On Sunday November 18, 2007 my aunt Ms. Holmes and I attended the Wealth Expo at the Jacobs Javits Center with expectations of hearing Mr. Donald Trump’s presentation. We anticipated participating in many of the promised additives offered to your V.I.P. guests. Although we set out for an evening of inspiration, information and empowerment, the Learning Annex has caused me great mental anguish, grief and embarrassment. My rights have been violated and I have been racially discriminated against and humiliated in front of hundreds of people. My aunt and I were not expecting to come away feeling victimized, persecuted and emotionally shattered.
After several attempts to find adequate seating proceeding Raymond Aarons presentation at approximately 5:45, my aunt and I approached The Learning Annex security to assist us with seating. We were informed by several of the officers that should we notice an unoccupied seat that we were entitled to sit in that particular seat or seats. We located three available seats front and center of the main stage. A woman had her leg on one seat and there was another white middle aged woman two seats down from that. My aunt and I went over to that area and sat down. The middle aged white woman caused a scene blurting out racial slurs such as “ghetto black bitches” calling us “illiterate” among other things and began making verbal threats to us in the event that we did not move. She continuously blurted out profane remarks towards us, yet this disturbance was not addressed. The woman made several attempts to get the Learning Annex Security to remove my aunt and myself from the unoccupied seats to no avail. After about half an hour later, the woman came to a security officer by the name of John Hellegers, who immediately took her side and approached my aunt and myself. Mr. Hellegers made the following statement to us “What I am about to tell you is not up for discussion. The only answer to what I am about to say is ‘okay’ or you will be escorted out the door.” His harsh condescending and belittling words lead to an immediate uproar. Neighboring whites for several rows down were cheering and applauding. Mr. Hellegers further humiliated us by directing us to follow him all the way to the far end of the seating area even though we were appropriately seated in the designated V.I.P. area in two unclaimed, unoccupied seats. He even went as far as to call the head of security to further degrade us when we approached him, escorted by Jacob Javits Center Security to gather his information. I felt unsafe, uncomfortable, endangered and felt the escort was absolutely necessary after the incredible scene that had just taken place. Mr. Hellegers made me feel like a criminal.
This was indeed a racial issue and an investigation is in order. One white woman successfully demanded four seats, three of which were unoccupied, yet we were forced to move without questioning or evidence that anyone had claimed those seats. When the masses of people stood up and applauded Mr. Hellegers ridicule and dismissal of two professional, educated Black women, words could not explain the trauma. Mr. Hellegers gave us no options and tried to have us banned from the building and has violated our human rights.