An African-American CEO responded Sunday on social media with optimism for the future to people expressing shock and outrage that someone placed a note with a racial slur in his hotel room during the July 4th holiday.
Frank Davis, a management consultant and founder of the Horizon Group of Companies, thanked a Twitter user for his “warm positive comments,” adding that “it shows that there is truly hope for a better tomorrow.”
“Until we address hate and bigotry at its root, continuous improvement will always teeter on the edge of oblivion, a victim of behavior that should have been vanquished long ago,” tweeted Davis, who has long promoted diversity, including a $5 million donation in March to Bucknell University to fund diversity initiatives at his alma mater.
Davis was staying with his son at the Art Ovation Hotel during their vacation in Sarasota, Florida. They discovered the note after returning to the room from breakfast and a shopping trip, reported WWSB-TV, an ABC News affiliate.
“And I went and looked at the lamp and looked at the note and was shocked. The note says, ‘You’re a ni—er,'” he recalled. Davis alerted the hotel’s general manager and the Sarasota Police Department. The police filed a report but not much more than that.
“They basically touted that it was a free speech incident and not a formal criminal matter,” the executive stated.
The hotel’s response wasn’t much better. It offered an apology and a free night, but Davis declined.
“Who knows what other kind of actions that individual who clearly knew we were there was capable of,” Davis said. “Which is why we decided to relocate and find additional lodging for the remainder of our stay.”
Art Ovation Hotel is investigating the incident and vowed to “reinforce its sensitivity training,” according to a statement from the hotel.