Airbnb Host Fined $5K for Canceling SF Woman's Reservation Based on Race

Dyne Suh was planning to rent an Airbnb room over Presidents’ Day weekend in Big Bear Lake but when she neared the area the host argued with her and degraded her race

Dyne Suh was planning to rent an Airbnb room over Presidents’ Day weekend in Big Bear Lake but when she neared the area the host argued with her and degraded her race

Former Airbnb host Tami Barker learned this lesson the hard way after she rejected an Asian woman's reservation to rent her mountain cabin in Big Bear, California, in the name of President Donald Trump, Raw Story reports.

In messages sent to Suh after cancelling her reservation, Barker wrote that "I wouldn't rent it to u if u were the last person on earth" and "One word says it all". According to Suh, Barker then denied she ever agreed to having two extra guests and canceled the reservation, despite Suh sending her screenshots of their earlier agreement. Although Suh originally confirmed her rooming plans prior to making her way there, she was surprised to find that the host no longer wanted to accommodate her for one simple reason: she was Asian American. "It stings that after living in the United States for over 23 years, this is what happens", she said in the video. "I've been here since I was 3 years old,"a tearful Suh said".

Officials with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing said as part of an agreement with state officials Thursday that in addition to the fine and attending a college course, Barker also agreed to personally apologize to Suh and perform community service at a civil rights organization.

The censure comes after the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing announced the agreement with the former Airbnb host who canceled the reservation of Suh in Running Springs, on February 17 at the last minute during a snowstorm despite confirming in text messages that she could add two people to the original reservation. Airbnb banned the host and Airbnb spokesperson Nick Papas released a statement to news outlets calling Barker's behaviour "abhorrent and unacceptable".

Airbnb allowed the DFEH to regulate it for racial bias following a 10-month investigation based on a growing number of reports suggesting hosts regularly refuse to rent to guests due to their race, a problem exposed in 2016 under the hashtag #AirbnbWhileBlack.

"The host walked into this mediation with an attitude of contribution", Kevin Kish, director of the DFEH, told the BBC.

DFEH's chief counsel, Jon Ichinaga, made it plain that while racism may be endemic in many parts of the U.S., in California it is against the law.

"That opened the door to a lot of creative thinking". "Humans have biases and we also need to recognize that humans change".

Adding, 'And I will not allow this country to be told what to do by foreigners'.

She drove two hours in winter weather with friends, looking forward to a weekend ski trip in Big Bear, California.

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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