The general manager of a Virginia hotel fired an employee who used a racial slur in an argument with a visitor last week.
The incident was captured on video and shared on Facebook. Itshows awhite hotel clerkusingprofanity and calling a black man a “monkey.”
The incident took place at Country Inn & Suites by Radisson inNewport News, Va.Hotel manager Lisa Little also issued an apology andpromised sensitivity training.
In a statement toWVEC-TV in Hampton-Norfolk, Va.,Little said the clip was shot Friday and the employee involved was firedMonday. The employee was not named.
The 54-second clip starts in the middle of the confrontation.
“Say it again,” a voice off-screen says at the start of the video.WVEC-TV identified that voice as Irby Fogleman, a black man who was visiting the hotel for a family gathering andshot video of the encounter.
The employee slams a door and confrontsFogleman: “Please get off of my property,” he yells.
The heated exchange reveals Fogelman was upset that his mother, who he was visiting,was given a room that smelled of smoke.
The Washington Post reports Fogleman’s mother had never smoked and didn’t want to expose small children in the family to the odor.
The employee callsFogelman “rude,” during the incident and objects to being recorded. After orderingFogelman and his family to leave the hotel, he turns and mutters “(expletive) monkey.”
Fogelman repeats the racial slur: “Oh, so you’re racist?” he asks the clerk. “So that’s why you don’t like me, cause I’m black?”
The employee usedprofanity to deny that, saying thatFogelman was rude.
Little provided a statement toWVEC-TVapologizingfor the incident and promising that all employees will undergo training.
On behalf of the Country Inn & Suites by Radisson Newport News, Va. I want to apologize for the inappropriate behavior and comments of one of our employees from an incident that occurred on Friday, May 4. We are taking this matter very seriously and effective today (May 7, 2018), the employee in the video has been terminated. As a result of this incident we will also be re-training every employee this week on our code-of-conduct policies to help ensure something like this never happens again.
Fogleman told the Washington Post thathe and hisfamily left the hotel after the exchange and he had never experienced a racial incident.
“I could not believe it. I could not believe it. It’s 2018. I have two biracial kids. Race is not a thing to me,”Fogleman told the publication.
The Post reports Fogleman has two sons under the age of 3 with Kelsey Cunningham, whois white.
Cunningham overheardthe clerk saying that he had only workedat the hotel for threeweeks and was frustrated:“He mentioned that the hotel was basically a joke, that he didn’t have what he needed to get his job done,” she told The Post.