know what exactly the interaction was like between the employee and the front desk associate” You should have ended the sentence there. The reality is you DON’T know what happened, you weren’t there, you don’t know any of the people involved, you don’t have all the facts and you are basing most of what you believe to have happened on allegations in a lawsuit which is incredibly one sided by nature. I’m not sure how someone can render an opinion when just having one side of the story and no independent knowledge or evidence. I hope this isn’t a trend of the type of articles you will be putting on the site in the future.

  64. Great posts, Roger, and Chad and Derek.

    This post seemed to be made in the belief that two wrongs make a right. i.e. there is racism out there (one wrong), so let’s just make a one sided post without sufficient facts and analysis against the dominant local cause and that’ll make things better.

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