Hotel employee calmly denies racist woman service in the best possible way
A man who works in guest services at a Holiday Inn Express hotel in Austin, Texas, rose to online fame on Sunday night when he recorded himself denying service to a woman who had called him the n-word.
It all started during a phone call the 26-year-old employee, Craig Brooks, had with the woman who was trying to make a reservation. Brooks explained to the would-be guest that the hotel had an automated reservation line.
This is the moment Brooks denies the woman service after she called him a n***er:
"When I sent her there twice, she called back, and at this point, she was hostile on the phone. I was like, whoa," Brooks explained.
The woman then told the 26-year-old that her mother had just died and so she needed a room immediately.
"I told her, 'I understand that but you don't have to be so disrespectful and hostile,'" he said.
Brooks proceeded to note down the woman's information for the booking.
"I said, 'Is there anything else I can do for you?' I paused, and she didn't think I was on the phone with her anymore because her husband said something, and she yelled, 'This effing n-word,' and I said, 'Excuse me?' and she hung up."
Moments after hearing the highly offensive slur, Brooks made a call to upper management detailing the incident and asked them what should be done about the booking.
"[Management] said they have zero tolerance for racism," he said, adding that he could refuse her booking.
"Two minutes later, she's walking in, and that's when I pressed record," Brooks said, recounting the incident in an interview with BuzzFeed News.
In the now-viral clip, the woman pleads with Brooks and apologises for her behaviour when she is denied service at the hotel.
"I said I was sorry," she says.
"I understand that but it's - it's above me now," he responds, referring to upper management. "It's above me. Sorry. The Best Western is next door."
Brooks explained that the woman's daughter and some other family members tried to convince him to allow her to stay at the hotel, but it was to no avail.
"It was past 11 [pm]; it was time for me to go home," he said. "They were talking but I was not paying attention. I'm not worrying about y'all."
Later that night, Brooks shared the video on Twitter, writing: I [got] called a F**KIN N***ER at work... this how it played out."
When he woke up the next morning, he was shocked to find that the video had accumulated millions of views overnight.
It has currently received an impressive 144,240 retweets and 416,716 likes.
And the content created even more of a buzz when Gabrielle Union shared it, adding the hashtag #ItsAboveMe.
Brooks has been receiving a lot of praise for the way he handled what could potentially have been a much more hostile encounter.
In fact, his phrase "I understand that, but it's above me now" has even become its own meme.
"Black Twitter loves it because I gathered her while being professional," he added.
"Everyone close to me is dragging me and saying, 'That's not how you would have normally handled it,' which is true," he said. "But I have to think, OK, do I lose my job while gathering her together, or do I stay professional?"
"And I could be petty about it. That's the route that I went. The only thing I regret was I did not catch her face because she was so upset."
"Even if we're living in a time when we still have to deal with racist, combative white people, just be professional about it," he continued. "Kill them with kindness. What you're doing to me is not getting under my skin. Just be unbothered."
Brooks says that his employer, Holiday Inn Express, has been fully behind him from the get-go.
However, it then emerged that Brooks had made some very insensitive remarks about transgender people in the past:
Brooks has since has responded to the backlash by clarifying that he's not "against" trans people, he's just not "with it."
"They're mad lol I said what I said," he told BuzzFeed News. "People are so sensitive. I'm gay and I KNOW people will not agree with me being gay. I just don't and will never get trans. Period."