Friday, October 05, 2018

Hyatt Hotels To Stop Hosting Hate Groups

In the age of Trump and the hate and bigotry that Trump and the GOP have unleashed, increasingly support more morality and decency will fall to private individuals and businesses.  As their actions have already shown, rather than leading a charge to uphold true decency, evangelical Christians will be loudly applauding the forces that want to normalize lies, discrimination and the reprehensible.  Thus, it was a pleasant surprise to see Hyatt Hotels announce that they will no longer book events for hate groups.  One can only hope that the definition of "hate group" will include groups like Family Research Council, Focus on the Family, and Alliance Defending Freedom.    It is imperative that each of us resist the forces of hate in every manner possible, not the least of which is by voting on November 6, 2018, and casting your ballot for Democrat candidates.  A piece in Huffington Post looks at Hyatt's bold announcement.  Here are excerpts(note the hate group founder's boasts of ties to the Trump White House):
Weeks after a Hyatt hotel in Virginia hosted the annual conference of an anti-Muslim organization, the CEO of Hyatt Hotels Corporation has announced that the hotel chain will no longer rent space to hate groups.
“If a group is primarily focused on disparaging a group by virtue of their identity... that’s really where we need to draw the line,” Mark Hoplamazian told an audience at a travel industry conference in New York on Sept. 27. “We’re going to apply our values to making these decisions along the way.”
On Sept. 28, the Los Angeles Times reported that Hyatt, which operates nearly 800 hotels across the country, sent a memo to employees spelling out the new policy.
On the heels of some guest and colleague feedback we received about groups, we decided it was the right time to take a fresh look at our practices around hate groups,” a Hyatt spokesperson said in a statement. “This is a complex and emotional issue, but what we’ve concluded is that we need to commit to a higher level of vetting such that groups using hate speech, primarily seeking to disparage or demean a particular group, are not welcome in our hotels.”
On Sept. 4 and 5, the Hyatt Regency in Crystal City, Virginia, hosted the annual conference of the anti-Muslim hate group Act for America.
HuffPost was the first to report on the Hyatt Regency’s decision to host Act for America, which the Southern Poverty Law Center has designated a hate group. A spokesperson for that hotel told HuffPost at the time that it would “not unlawfully discriminate against groups who wish to hold lawful meetings at the hotel.”
But the civil rights group Muslim Advocates argued that Hyatt would be breaking no laws by refusing to host Act for America, and pointed to other hospitality companies ― including HiltonAirbnbSofitel (owned by AccorHotels) and the Willard Hotel (owned by IHG) ― that have declined to host white supremacist groups.
Act for America claims a (likely exaggerated) membership of 750,000 people. Although it bills itself as the “NRA of national security,” it mainly focuses on vilifying Muslims, spreading baseless conspiracy theories and lobbying legislators to pass discriminatory laws. At this year’s Act for America conference, [Brigitte] Gabriel [Act for America’s founder]  bragged that she worked “very closely with the office of the President” on issues related to national security.
“I actually want you to know we have a standing meeting at the White House once a week,” she told the audience. “We have a president that likes us, President Trump.” (It’s not clear whether Gabriel’s claim of a standing meeting is true.)
“Hyatt’s announcement is a welcome one for consumers who want their hotels to be safe spaces to relax and be themselves free from hostility and discrimination,” Muslim Advocates’ public advocacy director Scott Simpson said in a statement.
“We organized, we signed petitions, and we called their offices to tell them that there should be no room for hate at Hyatt,” he said. “Now it’s up to the other major chains to decide if they want to be resorts for racists.”
Contact other chains and demand that they cease in holding events for hate groups. Republicans control Congress and the White House (for now), but meanwhile the rest of us can use our buying power to demand businesses say "no" to haters.

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