Politics & Policy

Is Hotel Shampoo Racist? This Guy Thinks So

The interview did not explore whether moisturizing face was was a microaggression against people with acne
As global civilization collapses, The Root takes on microagression at Motel 6.

Is your hotel bathroom breeding racists?

That question came up in a live Q&A with the features editor of The Root in mid-July. One participant called hotel shampoo a racist “microaggression” and asked for advice on how to take action against the injustice.

“Why don’t America’s hotels provide hair products for black as well as white hair?” asked the reader, Don Mullen.

“Is there a way to get them to correct this ‘micro-aggression’?” Mullen continued.

Rather than give advice on how to battle shampoo racism, however, Jenée Desmond-Harris said she was “not so sure about the shampoo and conditioner selection as a microaggression.”

“Really, no one who needs or wants anything special for their hair — black or white — is particularly well served by hotel products,” she said.

Desmond-Harris did suggest that if hotel shampoo were a microagression, hotel lotion would be one too, since “the tiny moisturizer that most hotels provide is very clearly not designed for those who want or need to use it on their entire body (read: most black people).”

Mullen did not mention whether or not he considered men’s razors in hotels a microaggression against women or moisturizing face soap a microaggresion against people with acne.

The Q&A was an installment of “Race Manners,” Desmond-Harris’s weekly advice column.

– Katherine Timpf is a reporter at National Review Online.


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