A U.S Army veteran was left shocked and disappointed by a racist encounter during his stay at a local Washington hotel.
George Fuller said he was looking to treat his wife and young daughters to a staycation at the Lynnwood Embassy Suites, a place the family had lodged at several times before, local station KING 5 News reported. Fuller said he already checked in via the hotel’s mobile app but stopped by the front desk to get his wife an extra room key.
Despite being the only person in line, the Army vet said the desk clerk made him wait 15 minutes before acknowledging him.
“I was asked for my driver’s license, which I didn’t know why he needed the driver’s license but OK, I provided it,” Fuller explained. “The gentleman held onto it for quite a while …We have already been screened through the app. My name, my driver’s license, my address. So I was really disappointed [he] was making it more difficult … because we were already checked in digitally.”
Fuller said he grew frustrated, as the clerk tended to other hotel guests while still making him wait. That’s when something he never expected happened.
“From that point he become more disgruntled, which made me feel very disappointed and he said, ‘that’s the problem with your kind,’ ” Fuller said. “That made me feel very angry … I was very upset.”
The father of two decided to take his family to another hotel up the road in light of how he was treated at the front desk. Fuller noted there was an NAACP event that evening and the clerk chose that day to show his prejudice. The incident hasn’t kept him down, however. He told KING 5 News he wanted to use the encounter as a teachable moment, so he spoke out about it.
“Let’s continue to shed light,” he said. “I felt as though, maybe, I should just let it go but I had to look at my daughters that I am raising in this area. Racism is present … and I don’t want some other family…to have that experience.”
The hotel issued a statement following the incident saying efforts to confirm a guest’s identity, even after they’ve checked in through the app, is standard procedure.
“We apologize for any inconveniences, and have been in touch with the guest, to convey that message,” the statement read. “Embassy Suite Seattle North Lynwood is dedicated to being an equal opportunity employer and we place a strong emphasis on diversity and inclusion.”