Nice to hear that the Tampa Organization of Black Affairs will hold its annual Martin Luther King Jr. breakfast at the Marriott Waterside. Less nice was a reference, as reported by Times’ columnist Ernest Hooper, of TOBA board member Ken Anthony. According to Anthony, TOBA was giving the hotel a “second chance” after last summer’s unfortunate, infamous and unfair punch bowl incident.
That travesty, lest you’ve forgotten, involved rumors of a white server maybe-possibly-ostensibly tainting a bowl of fruit punch that resulted in 800 attendees of the mostly black Progressive National Baptist Convention walking out on a pricey dinner. Nothing was ever proven except that Tampa is racially profiled — and vulnerable to race-card playing. The PNBC, after smearing a hotel’s reputation and assassinating the character of an employee, won’t comment — except to its attorneys.
“Second chance?” That gives effrontery a bad name. How about a “second chance” for those who walk out on a bill and then try to hold a city’s and a hotel’s reputation hostage to claims of racism? The Marriott, quite arguably, did nothing wrong except give the PNBC a “first chance.”