If there was ever any doubt that America has a serious problem with racism, even fifty years after the Civil Rights Movement, that has all been erased in the last few years. When we elected President Obama, the country’s first African-American president, racists came out of the woodwork; except they all claimed that they aren’t really racist, just “patriots concerned about America.”
Over the past year, heart-wrenching evidence of horrible videos of police brutality and stories of police killing black people all across the country have emerged. Most recently, a 28-year-old woman in Texas, Sandra Bland, died while in police custody after being unlawfully arrested. While we expressed outrage over her arrest and subsequent death, a manager at an upscale hotel in Kansas City, Missouri decided he would mock the young woman by hanging a doll from a door.
A white manager at the Adam’s Mark hotel hung a doll, dressed up as a slave, by a noose fashioned out of a plastic bag from the doorway in an employee break area. Sandra Bland was found hanging in her jail cell from a plastic bag in her Waller County jail cell.
Attorney Stacy Shaw obtained the picture from an employee who took the picture on July 21 and sought legal advice from her. Shaw shared the picture on Twitter, Monday:
— Attorney Stacy Shaw (@StacyShawLaw) July 27, 2015
A local news affiliate, KCTV 5, reached out to Shaw and she said that she would be holding a press conference on Wednesday outside of the hotel. She also said:
“I was deeply disappointed and outraged that in 2015 in a city that I love that there could be such blatant intolerance and racism that was present in the workplace.This photo was given to us by our client who was extremely upset by the incident and I applaud him for his bravery in coming forward to address this injustice. We’re asking the community to be supportive in standing up to intolerance and racism in our city and our country.”
John Parker, the general manager of the hotel, said that the employee who hung the doll from the doorway was fired after an internal investigation:
“This isolated incident is completely inconsistent with the values and culture of the Adam’s Mark Hotel Kansas City. This disturbing occurrence took place late Tuesday evening, July 21st. When brought to the attention of management the following day, an investigation was initiated. Immediately following the investigation, the employee was terminated, Friday, July 24th, prior to the start of their next shift. The Adam’s Mark Kansas City is committed to maintaining a positive working environment free of unlawful harassment.”
The hotel took swift action and fired the employee and should be an example across the country. The right wants to pretend that we live in a post-racial America, but every single day they are proven wrong. Every single day we see something on social media or the news about African-Americans, like Sandra Bland, dying in police custody after doing nothing to deserve arrest. Racism has been tolerated for far too long in this country and the only way to really get rid of it is to confront it head-on, like the management at the Adam’s Mark did. Police departments across the country should follow their example.
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.