Despite national calls from civil rights groups, ongoing petitions, and clear precedent from other major hotel chains and restaurants, Hyatt Hotels is now bending over backwards to host and provide discounted rates to the nation’s largest anti-Muslim hate group for its annual conference in September.
Hyatt has already misrepresented anti-discrimination laws to justify hosting the event, and it is now claiming to do so to provide “a forum for people to respectfully and peacefully exercise their first amendment right to free speech, so long as in doing so they do not endanger any of our guests or colleagues” (emphasis added.)
But Hyatt is ignoring or disregarding ACT for America’s documented history of hosting dangerous anti-Muslim events and rallies in close collaboration with armed militia groups and neo-Nazis.
Just last year, ACT organized a series of anti-Muslim rallies during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan:
- ACT invited armed paramilitary groups like the iii-percenters, the Oath Keepers, and the Proud Boys to provide security and attend. These ‘guards’ arrived bedecked in full tactical gear and bearing semi-automatic weapons.
- An Arkansas event was organized by longtime neo-Nazi Billy Roper. According to NPR, Roper “specifically encouraged ‘white nationalists’ to attend the marches and noted they could bring weapons to those rallies where ‘open carry’ gun laws are in effect.”
- The event pages for those rallies were filled with vile anti-Muslim diatribes calling Muslims a “cancer”, “maggots”, “pedophiles” and “terrorists”.
“Hyatt continues to make excuses to profit off of hate, and the excuses just aren’t adding up,” said Scott Simpson, public advocacy director of Muslim Advocates. “Hyatt says it will host hate groups as long as they don’t endanger staff and guests, yet they’re bringing in an organization that uses armed paramilitary groups for security, relies on its neo-nazi members to organize its rallies, and is going to use Hyatt’s space to advance hate and bigotry. ACT for America’s dangerous track record is clear, and Hyatt’s decision to host groups like this should alarm every guest and staffer at their hotels.”