Racism in America: Noted Jewish civil rights leader, others ask Hilton Hotel to take remedial steps. By Ahmar Mustikhan


Conrad N. Hilton, “inn keeper of the world” and “good Samaritan” of Norwegian descent, must be turning in his grave as the hotel he founded, now has the tag of blatant racism on it. 

USA: Perhaps the founder of the world’s first and largest hotel chain had a different vision. According to Cathleen Baird, director of Hospitality Industry Archives at the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management, at the University of Houston in Houston, Texas USA, the Hilton patriarch said on April 21, 1954 “We all know that a hotel… becomes a focal point for the exchange of knowledge between millions of people… They become exposed to the best their history has produced….” 

But at 2021 Park Place, in Downtown Birmingham, Hilton’s The Tutwiler was displaying picture of KKK leaders, including a Grand Cyclops, on the eighth floor, outside the dining area until September 18, 2023. The picture was removed on this writer’s protest.

Also seen in the picture is the ring leader of the terrorist Vermont Yankee Scare Party, Gen Bennett H. Young. Gen Young was infamous for trying to burn down the city of St. Albans in Vermont.

However, Hilton Worldwide has not apologized publicly over the hurtful racist picture.

“I was very surprised and disappointed to learn of the placement in your Tutwiler Hilton Hotel of a picture of leading members of the Ku Klux Klan,” said Peter Geffen in an email to Christopher Nassetta, president and CEO; Mark Weinstein, SVP and chief marketing officer; and other board members of the $40 billion behemoth that sells 200 million rooms every year in 122 countries.

Geffen is founder of The Abraham Joshua Heschel School in NYC, former Director of the Israel Experience Program for the CRB Foundation and one of the most respected Israel education specialists in the world. 

“I hope you will consider meaningful and impactful ways of correcting this stunning affront, whether through the suggestion of Mr. Ahmar Mustikhan or through other creative means at your disposal,” Geffen added.

“As a former civil rights worker, who together with my lifetime closest friends put our own lives on the line in confronting the violent hatred of people like the men in your photograph, I was shocked to learn of the insensitivity or outright racism represented by the placement of this photograph in your hotel,” added Geffen, who has been a social activist for six decades, also serving as a civil rights worker for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1965-66.

Geffen told the Hilton Worldwide executives he would look forward to hearing of the actions they have taken to remedy the situation.

A senior local resident, Norman Askew, recalled that blacks avoided The Tutwiler and a second old hotel called Redmont like a plague. “Only whites went there,” he said.

Joyce Dowling, a Unitarian Universalist community activist, who spent many years in community activism in the predominantly black Prince George’s County before moving to Cambridge on the eastern shore of Maryland, asked Hilton Worldwide to do more for racial justice.

Dowling supported the request of this writer to place copies of “Why We Cant Wait” or “Great Speeches by African Americans” in Hilton’s The Tutwiler as “an amends to displaying KKK photo and other racist acts that the Hilton has participated in. Also, please hang "Four Little Girls” in place of the photo that was removed at the Hilton’s The Tutwiler. In addition, please open all Hilton facilities for celebrations of the Black History Month in 2024 by providing space to civil rights groups, if not free than highly discounted rates.”

She told Nassetta, Weinstein and other board members, “The Hilton is a leader in American hotels and conferences, please also be a leader in racial justice.”

It is not sure if the Hilton leadership will heed to the demands as just 10 days ago Nassetta and Weinstein were seen smiling with Paris Hilton, who has the reputation of being a spoiled Hilton heiress, but is now trying to have a new persona and said earlier this year she feels mortified for using the N-word and F-word and blamed that on her boarding school.

Hilton Worldwide response is awaited on 39 copies of the book “Great Speeches by African Americans,” dispatched to them by this writer.

Birmingham-born Imani Perry, the Hughes-Rogers Professor of African American Studies at Princeton University and author of writes about U.S. complicity with Nazi torturers in the so-called Operation Paper Clips. She cites the example of polyamorous Wernher von Braun, an award winning Nazi party military man, “It is bad enough that Nazi Germany adopted racist ideologies from the United States, but it seems worse still that after they committed genocide, their scientists were invited to Jim Crow Alabama, to plot their way to the sky.”

Interestingly, a gallery at the Smithsonian that honors von Braun was funded by Conrad Hilton Foundation, which does seem to maintain sisterly relationship with Hilton Worldwide despite their official separation in 2007.

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"Trial of Pakistani Christian Nation" By Nazir S Bhatti

On demand of our readers, I have decided to release E-Book version of "Trial of Pakistani Christian Nation" on website of PCP which can also be viewed on website of Pakistan Christian Congress www.pakistanchristiancongress.org . You can read chapter wise by clicking tab on left handside of PDF format of E-Book.

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