Racist Airbnb host ordered to take Asian American studies
Tami Barker canceled Dyne Suh’s Airbnb reservation because she is Asian. Now she’ll pay.
Remember the racist Airbnb host who canceled a guest’s reservation (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. because the woman was Asian? She has been ordered to pay $5,000 in damages and take a course in Asian American studies.
Airbnb host who canceled reservation using racist comment must pay $5,000 (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
In February, Dyne Suh was en route to a ski vacation with friends in Big Bear, California, where she had reserved a cabin through Airbnb. But when she messaged the host, Tami Barker, to confirm the reservation, Barker abruptly refused to rent it to Suh. And she made her reasons pretty clear.
“I wouldn’t rent it to u if u were the last person on earth,” Barker texted. “One word says it all. Asian.”
When Suh said she’d complain to Airbnb about the racist remark, Barker replied, “It’s why we have Trump… and I will not allow this country to be told what to do by foreigners.”
What? You think Trump in the White House gets you a do-racist-shit-for-free card? Nope.
Suh filed a complaint to California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing in April, launching an investigation. On Thursday, the agency announced (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. that Barker had agreed to pay $5,000 in damages and take a college-level course in Asian American studies, among other penalties.
Outside of this incident, Airbnb has received substantial negative press for racism in their services. Black users have been complaining for years about their troubles booking accommodations on the platform, and multiple studies have found that Airbnb’s business model encourages discrimination against minority hosts and guests.
This is actually the first time an Airbnb host has been financially penalized for racial discrimination.
In addition, Barker must agree to comply with anti-discrimination laws, make a personal apology to Suh, participate in a community education panel and volunteer with a civil rights organization.
Barker can take the Asian American studies course online, or in person. Man, I hope she takes a course in person, with a classroom full of Asian American students. Frankly, I find it offensive that taking an Asian American studies class is considered a punishment. It’s a privilege, and I hope it opens her eyes.
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