A trio of Black women visiting a nightclub at the Standard Hotel in New York were wrongly accused of being prostitutes, and they allege that the color of the skin earned them that distinction. The women have spoken out about the matter, which the hotel tried to fix by offering a meal and a bottle of bubbly.
The women, Kantaki Washington, Cydney Madlock, and J Lyn Thomas, were at the Le Bain bar at the top of the Standard Hotel in August. Sitting in the hotel’s lobby, several men approached the women offering to buy drinks. According to their account, a security guard rushed over and essentially accused the ladies of being prostitutes after telling one Black man to move away from the group.
AlterNet has more:
“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,'” Washington told AlterNet in an interview. “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?'”
Shocked, she asked the security guard if he was accusing them of prostitution. “Don’t act stupid with me, you know what you were doing,” Washington recalls the guard saying.
“Dude, I’m a lawyer and these women are educators,” she said in reply. “Why the hell would I be in here soliciting prostitution?” Washington said he answered, “I don’t know but that’s what you’re doing.”
Washington and her friends believe the guard singled them out as they were the only Black women in the area at the time. They took the matter to the hotel’s management, and they wouldn’t cooperate in offering the security guard’s full name and claimed he wasn’t even a full-time staff member. Weeks later, a Standard Hotel staff member emailed the group an apologetic note and the offer of a dinner valued at $400 and a free bottle of champagne on the house.
Madlock and Thomas both expressed shock and anger over their treatment that evening, and echo Washington in stating the hotel’s offer and apology was weak at best.
The accusation by the hotel of these professional Black women comes on the heels of the recent matter in California where actress Daniele Watts was accused of being a prostitute by the LAPD after being seen with her White boyfriend.
Photo: Standard High Line