“British family tells US hotel they ‘do not want to deal with black staff'” Telegraph

""On or about February 28, 2010, the Rodney Morgan family arrives as guests of (the) Ritz and specified… their preference to not be served by 'people of colour' or with 'foreign accents'," said the claim lodged at the Florida District Court.

"This preference was entered into the computer system of (the) Ritz at the direction of the (the hotel's managing director Edward Staros) with the further notation '… as per Mr Staros this couple is very very prejudice [sic] and do like like [sic] ppl of colour or foreign accents'."

Michael McDonnell, the waiter's lawyer, said that nine other staff members at the hotel have said they were told the British family did not want to be served by blacks or anyone with an accent.

His lawyers have cited the Civil Rights Act of 1866, which was passed a year after blacks were freed from slavery following the end of the American civil war, which makes it illegal to discriminate in jobs and housing on the basis of race."  Telegraph


Well, the Telegraph is a British newspaper.  So, I suppose this can not be dismissed as mere "Brit Bashing."  English hotels are full of "colored" and "foreign sounding" help, except perhaps for the Connaught.  Where did this family come from, somewhere in the wilds of "Wuthering Heights" Yorkshire, or wherever it was? Nouveau riches boors?  Gadzooks!  This sounds like a mirror image of the cartoon like Americans that I often see on British television.  You know, the fat, ignorant, ill mannered, crass characters that provide such a satisfying contrast to the noble, wise, worldly and moderate British in these productions.

I watch a lot of British television.  My wife is addicted to the stuff.  My actual favorite British TV production is the cop show, "Waking the Dead" which I do consider the best thing of its kind, ever.  pl 



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17 Responses to “British family tells US hotel they ‘do not want to deal with black staff'” Telegraph

  1. Abu Sinan says:

    When I lived in the UK I took a like to the cop show “The Bill”. A reference to the British slang for police “the old bill”.
    If you get a chance I suggest you check it out.
    Having lived and worked in England I can tell you it would be VERY hard time not dealing with blacks or people with accents. In London now it can be hard to hear a local accent anymore.

  2. Phil Giraldi says:

    Colonel – Morgan is a Welsh name – he evidently has not visited Cardiff recently. Ridiculous that the hotel would even attempt to comply with the request, though I find the plaintiff’s claim that he suffered psychological damage equally ridiculous. My wife is English so the national stereotypes tend to surface whenever we are having an argument. For the best television series ever about the rough edges of spying check out the British made Sandbaggers with Roy Marsden, Granada television ca. 1978. It is on DVD.

  3. TJA says:

    Ahem. To we Brits, they’re all “foreign” accents in Florida.

  4. Patrick Lang says:

    Lang is a Scottish name in my family, but I have run into English people named Lang who are clearly relatives of mine.

  5. alnval says:

    Col. Lang:
    Right on with “Waking the Dead!” BBC America used to have ‘mystery Monday’ and show Brit police procedurals. For the last several years it’s been nothing but Gordon Ramsey and Top Gear so we’ve taken to buying the DVD’s from Amazon UK. (Phillips makes an inexpensive multi-region DVD player that handles PAL) BBC is releasing Waking the Dead series 7 for purchase this May. God knows when they’ll release series 8. Series 9 (2011) looks like it will be the last one.

  6. walrus says:

    If this story is not a complete fabrication, I have to ask why the heck did the Morgan family leave England and travel to America in the first place? What did they expect?
    But much more importantly, What does their request (if true) say about them?
    To paraphrase Lord Annans eulogy to Sir Isaiah Berlin, racism, like anti Semitism, immediately besmirches anyone who engages in it.

  7. shogun says:

    What about “Dad’s Army” the classic British sitcom about the Home Army during WWII? Then there was the short series, “Sleepers”, about long-term ‘sleeper’ KGB agents in the UK whom the KGB forgot about for 25 years. The agents have become totally British and have forgotten their mission, but the KGB tries to get them back.

  8. Adam L Silverman says:

    Apparently Australia’s hospitality industry has some issues as well – not that that lets either this British guy or the hotel in Naples off the hook for their stupidity:http://news.ninemsn.com.au/national/1044530/Gay-dog-refused-entry-to-Adelaide-restaurant
    Perhaps in the FL case the family thought they were going to West Palm Beach, which had sundown codes in enforcement well into the 1980s, with the occasional complaint in the 1990s and 200s…

  9. Cloned Poster says:

    Hey Colonel, you should look at the Helen Mirren series:
    Great TV

  10. optimax says:

    This couple was probably dumb enought to order meals from room service. Justice served hot.

  11. Matthew says:

    I must demur. The best British series ever made is Granada TV’s Sherlock Holmes (starring Jeremy Brett).

  12. charlottemom says:

    Well, well, looks like the Ritz was busted for favoring its clients over compliance of US law. Wonder what other illegal services the Ritz is quite happy to provide for some of the elites it serves.
    Next up — lawsuits.

  13. DaveGood says:

    I’m a little suspicious about this story.
    I find it odd that it surfaces in right wing newspapers (which is strange in itself) thousands of miles from the “scene of the crime” yet no-one is able to track down or get a quote from the family involved.
    Morgan is a welsh name, and some parts of Wales, (A wonderful country, with some great people, I was there a few days ago) can resemble the landscape of a UK version of the film “Deliverance”.
    The Welsh have been comprehensively shafted by the outside world (Starting with the English) for so many centuries that distrust and dislike of “Outsiders” is understandable.
    Let me give you American folks two pieces of history that combine into a joke.
    Back in the sixties and seventies, Welsh Nationalists targeted second (Holiday) homes bought from welsh people by the English and fire-bombed them. At the same time The English Coal board were promoting Coal on nation wide TV with film of a glowing hearth and the slogan, “Come home to a real Fire”.
    The Joke?
    “Come home to a real fire, buy a welsh cottage.”

  14. DaveGood says:

    Actually, I realized that my posting above is not really history, since those who took part in it are , for the most part still alive.
    So here is a piece of history for you, Wales was largely conquered by the English under Edward the first at the end of the thirteenth century.
    To consolidate his victory he promised the welsh that a Welsh prince would rule England from that time forward.
    Edwards first born son was born, in Wales, while Edward was campaigning in north Wales, so he presented his son, a few weeks, old to the welsh nobles.
    He presented them with ” A prince who spoke no word of English, was born in Wales and had never set foot in England.”
    Apocryphal. the story dates back to the 1500’s

  15. The Twisted Genius says:

    There are a host of wonderful TV shows from Britian. My personal favorite is “As Time Goes By” with Judi Dench. I never tire of watching the reruns. Other old favorites include “All Thing Great and Small,” “The Irish R.M.” and “By the Sword Divided.”
    Shame on the Ritz management for accommodating the Morgan family request. A classier response would have been, “We are sorry, but we cannot accommodate your request. It is quite possibly illegal and it is certainly repulsive and insulting to the management and staff of this hotel. May we arrange for you to stay elsewhere… perhaps in a white supremacist compound somewhere?”

  16. steve says:

    On British television . . .
    Any “Rumpole of the Old Bailey” fans on here?
    Imho, that was one of the best ever.

  17. Matthew says:

    I am a Rumpole fan, Steve, but Rumpole is no Sherlock Holmes.

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