This July 4th, as many Americans were commemorating the independence of the United States, an African-American CEO and millionaire was met with a harsh reminder of just how far the country, and frankly humanity, has to go.
It was while vacationing with his family that Frank Davis and his son Michael, a financial consultant in Manhattan, discovered a post-it note in their room at the upscale Art Ovation Hotel in Sarasota, Florida that read, “You’re a N—-R” attached to a bedside lamp in the room.
“I was stone cold for 30 to 40 seconds when I read the note,” Michael Davis, 27, told the New York Post. “My first thought was, what did we do to deserve this? We tipped well, we were beyond nice to all the staff […] The whole experience has been very awful and saddening. Despite our best efforts to be friendly, welcoming guests, someone chose to hate us simply for the color of our skin.”
While management of the hotel, part of the Marriott chain, refunded the family for their planned six-night stay, they did not comply with the family’s request to be moved to another Marriot location. Fearing for their lives at the location, the family soon left and checked into a hotel two hours away.
Frank Davis, 58, cofounded the Horizon Group, a technical services organization, after previous successful stints at various Fortune 500 companies. Most recently, the older Davis donated $5 million to his alma mater Bucknell University (dubbed one of the “Hidden Ivies”) for a new building and minority recruitment.
When speaking with the New York Post, he kept that same mindset stating that “It is critical that we all be champions for diversity and inclusion every day.”
A spokesperson for the hotel reportedly told the Post that the company would be planning sensitivity training at the Sarasota location, adding that “The matter is being actively investigated and appropriate actions will be taken.”