Airbnb host fined $5,000 for cancelling booking using racist comment

'I will not allow this country to be told what to do by foreigners, it’s why we have Trump'


News Desk July 14, 2017
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An Airbnb host who made racist remarks and cancelled on a guest for being Asian has been kicked off the platform and been ordered to pay $5000 in damages as well as take a college level course in Asian-American studies.

This is the first time an Airbnb host has been penalised in California after regulators passed an agreement allowing government officials to test hosts for racial discrimination.

The former host also had to issue a personal apology to Suh and will also participate in a community education panel and volunteer at a civil rights organisation.

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Dyne Suh, a 26-year-old, had booked Tami Barker's mountain cabin in Big Bear, California for a skiing weekend with friends in February. Barker, however, cancelled the reservation minutes before Suh and her friends arrived sending a text messages which said: "I wouldn’t rent it to you if you were the last person on earth" and "One word says it all. Asian".

[fbpost link="https://www.facebook.com/dynesuh/posts/10155046292384568"]

Suh shared the text messages on social media and also recalled the interaction in a YouTube video which went viral.


“The four of us made a reservation on Airbnb about a month ago,” Suh explains in the vide. “And I asked the woman who is the host if two more friends would be OK ... she said that’s fine, we just have to pay more money.”

“So we’re driving up, we think everything is fine, we’re ready for this ski trip in Big Bear ... there were flash flood warnings all day, [and] I asked the woman again, is it okay if my two friends come, like, should we give you cash, or how much did you say it was again?” Suh continues.

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“And she says, ‘Absolutely not ... You must be high if you think that that would be OK in the busiest weekend in Big Bear.’ Then she said, ‘No, we’re done,’ and she canceled the trip.”

Suh, who noted in her video that she's an American citizen, said that after Barker's racist comment she also texted, "I will not allow this country to be told what to do by foreigners. It’s why we have Trump.”

After the incident, in a follow-up post on Facebook, Suh asked people to stand with those who face discrimination and racism, saying bigotry leads to far more serious consequences "I only got discriminated against for lodging on a ski trip - other people have gotten murdered, or otherwise far more seriously harmed for their identities,” she wrote.

“I beg for people to think about if such discrimination can happen to a light-skinned cis East Asian woman who is in law school, middle class, in a heterosexual relationship, able-bodied, is a US citizen, and Christian, how much harder it must be for people who are less-advantaged and please stand with them.”

This article originally appeared on The Guardian.

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