Hotel clerk in Virginia fired for calling black man a ‘monkey’
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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. It shows a white hotel clerk using profanity and calling a black man a “monkey.”
The incident took place at Country Inn & Suites by Radisson in Newport News, Va. Hotel manager Lisa Little also issued an apology and promised sensitivity training.
In a statement to WVEC-TV in Hampton-Norfolk, Va., Little said the clip was shot Friday and the employee involved was fired Monday. 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 and shot video of the encounter.
The employee slams a door and confronts Fogleman: “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 calls Fogelman “rude,” during the incident and objects to being recorded. After ordering Fogelman 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 used profanity to deny that, saying that Fogelman was rude.
Little provided a statement to WVEC-TV apologizing for 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 that he and his family 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, who is white.
Cunningham overheard the clerk saying that he had only worked at the hotel for three weeks 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.