Airbnb Host Who Discriminated Against Asian Guest Gets Fined $5K


An Airbnb host has been fined $5,000 for racial discrimination and will have to take a course in Asian-American studies after canceling a woman's reservation because of her ethnicity, reports The GuardianIt's the first time an Airbnb host has been penalized after California regulators passed an agreement that allows officials to test Airbnb hosts for racial discrimination earlier this year.

An Airbnb host who cancelled a reservation and told the guest, "One word says it all".

Ms Suh, who posted an emotional video about the incident on YouTube, said she had agreed to pay $US250 per night to rent the home and later asked Ms Barker if two other friends could also stay at the house, which Ms Barker agreed to.

"It stings. It stings that, after living in this country for more than 23 years, this is what happens". People thought: "'Oh, with the election of President Obama racism is over in this country.' No, it's very much alive, it exists and it could happen to anyone", she said. No matter if I follow the matter how well I treat others, it doesn't matter.

According to the screenshots, the now-banned host said: 'If you think four people and two dogs ate [sic] getting a room fir [sic] $50 a night on Big Bear mountain during the busiest weekend of the year ... When Suh complained to Barker, that's when she sent the "Trump" comments. The stipulation of Barker attending a university-level Asian American course came out of mediation sessions.

The DFEH and AirBnB had previously come to a landmark agreement that forced AirBnB to screen their hosts for racial bias and punish those that had unfairly discriminated against customers.

Airbnb host accused of racism
Airbnb host accused of racism

The Airbnb host then reportedly added: 'One word says it all Asian. "We're interested in remedies that fix harm and transform relationships".

"We arrived at the monetary award in negotiations and in light of all the factors involved in this case, including extraordinary non-monetary remedies", said DFEH Director Kevin Kish in a statement to this publication. She must also agree to comply with anti-discrimination laws, make a personal apology, participate in a community education panel, and volunteer with a civil rights organization. "The law tends to be backwards-looking, focusing on compensating people for harm".

"We want there to be strong anti-discrimination protections and preventions of harm, but we recognize that the world isn't divided into good guys and bad guys", Kish went on. "Humans have biases and we also need to recognize that humans change".

Edward Lee, Barker's lawyer, told the Guardian, which first reported the settlement Thursday, that his client was "regretful for her impetuous actions and comments".

Airbnb allowed DFEH to regulate the apartment-renting, "sharing economy" app after a 10-month investigation that uncovering regular reports on hosts regularly refusing to rent to guests on a race-based basis.

In a followup Facebook post after the incident, Suh asked readers to consider the discrimination that others with even more marginalized identities face ― noting bigotry towards these groups often results in far more serious consequences than what she experienced.

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