Racism in San Francisco

Max points me to this disturbing item. Author Ngugi wa Thoing’o was sitting at a local hotel, the Vitale, minding his own business, when a hotel worker asked him to leave the premises. The employee said, “This place is for guests of the hotel. You must leave.”

I’ve sat down many times at the Vitale and have even conducted a few interviews there. But I’ve never been asked to leave, presumably because I’m Caucasian.

The hotel owner has responded with an apology, but I’m not satisfied. And seeing as how this went down in my hometown, I plan to investigate this injustice personally.


  1. The public apology by the hotel owner is welcome nonetheless this incident needs to be publicised as much as possible because i cannot believe it is an isolated incident. Let it be a warning to others that we are not going to allow people to get away with this kind of behaviour in 2006. It is not simply a matter of sacking the employee – it is about changing attitudues and training staff appropriately. And if that is not being done then the apology is worthless.

  2. In this day and age, sadly incidences like these do happen. The hotel Vitale need to do a public apology so people could know what their getting themselves into when they book a room!

  3. “anonymous on “You are a black man – you have to leave”…

    I woke up this morning to read the following comment on the post “You are a Black man you have to leave”
    THIS IS NOT AN INCIDENT OF RACISM. As an employee of the spoken restaurant I am appalled that this can even be considered an incident …

  4. i just wanted to say that Ngugi Wa Thiongo seems to have mishaps whenever his in a hotel… when he visited his home country in east africa his wife was raped at a fancy hotel by fellow black men… i dont know this guy just seems to have a bad time while in hotels

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