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Expert reacts to alleged hotel discrimination caught on camera

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. - After an Asian man was turned away from two hotels in Plymouth and took to social media to accuse the both hotels of discrimination, a sociology expert from IU South Bend said the situation was a combination of fear and ignorance.

"I think it has a lot to do with a lack of interaction with people who aren't of the same background," said IU South Bend Anthropology Associate Professor Theodore Randal. "So, it's the good old fashioned ignorance, right? Like I say you combine that with political ideology and you get what we just saw at least on the hotel staff member's side. We should try to know more about people. That's the solution. We should try to see things from other people's point of view."

Kao Lor was the man recording the interactions with hotel staff.

He took to Facebook to accuse the hotels of discrimination when they turned him way.

The staff member at Super 8 who denied Lor service sighted concern over the coronavirus even though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is reporting that 10,000 more people have died from the flu than the coronavirus in the United States this season.

Randall said the staffer was more concerned about coronavirus because it is getting more attention.

"A lot of your internet news shows, and they would say 'coronavirus, coronavirus' and it kind of reminds me of these zombie shows with the spreading of a virus," Randall said. "It's hysteria. It all comes back to hysteria, and obviously, hysteria thrives when there's a lack of knowledge right?"

Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, the corporate owner of both hotels, said there is no corporate policy prohibiting Asians from staying in their hotels.

Kao Lor declined to be interviewed for this story.

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