A President Trump supporting Airbnb host, who cancelled the booking of Asian guest, has been fined $6,900 for a racist remark.
Dyne Suh drove two hours in winter weather with friends, looking forward to a weekend ski trip in Big Bear, California.
As luck would have it, 26-year-old and her friends were met with something worse than just bad weather.
Her Airbnb host cancelled her reservation via text message minutes before their arrival.
She booked Tami Barker’s mountain cabin for a weekend in February this year, but the latter rejected their stay at the last minute.
Barker’s text message read: “I wouldn’t rent it to u if u were the last person on earth”
“One word says it all. Asian.”
She didn’t stop there. Later, she added: “I will not allow this country to be told what to do by foreigners. It’s why we have Trump”.
And for that, Barker is the first Airbnb host to be penalised for racial discrimination under an agreement between the accommodation app and the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), The Guardian reported.
She has to pay Suh US$5,000 (S$6,878) in damages, issue her an apology and attend a college-level course on Asian American studies, among other penalties, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Airbnb is a popular service commonly used by regular members of the public to rent out spare rooms or entire properties to tourists or travellers.
According to a report from The Guardian, Barker’s lawyer said she regretted her behaviour.
In a YouTube video made just after the accommodation was cancelled, Suh gave an emotional account of what had happened.
“I’m an American citizen. This is my home. It stings that after living in the US for over 23 years, this is what happens,” she said in the video.
“No matter how well I treat others, it doesn’t matter. If you’re Asian, you’re less than human. People can treat you like trash.”
Suh had reached out to DFEH to lodge a complaint against Barker.
In April, Airbnb spokesman Nick Papas said in an e-mail to the Los Angeles Times that Barker’s behaviour was “abhorrent and unacceptable”.
Barker was subsequently banned from Airbnb. – AsiaOne
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