Famous Navajo artist gets racially profiled and harassed at Days Inn on Arizona’s Route 66

Highly-respected and world-renowned Navajo artist Shonto Begay has a horrible story to share dealing with a recent (as in the last few days) experience in Northern Arizona…

… land of the Native peoples for thousands of years…

… and now made to feel like immigrants on their ancestral homeland…

… told by European immigrants here to “go back where they came from”…

… where SB1070 is used against Native peoples because of their skin color

It began with the following Facebook update:

“and here in my own town…”

Shonto goes on to say:

The Manager of the Days Inn, west 66, I felt didn’t like me and he does not know me. I felt that if was one of the tourists, I may have been accepted; as it was, he mumbled something and later found out he wanted me out or he was going to call the police.

Later in the day, I found the room was locked and my key disabled.

Fortunately, a wonderful maid was next for cleaning and she let me in to collect my things and I moved down the street. I wanted no part in his negativity. I was a guest and I hear he is less than compassionate in dealing with his guests. I was there within my rights. By the way, the so call continental breakfast sucked, there is hardly anything substantial. Nothing actually.

Mr. Michael Patel needs a civility training in dealing with Native people and others he profiles. People like him wear horse blinds with no sense of the wonderful people and culture he is among as a guest himself, as an immigrant himself, he should have more empathy. Make the profit and to hell with the surrounding culture. I am sorry for the guy. life must have been miserable.

Better Business Bureau and the human rights commission need to know these pockets of bad businesses. It is ironic that I had written my column a few months ago on this very subject. Do not remain silent when these offenses are witnessed and are perpetrated against you. We are human and should behave as such. Peace and understanding begins with each of us.

Here are some comments I gleaned for YOU to help do something about this.

  • Here is the name and phone number of the director of the Flagstaff Convention and Visitors Bureau, Heather Ainardi, CVB Director (928) 213-2916.
  • Ash Patel is a member of the Franchise Advisory Committee for Days Inns of America, which represents 2,000 hotels and franchisees within the brand. He’s the man to talk to at (928) 213-0300.
  • TripAdvisor is used by visitors around the world to select hotels when travelling. There is the option on this link to “write a review”. Maybe you should. Here’s the link to the Days Inn Rt. 66 review page. http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g60971-d75744-Reviews-Days_Inn_Flagstaff_West_Route_66-Flagstaff_Arizona.html Certainly it will warn others to steer clear of this Days Inn.
  • Boycott!!!