Commentary: Does Your Favorite Hotel Chain Have Diversity Problems?

The NAACP released a rating of America’s top five hotel chains and most of them aren’t doing so well when it comes to racial equality.

Posted: 12/06/2012 04:06 PM EST

When you travel, the last thing you want to do is support organizations that do a disservice to the Black community. Unfortunately, according to a new report from the NAACP, many Black travelers are unwittingly doing that each year.

In its latest “Opportunities and Diversity Report Card,” the NAACP gave the five largest hotel chains in America — Marriott, Hyatt, Hilton, Starwood, Wyndham — a rating based on “workforce and job development, contracting and procurement, and ownership” as they pertained to African-American employees, according to reporter Maynard Eaton at the Atlanta Daily World. Of the five, only Marriott got a B rating. The rest received either C or C+ grades.

“The lodging industry has failed to keep pace with our diverse nation,” said NAACP President Ben Jealous during a press conference about his organization’s findings. He continued:

"An A is on target, that is all it is. A [grade of] B is falling behind. A C is failure and we see that most of this industry has a C. An F means that your house is really on fire, that you have a big problem that could create an additional big problem. Three years from now, any corporation that is not gathering diversity data from all of its franchisees will receive an F from the NAACP. Every one of these companies is on notice that if nothing changes they will receive an F in 2015."

Jealous was reportedly also dispirited by the fact that the NAACP Report Card showed “only 8% of total dollars spent for goods and services went to companies owned by people of color despite the fact that they comprise 36% of the adult population and only a dismal 1% of supplier contracts went to black-owned companies although individuals in this group encompass 12% of the populace.”

We would hope the major chains take the NAACP’s criticisms to heart and institute some changes. In the meantime, if you’d like to avoid businesses with diversity problems while also supporting Black businesses, try this new Black business-finding app. It might help you find a Black-owned hotel and give you peace of mind that you aren’t contributing to inequitable business practices.

These views do not necessarily represent those of BET Networks.

BET National News - Keep up to date with breaking news stories from around the nation, including headlines from the hip hop and entertainment world. Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.  

(Photo: Getty Images/STOCK)