Lawsuit: Marriott Manager Became Abusive, Wouldn’t Believe Black Man Was Hotel Guest

Dramaine Vinegar is suing the Fremont Marriott Silicon Valley and Marriott after an incident last year where, he says, he was told to ‘get the f- off the property’ by its manager while staying as a guest.

In a classic case of a manager not believing the person belonged on property because of the color of his skin, he was talking on the phone in the car’s parking lot when he claims the hotel’s manager pulled up behind him, jumped out of his car, and berated him for trespassing. He was in the midst of a three night stay at the hotel with his fiance.

Credit: Fremont Marriott Silicon Valley

“I’m a customer. I’ve been here for two nights. You got out your truck, and you told me to get the f— off of private property without even addressing me properly,” Vinegar told Gheen. The manager responded by putting up his middle finger and walking way.

…Though the footage doesn’t show Gheen using any racial slurs, Vinegar said he felt profiled, adding that he never would have been treated that way “in a million years” if he had been white.

Vinegar wrote an online review of the incident and was offered a free night, but believes Marriott and its franchisees need to enforce racial bias screening as part of its hiring process.

Here’s audio of a piece of the exchange,

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. What is “I haven’t done nothing?” This guy started recording but nothing here shows that it happened, other than his own account of it.

  2. Excuse me if I don’t believe “Dramaine Vinegar” and his lack of literally ANY evidence that anything ever occurred. Lmao. Marriott should stick to their guns6on this one and place the burden of proof on “Mr. Vinegar”. Lol, I ain’t dun nothing.

  3. Managers, I would expect, are highly sensitive to the issues of racial bias and discrimination and the last thing they want to deal with is bad PR, lawsuits, dealing with their own higher ups etc. Either something is missing from the story thus far, or the manager and Marriott know more of it. There also is something that just doesn’t ring true about a manager, wanting to do anything doing it without others being able to be present to witness such an interaction, let alone pulling up behind the person in question….On the other hand this wouldn’t be the first time someone on the receiving end of service, as with our airlines, decided to make an issue out of something that didn’t happen, or put a different spin on it, and blame racial profiling. I don’t have any money to bet, but I’d bet there is more to the story and this guy gets nothing or close to it.

  4. So, what was he driving and how was he dressed? Was he smoking weed at the time? Drinking Johnny Walker Red from a bottle? This story does not ring true. Sounds like it is entirely fictional or has been turned into an account of a horrible situation from some trivial microagression or maybe thwre is a whole lot left out of this. I just don’t believe this account at all.

  5. As a Black American, we are sensitive to the actions as describe by Mr. Vineger, Hyatt just got my business! Travel more than 100,000 miles annually with family!

  6. We are all hopefully becoming as sensitive, but the point is that this may not be a true event or reported accurately, it seems to many of us there are details missing. Glad Hyatt has your business….no doubt until an issue comes to light with them….Marriott has really done damage to the Starwood brand. But again, I’m withholding judgement until the whole story is revealed from both sides.

  7. I am an Asian American and a Gold member of Marriott Bonvoy program. I travel a lot as I am running a travel TV show target to the Asian communities. I probably stay in a hotel 100 nights a year or more. There are at least 4 incidences in the past 2 years that these “racial profiling” has occurred to me, due to the color of my skin and the very casual dress i were in (t shirts and loose jeans and sneakers…. simply for the comfort of it; but they are all high end but less known street hip brands and more expensive than a suit). For example, one time I were driving my BMW suv and before check in to a JW Marriott in Florida, while I stood next to my car and replying an email using my iphone, the assistant manager and a security guard came up to me and ask for my ID. I told them I am going to check in to their hotel for 3 nights and told them I can show them my reservation on my phone. Their response was something like “… what, you stole this iphone from this BMW…?”…. So mad, till I pull out my wallet and show my Marriott gold card and my American Express Platinum card as my ID, then they shut up and walked away, as if nothing had happened, not even an apology… I thought of complaining to the hotel manager, email the corporate HQ and may be contact my lawyer friend and file a complaint, etc. I decided, never mind, it won’t be the last time I have to deal with it, being in America as a non-white; I don’t know….

  8. So many racist Whites in the comments above questioning the situation when they would accept another White’s account outright. THIS IS PREJUDICE. THIS IS PRIVILEGE.

    WHITES, CHECK YOUR PRIVILEGE. You can take a course on unconscious bias, typically through your employer. Y’all are employed, right? Not deadbeats, right?

    BELIEVE BLACK PEOPLE. As a White person of course you’re not going to face anti-Blackness. Anti-Blackness comes in so many forms and surprises to a White person who could be excused for not believing it right off the bat, but White people must then educate themselves and become anti-racist.

  9. would never have happened if the Marriotts were still in charge you can make book on that. Marriott has turned into a shell of its former self.

  10. @kriaten Kosko: “So, what was he driving and how was he dressed? Was he smoking weed at the time? Drinking Johnny Walker Red from a bottle? This story does not ring true. Sounds like it is entirely fictional or has been turned into an account of a horrible situation from some trivial microagression or maybe thwre is a whole lot left out of this. I just don’t believe this account at all.”

    Know how everyone here knows that you’re white?

  11. @ You know who, Sometimes people say “I wasn’t raised racist.” They fail to understand that everyone raised in America is raised racist. That is the culture that has prevailed for centuries. Even good ole Dr. Seuss had a good dose although I assume he didn’t realize it. The good news is we can overcome the way we were raised, if we want to. It takes effort.

  12. Another sob story of how the big bad white man discriminated against blacks. What this article doesn’t say is that blacks are 13% of the population and commit 52% of the violent crime. It doesn’t say blacks commit interracial rape at a ratio of 50,000 to 1. It doesn’t say blacks disproportionately cause commotion everywhere they are and are known to disproportionately abuse hotels by stealing services. It doesn’t say that blacks have the average lowest IQ in the world of any group and tests for everything from fire fighting to street sweeping have to be dumbed down so “enough” blacks will pass for token placements.

  13. @John

    Racism is a word made up by communists to con whites into destroying themselves by putting other groups first and allowing whites to get run over. Every other race on earth is allow a voice, to have pride, a caucus, and their own countries and separate living space. Only white countries are not diverse enough. No one complains that Kenya/Saudi Arabia/Haiti/China aren’t diverse enough. By definition, all non whites are racist because they do not believe whites are entitled to the same standards that every other race live by.

    White parents should raise their kids to recognize anti white hate and not believe the propaganda pushed by people like you. Whites should start forcefully advocating for themselves, have pride, have a voice, have a caucus, and push for their own living space.

  14. ^^^Racist tries to dispute racism while actively spewing it.

    Keep on trying to defend your position with endless whataboutism and faulty comparisons. We can all see you for who you are.

  15. @Dr. Ben Wyatt You are a person I would NEVER want on a Jury. You made a judgements without getting all of the facts. People lie, especially people who file lawsuits for $$$

    There are a lot of facts that are not in evidence. If you need to pull the Racecard as a reason for doing something wrong you should state that you were doing nothing wrong to begin with.

  16. I am a white guy. Several years ago, I was in the AA premium lounge at LAX, had several hours of a layover. The AA employee checked me in when I got there. I am guessing he assumed I was eating or drinking too much as 3 hours into my time there, he asked me what my stay was based on? I showed him my Exec. Plat. Card and noted he as the one that checked me in. He gave me my card back, didn’t apologise or anything. I didn’t give a damn either way as it was a closed case. Should I have called corporate and complained that I was profile for being a chunky white guy? Give me a break.

  17. @Dillon York:
    “You are never a person ……” who should enter a spelling bee.

    IT’S ” Judgment “

  18. @Ed L

    Perhaps you weren’t profiled for appearing Asian, but rather for appearing like a thug. People are mistreated all the time, and not just because of racial bias. Certain people of minority groups might perceive racially biased behavior where there was none. People can just be rude. In any case, I don’t think the popular perception of Asian-Americans would make them unwelcome at mass-market chains. This perception is obviously different from that of Black folx, but given the hugely disproportionate rate at which Black folx (mostly male) commit crimes, is it such an unreasonable heuristic to apply? Of course, the law should apply equally to all citizens as individuals and not members of various classes. How people behave in the wild and in private transactions is another matter.

    Oh, and Marriott Gold is nearly worthless. At what properties are you spending these 100+ nights a year?

    As for Mr. Vinegar’s case, we do not have all the available information and should withhold judgment. Quite often the incendiary initial allegations do not turn out to give a full picture of what actually happened.

  19. If you have not done nothing, that means you have done something. Words have meaning. Language matters.

  20. @Jackson Waterson – how’s the planning going for the next Proud Boys / Boogaloo event going? You seriously are a racist twat.

  21. @Jackson Waterson:

    You keep using the ambiguous term “white”. What is the officially agreed upon ‘cut-off’ for being considered white? For example, I was always reared to believe that only Scandinavians are truly white. My mother goes by the color of the nipples, and color of the private parts of the anatomy. She said that if your anatomy in those regions are any color other than ‘pink’, or ‘pinkish-red’, then you could not be considered ‘white’, nor could I bring home any girl that did not meet that standard.

    So many girls I have been with, have had a brownish tint to their private area. I feared marrying my true love, because what if we had a baby, and my mother had to change the diaper, and discovered either a tan-colored scrotum sack or pudendum! It would TOTALLY ruin our perceived whiteness!

    Where do YOU ‘draw the line’? I am very interested. Are you too, Scandanavian?

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