Three black women — two educators and a lawyer — were accused of solicitation by a security guard while drinking at Standard Hotel’s bar in New York City. One representative from the hotel called them weeks after, apologized and offered them a present consisting of a bottle of champagne and a $400 dinner in the hotel’s restaurant.
Emails obtained by AlterNet reveal the hotel rep didn’t apologize to the ladies by making a direct reference to what happened in the bar. The text looks like this:
“Again, I want to apologize for what happened to you here that evening. We are extending this table for 4 as a gesture of goodwill for you and your friends, plus one more person. Please let me know when you would like to come back.”
There has been no apologies mentioning the prostitution allegation.
Kantaki Washington, one of the women accused, is a lawyer. She told AlterNet how she and her friends were relaxing over a drink with a male friend when a security guard approached them:
“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. . . . 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 also says she and her friends were the only black women in the hotel’s bar. She continued with the story, saying she replied to the security guard: “Dude, I’m a lawyer and these women are educators. Why the hell would I be in here soliciting prostitution?”
The man refused to listen to what the women had to say and replied, “I don’t know, but that’s what you’re doing.”
After complaining to one of the managers, Kantaki Washington didn’t get any response. It seems the hotel security is outsourced, and the bodyguard was not a member of the hotel staff.
Another one of the girls, Cydney Madlock, is a teacher at a charter school in Brooklyn. She said the dinner and the champagne are not enough to make for how deeply they were offended. She continued to say she wants a formal apology.
“And the $400 dinner — we all have careers. That’s nothing. 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.”
More than this, she said the bodyguard was talking so loud that everyone sitting at other tables could hear him and the entire discussion. It seems he was hostile and noisy.
“It was crazy,” she continued. “He was being rude. It was embarrassing, and we don’t know who was in that restaurant. My principal could have been in there. What kind of effect would that have been on my career?”
J. Lyn Thomas is the third woman involved in the story. She is a polyvalent artist talented at dancing, visual artist and choreography. She is a very serious careerist, who founded the Mesh Arts, a program especially designed to empower youths in Africa and the African Diaspora to become artists. Since 2008, when she founded the Association, she helped many youngsters develop nicely. At this point, she sponsors the scholarships of 50 Togo students who want to build a better career.