ORGANIZATIONAL MISBEHAVIOR Video: #SwimmingWhileBlack: Racial Slurs and Pee in Omni Hotel Pool Ignored
White privilege rewarded and police threaten to charge Black family instead.
By Jayme S. Ganey June 05, 2018
Another case of big business and police perpetuating racism on the job.
Dr. Covey Banks and her family, on an Orlando vacation, were swimming in the Omni Hotel pool, until a member of the Clampett family, a white woman, instructed her daughter to pee in the pool, splash the family, and then leave the “Black b**ches.” Then Granny Clampett, mother of the racist, continued slur-dropping and tried to swing on Banks’ niece.
The recording on Facebook shows the white woman getting in the face of the family, shouting at and eventually shoving them.
Jed Clampett told the Banks family to “get back in the pool” and subsequently said that the family “shouldn’t come to Florida.”
Omni Hotel security dismissed Banks and asked the white family about the incident first. When Banks called the Osceola County Police after that, she and her family were told to wait while the police got the white family’s statement first. They then threatened to charge Banks for the scratch on Granny Clampett’s arm when Banks stopped her from hitting her niece.
After the video of the incident was posted on Facebook, Peter Strebel, the Omni Hotel president (with an all-white executive management team), released an apology: “The use of such language is completely unacceptable, and it will not be tolerated at our hotels and resorts,” Strebel said. “We are sorry this horrible event occurred at one of our properties and I have personally apologized to Dr. Banks.”
Apologies from leadership seem to come from corporations easier than genuine deep dives into personal bias and changes from the top down. Starbucks gave a tone-deaf apology and ran an optional one-day training that missed the mark, and now the CEO is “retired.” Snapchat apologized for the Rihanna/Chris Brown ad that glamorized domestic violence with little ownership of the fact that it had to be approved in the first place. And from some companies, like Cineworld/Regal, there is just silence when it comes to bad behavior.
From Omni, there are no reports of disciplining hotel security, company-wide training or initiatives or banning the Clampett family from the hotel chain.
The lack of appropriate responses, in this case, put Banks and her family in continued danger. No arrests were made that night, despite the shoving, and the Clampett family, who happened to be staying on the same floor in the hotel as the Banks family, was allowed to stay there for two more days. Banks said her children were afraid for their safety. The police report is being sent to the state attorney for review.