Actress Danièle Watts isn’t the only black woman who has recently been unjustly tagged a prostitute.
According to AlterNet, a security guard at the Standard hotel in the Meatpacking District of New York City recently accused three black professionals of solicitation, the outraged customers claim.
The report states that the women—Kantaki Washington, Cydney Madlock and J. Lyn Thomas—were hanging out at the hotel on Aug. 28 after coming down from a bar on the hotel rooftop. They were in the lobby when men started to offer to purchase them drinks.
While one black man was chatting with them, a security guard from the hotel came up and said something quietly to the man before escorting him away.
"After the security guard ushers [him] 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. "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?' "
It was then that Washington demanded to know if they were being accused of being prostitutes.
"'Don't act stupid with me; you know what you were doing,' " Washington claims the security guard told them.
"'Dude, I'm a lawyer and these women are educators,'" Washington said she told the guard. "'Why the hell would I be in here soliciting prostitution?'"
Washington believes that she and her two friends were racially profiled as the only black women in the area at the time.
She said she demanded that the guard give her his name and asked to speak to the manager, but the man only gave her his first name and told her to go to a desk inside the hotel. Washington claims that the manager all but shrugged off her report, saying that the guard was outsourced and not really an employee.
However, weeks later, Washington told AlterNet, she received an email from staff at the hotel offering her a "bottle of champagne in the Top of the Standard or Le Bain, followed by dinner for four at The Standard Grill,'" AlterNet reports. The deal was valued at $400. There was no mention made in the email of the prostitution allegations.
"Again, I want to apologize for what happened to you here that evening," the staff member wrote in another email addressing Washington's concerns about the specific reason for the dinner offer. "We are extending this table for four as a gesture of goodwill for you and your friends, plus one more person. Please let me know when you would like to come back."
"We should have some formal apology," Madlock, who is a Brooklyn, N.Y., school teacher, added. "And the $400 dinner, we all have careers. That's nothing. We can afford that ourselves. If I want champagne … what is that? I felt like [the security guard] was talking to me like a dog in the street."
"I'm just in shock that, in 2014, this is something that I had to take time out of my night to handle," Thomas, a dance teacher also out of Brooklyn, told the news site. "It's beyond what I can imagine could happen in 2014. Three black women [at the Standard], and the only reason why we could be there is because we're soliciting for sex? That's ridiculous. A lawyer and two people who teach kids for a living. It was very dehumanizing and very degrading. He did it in front of the entire restaurant, and they were watching the whole scene. It was humiliating. I'm still in shock. I still can't believe that happened."
Read more at AlterNet.