During this past year, we’ve seen a fracturing in American society on so many issues – disagreements on politics, the approach to managing the pandemic and even how far citizens should be allowed to go to challenge our very democracy. It’s been a painful chapter in our history.
As we know, this discord isn’t just aimed at politics and policies – it also has taken root in some very personal attacks. Since the pandemic began, we’ve seen a dramatic increase in verbal harassment, physical assaults, hate speech, mistreatment and violence against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in this country.
It must stop now. Racism and bigotry cannot be tolerated.
It breaks my heart to read about volunteers having to escort elderly Asian men and women through their own communities in response to the assaults and even murders of Asian individuals in their 80s and 90s for no reason other than their race.
We’re better than this as a nation – or at least we should be. It is our differences that make us a beautiful mosaic as a country. Without a doubt, our destinies are intertwined and together we must solve this.
Marriott is standing against racism
I want to reiterate that Marriott International stands against racism. We believe that all people deserve to be treated with dignity and respected for their humanity and the distinct qualities that make them unique.
If you visit our more than 7,600 hotels around the world, you will see a common thread – all are welcome. That value must also be true in the United States – a nation of unrivaled diversity. That means people of every race, including Asians, can thrive at Marriott as associates, guests, and owners. We value the immense contributions of Asian Americans to our country and our company.
Welcoming all is more than just a slogan at Marriott – we actually teach and nurture this principle. We do this in a number of ways, through internal resources available to our associates that promote respect and kindness, and training designed to inspire a sense of community and combat unconscious bias. We host “culture days” that help our hotel associates appreciate the significance and traditions of events like Lunar New Year, an Indian wedding or a quinceañera celebration.
We want guests at our hotels to feel at home – that’s good business, but more importantly, it’s at the heart of true hospitality. When you host someone in your home, don’t you take time to make sure they feel welcome – with the food and beverage you offer, where you seat them at your table, how you anticipate what they will need?
At Marriott, our hotels are our home. When you come to visit – whoever you are, wherever you are from, and whatever you look like – we want you to feel welcome. It’s that simple.
As the United States faces this latest racism crisis, we are redoubling our welcome all efforts –making sure our associates remember what it is we stand for and offering resources to them to make sure they are doing their part. We are also working with our long-time partner, the Asia Society, a leading educational advocacy and cultural understanding organization for Asian Americans, to support their efforts to build solidarity and rise up against hate. We will continue our efforts to advance hotel ownership among Asian American owners.
It was less than a year ago, in the aftermath of the tragic death of George Floyd, that we were talking about eradicating racism against Black Americans. The fight continues, as does our fight against all forms of racism and prejudice.
To paraphrase Abraham Lincoln, a country divided against itself cannot stand.
We must bond together – corporations, civil rights and social justice organizations, elected officials and ordinary people. Hand in hand, we can make real change and stop hate.