- Instagram/Jermaine Massey
- An Oregon hotel announced Saturday it fired two employees who called the police on a black guest, after spotting him in the lobby and demanding to know his room number.
- Jermaine Massey said that even though he showed the guard his hotel key, the guard told him to leave and a manager called the police and accused Massey of loitering.
- The DoubleTree by Hilton hotel tweeted on Saturday it had “zero tolerance for racism,” and apologized to Massey.
A hotel in Portland, Oregon, announced Saturday it fired two employees over mistreating a black guest, whom they asked to leave last week before calling the police.
Jermaine Massey, 34, said he was talking to his mother on his phone in lobby of the DoubleTree by Hilton hotel last Saturday when a security guard approached him to ask if he was a guest, and what his room number was.
Massey said that even though he showed the guard his hotel key, the guard told him to leave and a manager called the police and accused Massey of loitering.
In an Instagram post, Massey said he believed he was targeted by the hotel staff due to his race.
“It is never ok to discriminate against guests for the color of their skin and to prejudge them based on your own bias against that race,” Massey wrote.
View this post on Instagram
Tonight I was racially profiled and discriminated against for taking a phone call in the lobby of my hotel room at the @doubletreepdx @doubletree. The security guard “Earl” decided that he would call the police on me, the exact reason is still unclear to me. He said that I was a safety threat to the other guests and that I was trespassing and said that I was a disturbance because I took a personal phone call from my mom in a more remote area of the lobby. The manager who actually called the cops, “Luis” actually asked me AFTER he called the cops, what happened? They already had in their minds that they didn’t want me there so I waited for the cops to show up and when they did, I explained my side of the story and they didn’t want to hear it. They asked me if I had personal items in my room (which of course I did) and asked me to go retrieve them. They told me that since the hotel requested me to leave, that if I didn’t I would be considered a trespasser and would be thrown in jail. I complied and cooperated and was not issued a refund for my room. I packed my stuff and went to another hotel. I cannot believe the level of professionalism that this hotel property had with me tonight. It is never ok to discriminate against guests for the color of their skin and to prejudge them based on your own bias against that race. Earl is a disgrace, calls himself a man but calls the Portland Police Dept on a man who was minding his own business in the lobby of his hotel. I had my hotel key in my hand the entire conversation, he knew I was a guest. He wanted to prove a point and did it in the worst way. Not really shocked that this happened but just extremely disappointed. I will be seeking justice. Believe that. @doubletree @doubletreepdx @hiltonhonors #hilton #hiltonhotels #racism #racisminamerica #racismisreal @shaunking
The hotel included an apology to Massey in its tweet on Saturday.
“DoubleTree by Hilton has zero tolerance for racism,” the hotel tweeted, adding that it had “terminated 2 employees involved in the mistreatment of Mr. Massey and is working with Diversity & Inclusion experts. Hilton deeply apologizes to Mr. Massey.”
Massey spoke out about the incident on CNN on Friday, saying he felt hurt and humiliated by the situation.
“I’m a person, at the end of the day, just like everyone else. And I deserve respect and fair treatment, and I did not receive that on Saturday,” Massey said. “I think that there’s a lot of perceptions about black males, in particular. That we’re threats, and we’re harmful, and we’re just fearful individuals. And that bias impacts these situations and it’s harmful to us as a people.”
The police call at the DoubleTree is just the latest in a series of instances where white people have called the police on black people for seemingly innocuous behavior, prompting viral outrage and raising concerns of racial bias.
In October, a white woman in Brooklyn called the police on a black child she wrongly accused of sexual assault, later admitting she had been mistaken. In April, two young black men were forcibly removed from a Starbucks in Philadelphia by police as they sat in the café waiting for a business meeting.
In May, a graduate student at Yale University was questioned by police after a fellow student reported her for sleeping in the common area of their dormitory. In June, one black firefighter in uniform was reported to police as he conducted a city-mandated inspection on homes in a neighborhood in Oakland, California.