Black Women Say NY Hotel Security Racially Profiled Them as Prostitutes

Black Women Say NY Hotel Security Racially Profiled Them as Prostitutes

A New York hotel has issued an apology to three African-American women who were outraged when a security guard accused the friends of soliciting prostitution at the establishment in August, Alternet.com reports. The group says they were being racially profiled.

Published September 17, 2014

A New York hotel has issued an apology to three African-American women who were outraged when a security guard accused the friends of soliciting prostitution at the establishment in August, Alternet.com reports. The group says they were being racially profiled.

Kantaki Washington, Cydney Madlock and J Lyn Thomas were enjoying a girls' night out at Le Bain, a swanky rooftop bar at the Standard Hotel in Manhattan on Aug. 28. While in the lobby, the women were approached by a group of men, who offered to buy them drinks. They went into a restaurant in the hotel when another man came up to them and introduced himself. 

What could have been normal attention any group of women dressed up for a night out on the town would receive, was perceived as soliciting prostitution by the security guard. 

"After the security guard ushers the brotha away, he comes over to me and my friends and says, 'Come on, ladies. You can buy a drink but you can't be soliciting,'" Washington told AlterNet. "We were like, soliciting? He said, 'Don't act stupid with me, ladies. You know what you're doing. Stop soliciting in here. We were like, 'Soliciting what?'" Washington continued.

Local news blog Gothamist retrieved an apology from the Standard Tuesday. They state they are "deeply sorry for the mistreatment" the women received.

"We have informed the security company that the person who made these comments is no longer welcome to work at our establishment, and we have launched a full internal review of the Standard's policies and procedures — as well as those of our third-party vendors — to ensure this situation never occurs again."

The hotel also said that the guard was not one of their staff members, as they outsource their security guards.

When the women first complained to the hotel, they were emailed an offer for a free table and dinner at one of the hotel's restaurants or bars. Washington is a lawyer and Madlock and Thomas are teachers, and they were not satisfied with the freebie gesture as an apology. 

"We can afford that ourselves. If I want champagne...what is that? I felt like [the security guard] was talking to me like a dog in the street," said Madlock to Alternet. 

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(Photo: John Warburton-Lee/Getty Images)

Written by Natelege Whaley

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