A hotel chain can take a firm stance against racist guests by banning them from its properties. An apology doesn’t go far enough.
Omni Hotels & Resorts President Peter Strebel told the Orlando Sentinel that he personally apologized to Covey Banks after she posted a video showing white guests hurling the N-word at her during a stay at one of the chain’s Orlando-area resorts, the newspaper reported on Saturday.
“The use of such language is completely unacceptable and it will not be tolerated at our hotels and resorts,” Strebel said. “We are sorry this horrible event occurred at one of our properties and I have personally apologized to Dr. Banks.”
Banks, a physician, was vacationing with her family at the resort. The confrontation, which occurred on May 26, started after a woman told her daughter to urinate in the pool, according to Banks’ account. Things got heated when Banks and her family told them that there’s a bathroom that the girl could use. Outraged, the woman told her children to splash water on Banks. They called Banks’ family “Black bit**es” and the N-word. Banks got out of the pool and began recording with her cell phone.
An apology from the hotel is a good first step but banning the white family from the chain would be better. Many hotels maintain a list of problem guests that they block from making reservations and using their properties, according to NBC News travel columnist Amy Bradley-Hole.
The white family could possibly face more serious consequences. In the video, the woman appears to push someone standing near Banks. The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office responded to the incident, according to the Sentinel. Deputies did not make an arrest, but a report will be sent to the State Attorney.