Video of Holiday Inn Express Employee Craig Brooks’ Graceful Viral Clapback at Racist Guest: ‘It’s Above Me!’

Craig Brooks, an incredibly professional guest services employee at a Holiday Inn Express hotel in Austin, Texas, received an unexpected phone call Sunday night.

The woman on the phone advised she needed to make a reservation for a room. Although the woman was calling at the end of his shift, he took the time to help her but also explained that reservations are typically made through the hotel’s automated system. Brooks captured her credit card information, and the customer told him that she would arrive within 10 minutes.

“OK cool, see you then,” he said in response. But before Craig Brooks could hang up the phone, he overheard the woman say: “yeah, that f***in n***er.”

“Excuse me?” he replied to the racist woman.

The unassuming woman had no idea she was about to learn a well-deserved lesson on how to treat people in the service industry.

She arrived a few minutes later. In a now-viral Snapchat video with over 4 million views as of Monday, Craig Brooks, calmly, informed the rude customer that she could not stay at the Holiday Inn Express. He, then, advised her that The Best Western, a rival hotel located next door, would be happy to have her.

Brooks never lost his cool.

“I need to stay here, my mother died,” the woman expressed to Brooks.

“I understand that, but you called me a f***in n***er,” he said in response while never offering his condolences.

The woman offered him a standard-issued apology, but Brooks was not having it.

“No, you weren’t sorry when you said it on the phone,” he replied.

And with the grace of former First Lady Michelle Obama, he simply said: “It’s above me now.”

“I need a room tonight,” the woman says.

“Well, there’s the Best Western next door,” Brooks stated while continuing to remain unbothered.

The woman insisted Brooks needed to accommodate her request; after all, she apologized and really needed to be with her family, who was also staying at the hotel.

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Craig Brooks was unmoved and notified management about the customer’s remark. Holiday Inn Express management told Brooks he didn’t have to allow her to stay at the location due to its zero-tolerance policy regarding racism.

Brooks remained classy throughout the entire ordeal.

He explained why he used the phrase, “It’s above me.”

The hotel policy superseded any desire he may have had to let the racist woman occupy a room on the premises. What’s important to note is that the Holiday Day Express is owned by The Intercontinental Hotel Group (IHG) with independent franchisees. This particular location did an outstanding job of protecting and supporting its employees. It’s how businesses should operate.

*See the IHG executive team here.*

Ironically, the woman did go next door to The Best Western, where he is also an employee.

Twitter had a field day with the shady yet “when they go low, we go high” interaction. And some of the responses to his video were hilarious.





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