A story that started with a viral video of a Holiday Inn Express front desk worker reacting to a customer’s harassment by hitting himself has taken a hopeful turn. A person who saw the video online has started a GoFundMe for the worker, raising more than $99,000 as of Wednesday afternoon.
The video was shared by Tariq Nasheed, an online personality who bills himself as the “world’s #1 Race Baiter” in his Twitter bio, adding, “I bait racists & expose them.”
Nasheed posted the video, which now has more than 3.5 million views, depicting it, “A white Holiday Inn Express worker has a nervous breakdown after he got scolded by a Black customer because of a mistake in the reservation system.”
(Trigger warning: Video shows self-harm.)
That led Jeremy Hambly, producer of the YouTube series TheQuartering, to tweet back. After declaring himself a believer in karma, and expressing an unkindness toward Nasheed, he wrote, “I’ll just focus on this poor hotel worker & making his day. I started a fundraiser. Let’s Go!”
Hambly shared Caleb’s story, which included a claim that he quit over the incident even though management supports him, and that he does have mental disorders that he lives with. Caleb also said that the guest who filmed the video “was ejected from the hotel for escalating issues with staff and the owners,” and claims the man called him a slur referring to sexual orientation.
“He was aggressive, and fishing for a reaction,” Caleb said, as relayed by Hambly. “He sure got it; and I’m glad this was a wake up call for me to stop slaving away for corporations who do not care about you at all, or the guests.”
Hambly, in a note to GoFundMe donors shared Wednesday, acknowledged Caleb’s growing number of well-wishers by saying, “I have been trying to reply to as many as I can but you all are so darn caring I am falling way behind. I know Caleb is taking some time for his mental health & I don’t want him to get overwhelmed by all these either so I am doing the best I can.”
He remarked, regarding the money they came together to raise, “What an amazing thing you all did.”