Airbnb Host Who Made Racist, Pro-Trump Comments Ordered To Take Asian-American Studies Class

An Airbnb host near Big Bear, California, who cancelled reservations last-minute and blamed the user's ethnicity, must now take an Asian American studies course and pay $US5000 ($6512).

Source: YouTube

"I wouldn't rent it to u if u were the last person on earth," "One word says it all. Asian," and "It's why we have trump... I will not allow this country to be told what to do by foreigners," were some of the messages that then-25-year-old law student Dyne Suh received from host Tami Barker, as Suh and her friends neared the cabin where they planned to stay for a long weekend in February.

Suh had initially only reserved the rental for her and her fiancĂ©, but later asked Barker if two friends and two dogs could also join. Barker agreed to the request but asked for an additional $US50 ($65) per night. But when Suh texted Barker to tell her they were arriving — after the group had driven from Riverside, California to Big Bear — Barker denied that she had agreed to the additional guests, then called Suh a con artist before berating her with racist remarks.

Suh emotionally recounted the incident in a video that was widely shared in April. Airbnb banned the host and Airbnb spokesperson Nick Papas released a statement to news outlets calling Barker's behaviour "abhorrent and unacceptable". The company also issued Suh a full refund and offered to reimburse for a hotel.

The Guardian first reported the penalisation, which is the first time an Airbnb host has been punished for discrimination under a recent agreement between the home-sharing company and the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), which allows officials to perform fair-housing tests on Airbnb rentals. The agreement came after a 10-month investigation that was largely inspired by a Harvard study showing people with "African American names" have more difficulty booking on Airbnb than people with "white names", which got a major signal boost from the hashtag, #AirbnbWhileBlack.

DFEH investigated Suh's case and assisted with mediations between Suh and Barker. The stipulation of Barker attending a university-level Asian American course came out of mediation sessions.

[The Guardian]

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