An AirBnB host was fined $5,000 after she made a racist comment to her Asian guest. She was also instructed to take an Asian-American course in order to be better informed.

The Incident

An AirBnB host, Tami Barker, has been fined $5,000 for cancelling a guest’s booking for racial reasons, and leaving her a racist comment. She sent her guest, Dyne Suh, a message, saying: “One word says it all. Asian.”

She also said: “I wouldn’t rent it to u if u were the last person on earth.” Later, she said: “I will not allow this country to be told what to do by foreigners” and “It’s why we have Trump”.

The host was fined due to AirBnB’s new agreement with the “Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) in California. The new agreement allows the DFEH to examine hosts who have had complaints against them regarding discrimination.

“The host walked into this mediation with an attitude of contribution,” said the DFEH director, Kevin Kish. “That opened the door to a lot of creative thinking.”

Barker was also instructed to attend a course on Asian-American studies in hopes that educating her about Asian Americans would reduce possible tendencies to repeat her actions later as well.

Comments  On the Incident

Suh made an emotional recording right after her booking was cancelled.

“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,” she said.

“Not everybody knows that we’re here,” Kish said to BBC. “People don’t intuitively know where to turn. In the agreement that we reached with Airbnb, they will mandatorily provide guests with information about us.”

“There’s nothing to prevent other states – or other countries – from reaching similar agreements. It’s going to create work for AirBnB, but I don’t think people create one of these platforms with the intent that people will discriminate. I think it can come as a surprise to some of these founders.” Mr Kish said.

Brian Chesky, AirBnB’s co-founder, had previously said: “We started this company with the belief people are fundamentally good. Mostly everyone is really good, but when you have 100 million people, there are some who don’t believe in what you believe in.”