UPDATED: 5:44 p.m. EDT — The two hotel workers who forced an innocent Black guest to leave were finally fired one week for the apparent racial profiling incident in Oregon. The unidentified now-former security guard and manager at the DoubleTree Portland kicked out Jermaine Massey, who was simply making a phone call in the hotel lobby, which first raised the suspicions of the security guard before the manager called the police.
The timing of and sentiment behind the terminations was questionable at best considering there was video evidence supplied by Massey, who was a confirmed paying guest the hotel.
The men were fired only after Massey’s social media posts about his “mistreatment” went viral and resulted in media coverage. Not only that, but they were first placed on leave instead of being fired immediately for what DoubleTree confirmed in its tweet Saturday was “inconsistent with our standards & values.”
The good news is that a hotel in Oregon announced it would be investigating why a Black guest at a Doubletree Inn was kicked out over suspicion of loitering on a property he had paid to stay at last weekend. But the bad news is far more telling: The security guard and other workers responsible for kicking out Jermaine Massey, a 34-year-old Black man who was only guilty of wearing a hoodie and having brown skin, were still on the company payroll as of Saturday morning, one week later.
Doubletree Portland said in a series of tweets posted Friday morning that it has “a zero-tolerance stance on discrimination of any kind, and do not tolerate behavior of that nature.” However, it would appear that statement wasn’t actually true since the hotel tweeted later that same day that “[t]he employees involved have since been placed on leave for the duration of this investigation.”
Of course, if there truly was “zero-tolerance” for what was clearly a case of racial profiling that disregarded a paying customer’s rights, those workers responsible should have already been fired. Surely that violates a code of conduct among employees of Hilton, Doubletree’s parent company, no? Instead, the guilty parties remained employed by a company that was barely one month removed from another racist scandal involving a worker who publicly called for a Black man to be lynched.
Many people who looked at Massey’s social media posts of the incident agreed he was racially profiled and pointed to similar incidents in which white people have called the cops on Black people who were doing nothing wrong.
“It just goes to show you that racism is still alive and well man. This was a real incident where I could’ve gone to jail if I responded in a different way,” Massey said in one of his social media posts documenting the unfortunate incident.
Massey had returned to the hotel Sunday night after attending a Travis Scott concert. He was in the hotel lobby when he noticed that he missed a phone call from his mother. Concerned that it was important, Massey said he decided to sit in the lobby and return her call before going up to his room.
That’s when he said the security guard approached him and demanded to know if Massey was a guest. Massey couldn’t recall his room number when the guard asked. In the heated exchange, the guard accused Massey of loitering and had a manager call the police, even though Massey was holding his room key card.
Massey said white guests were standing in the lobby without the security guard interrogating them. Responding police officers told him to check out of the hotel as the dispute escalated.
After gathering his belongings, the cops directed Massey to file a complaint with hotel management to avoid being arrested for trespassing, he recalled. Massey declined the cops’ offer of a ride to another hotel, choosing instead to take a Lyft to a Sheraton.
Last month, Hilton did the right thing and fired one of its workers who posted a social media meme depicting the head football coach at Florida State University being lynched. While Hilton suspended Tom Shand before firing him, it only took the Hotel chain three days to terminate his employment. Conversely, it’s been a full week since the ugly episode surrounding Massey took place over the holidays in Portland, a city renowned for its racism against Black people.
In the past 12 months alone, Portland has been the scene of a bakery refusing to serve a Black customer, a food truck owner assaulting a Black woman, a white supremacist riot and the suspicious police shooting of an innocent Black man.