back to article Dear racist Airbnb host, we've enrolled you in an Asian American studies course

An Airbnb host who cancelled a guest's booking at the last minute because she was Asian has been fined $5,000 and told to attend a course on Asian American studies. Tami Barker owns a mountain cabin in Big Bear, California, northeast of Los Angeles, and it was booked by law clerk Dyne Suh for a skiing weekend back in February …

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It's that really strange thing that American written Wikipedia articles have on famous people:

"<insert name> has Scottish, French, German, Greek, Italian, Russian, Norwegian and native American ancestry on his mother's side,...."

FFS, that just means American.

I am Irish and English, but I have both passports to prove it plus a home and extended family in both countries and a parent from each.

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Coat

Another set were English but of French descent.

Are you constantly at war with yourself?

Mine's the one with the Battlefield Guide to Agincourt and Crecy in the pocket..

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Thumb Up

*I and many others of my generation understand the reference to "Heinz 57"

FYI, Heinz have been a name brand in the UK for very long time too, and also used the "57 varieties" slogan. It's not unusual to hear a mongrel dog have it's "breed" described "Heinz 57", or just "Heinz"

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Re: Short-term memory

"How many Americans know the ancestry of even their grandparents, much less great-grandparents?"

Default 90% Irish 10% Cherokee, isn't it?

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Facepalm

Well that was stupid.

Trump would NOT support that. No intelligent person would.

SInce it's California, I suppose she may have snapped, but it's no excuse.

Really ,she should be kicked off of the Airbnb site all together IMO.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Well that was stupid.

Like everything else completely reprehensible that has been done or said by his 'base', he won't verbally support, no, but he'll once again simply not comment. I have little evidence of whether he is a "good man", but he's great at the "do nothing" part.

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FAIL

Re: Well that was stupid.

"Trump would NOT support that. No intelligent person would."

Let's just contemplate the contradiction between these two statements.

"SInce it's California, I suppose she may have snapped,"

WTF is that supposed to mean?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Well that was stupid.

"Really ,she should be kicked off of the Airbnb site all together IMO."

She was.

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Re: Well that was stupid.

Yes., but she seems to have received quite a number of other "punishments" too. I'm guessing the fine might have been significantly higher otherwise and each of the "punishment" will effectively cost her in both time and money instead of large one-off payment.

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Headmaster

Where is Big Bear?

Do you mean east of Los Angeles?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Where is Big Bear?

> Do you mean east of Los Angeles?

Depends how long you go.

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There's a small segment of Trump supporters

Who think that "Trump won" excuses all sorts of uncivil behavior, or worse. Of course 99% of them were acting like that before he won, and will continue to act like that after he's gone...

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Stop

Re: There's a small segment of Trump supporters

It's called Patriotism and "Being a good citizen"!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: There's a small segment of Trump supporters

It's not just Trump / USA, we Brits are equally have our racist dickheads who feel they can now kick off because of brexit.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: There's a small segment of Trump supporters

Those types can be entertaining when their primitive brains haven't worked out that Brexit doesn't mean that black/asian/British born people with funny names won't instantly be deported. What they actually thought was in the Brexit plan and who they thought it would affect boggles the mind.

I only hope that no violence ensues when it finally dawns on them that not only won't Brexit affect the local Polish population, it also won't let them get rid of Indians - and will probably reduce their employment prospects at the same time!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: There's a small segment of Trump supporters

" it also won't let them get rid of Indians"

On the contrary, Priti Patel- a right-wing Tory whose family comes from an Indian background via Uganda- has been using Brexit as an excuse to let *more* people from the Indian subcontinent under the spurious pretext that Britain is "closer" to India then Europe because it was once part of the Empire. (#)

So, basically, we have someone from a South Asian background hypocritically exploiting the anti-immigrant, xenophobia-driven sentiments of Brexit as an excuse to let more people from South Asia in to the United Kingdom? (Apparently quite a number of people from South Asian backgrounds voted "Leave" for the same ethnically self-serving reason).

I wonder how many Little Englanders would approve of that if they'd actually been paying attention rather than voting leave as a cutting-off-their-nose-to-spite-their-face "f**k you" to the establishment. The same Tory establishment whose hard-right agenda they played into.

I'll have no sympathy with anyone from the former group if- having tried to exploit the fire of xenophobia- they get burned (though unfortunately many people who weren't dicks like them will still get caught up in the consequences).

And I'll have no sympathy with the latter ignorant f**ks who didn't pay attention- or rather, didn't care- who or what they were voting for.

(#) While we're at it, Britain's arrogance and self-delusion in thinking that its Commonwealth (read: ex-empire) ties will put it in a friendly position of power when discussing trade terms with India has been compared to that of a school bully attending a reunion 20 years later. One who doesn't realise things have moved on, who doesn't realise the *others* are now the ones in the position of power, and who is going to get a very rude awakening.

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Re: There's a small segment of Trump supporters

You do realize that England had an open entry policy until early in the 20th century. Then WWI and Germans were excluded. The anti-German fervor was so great that Lord Montbatten's family changed their name from Battenberg to Montbatten. Brexit was about Britain being essentially governed by the EU Parliament rather than their own.

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Big Brother

It's called fascism, I mean "progressivism".

An Airbnb host who cancelled a guest's booking at the last minute because she was Asian has been fined $5,000 and told to attend a course on Asian American studies.

Yup, reeducation camp. Can't have you have an opinion that is contrary to The Only Allowed Opinion You Can Have, Ever.

War is Peace.

Conformity Is Strength.

Obama was the Saviour and We Don't Deserve Him.

Trust The Reeducation!

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Re: It's called fascism, I mean "progressivism".

Um? Err?

Read your comment a couple of times.

Maybe it's me, maybe it's you.

But apart from its obvious glee at ignorance and an implication of reverence for racism, it is quite devoid of humanity or empathy. Nor does it make any sense; in the traditional, logical, humanly understandable sense that is.

It's not, by any chance, a subtle attempt at humour is it?

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Re: It's called fascism, I mean "progressivism".

She's allowed to have that opinion. She can complete the course and still have that opinion. What she can't do is act on it to discriminate against someone.

I realise you're going for a clumsy 1984 analogy, but from the various Orwell works I've read, I don't think he was rallying for the protection of racists.

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Re: What she can't do is act on it to discriminate against someone.

Really? She can legally buy a gun and [illegally] kill every Asian she can aim on. Probably it will end exactly this way someday.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: It's called fascism, I mean "progressivism".

It's called acting on hate, I mean "not being nice".

You can have your opinion like 4chan, but acting upon it based on dislike X / hate is essentially hate crime (just like the ISIS hating westerners). Marking it as discrimination is already a lighter definition in this case when his comment defined his hatred.

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Re: It's called fascism, I mean "progressivism".

I'm with DAM here. The let's "re-educate" everybody until their opinions fall into the Venn diagram of acceptability is kind of scary. Got to have all the unwashed conforming to the latest group think, no room for dissent.

Surely the equitable way of dealing with this would be under contract law? She'd already promised to let out the property and was reneging on that agreement.

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Re: It's called fascism, I mean "progressivism".

@Justin Case

I see that argument, but she's not being 're-educated' for the opinion; she's being re-educated for acting on that opinion, in contravention to the law.

I don't really see it as much different to a drunk driver being forced to undergo an alcohol awareness course.

She could hold as many racist opinions as she wanted, no matter how abhorrent, and she wouldn't have been forced into 're-education' - until she broke the law. It wasn't a thought crime, it was an actual crime that tipped the boat.

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Re: Re: It's called fascism, I mean "progressivism".

You are okay with the active and destructive discrimination scores of people, of all colours, shapes, sizes, appearance, orientation, income level or capability, mental health status or capability, physical ability and so on, experience everyday because they don't fit into one of your boxes, defining what constitutes "normal"?

What happens when you are the target of this discrimination you appear to admire? I assume it will be fine, because after all, there is "no room for dissent".

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Trump's rules

Should of grabbed her by the pussy.

ITS A JOKE OK?

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Re: Trump's rules

Should have

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Anonymous Coward

Just to throw into the mix,

Americans refer to Orientals as "Asians".

Whereas here, in blighty, an Asian would typically be somebody from Pakistan (or similar).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Just to throw into the mix,

Indeed; the British use of the term is generally synonymous with "South Asian", i.e. those from or around the Indian subcontinent.

The American meaning appears to be essentially synonymous with what was once stereotypically "oriental" (a term now considered somewhat offensive)- i.e. essentially "East Asia" and much of "South-East Asia"- as far as I can tell.

Both are equally misleading uses of a term that *should* cover the whole continent, but nonetheless both common and different, so it's important to bear this in mind whether you're an American reading a UK source or vice versa.

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Law Clerk named Suh?

If she has a child, call it Will, and ensure it becomes a lawyer.

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Real Racism

Apparently, that well known promoter of truth and harmony, Alex Jones, managed to work out the "Asian" female was totally to blame.

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Odious behaviour, for sure. But that should not trump Freedom of Association. The state should not be involved in forcing people to do business with other people. However as AirBnB can set their own T&C, it should be perfectly fine for them to kick out anyone violating their T&C.

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Freedom of Association

Your freedom of association encounters limits under US law when you offer to exchange goods or services for money. You may if you wish argue that this is a bad thing, but it is the law.

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DrM
WTF?

Lie!

"Either way, the case is an ideal opportunity for the authorities to flag that people may want to reconsider making money from renting out their rooms or properties if they are racist."

Or they may want to consider being honest. She should have simply said the plumbing broke.

We must accept other cultures and their belief systems – and if you believe differently then you’ll have to change. She is a bad person for thinking someone is a bad person, her lack of acceptance was not acceptable.

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Re: Lie!

"We must accept other cultures and their belief systems"

So you're a big fan of female genital mutilation then?

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Anonymous Coward

Asian

I'm still not sure what 'kind' of Asian they meant. Of course if people stopped caring what race others were, this would not be a problem.

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Re: Asian

It was probably Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Thai, Laotian and possibly Myanmar(Burmese). The animosity might stem from the state of California giving preference to Asian students in college admittance to their state university system when it is heavily subsidized by California taxpayers. Many of California college's alumni kids have to seek their college education elsewhere. And it is not because of scholastic differences.

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Re: Asian

Actually Asian students are not given preference. They are actually discriminated against not only in favor of traditionally low achieving minorities like Blacks and Latinos but also Whites in the State of California. They are similar to Jews in this respect and are the most vocal opponents of Affirmative Action.

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Re: Asian

You are probably talking about native Californians of Asian descent. California was actively recruiting Chinese students. Low achieving whites, guess that means unacceptable S

AT, ACT scores, is a new one on me. Yes, high achieving Asian American citizens were discriminated against by the California college system.

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Raj

Re: Asian

They aren't recruiting Chinese students . They're appealing to international students, who pay full fees . The Chinese just happen to be the biggest segment of that . Local Chinese and Indian students aren't at an advantage . Quite the opposite . They face academic standards far higher than whites, much less the less performing minorities like the Hispanics and Blacks .

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Racist laws trump other laws

I have no sympathy with anyone renting their houses through AirBnB or any other company. Home rental is in violation of zoning laws, tax laws, insurance laws, and health laws. As recently noted by the Toronto(Canada)mayor, it has greatly exacerbated a housing shortage in Toronto. Courts have routinely brushed aside neighbors complaints about AirBnB. Many are from housing subdivisions with restrictive covenants that even governs flower plantings, fence placements, etc.. NYC has problems with people renting out rent-controlled apartments for daily rates through AirBnB. But racism, Oh Lordy, Lordy! The Courts must act and the full weight of the government must be felt! I'll admit the Asian discrimination in California intrigues me as to the source of the hostility. In general it goes back to the days of the "yellow peril". Renting your home to anyone doesn't seem particularly smart since you haven't a clue what it will be used for. Love tryst, drug dealing, identity theft, etc.,etc.. But why would anyone with any prejudices even consider it?

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Whites Stop Whining

Barker was fined not because she discriminated but because she discriminated while engaging in a certain class of public activities where discrimination is illegal. If she offered the accommodation without monetary compensation through her private network, she could discriminate anyway she wanted. Her racist comments are not illegal by themselves but may be grounds for lawful termination of employment.

Stop crying as if your "White people" were vastly wronged by reverse-discrimination.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Whites Stop Whining

The reported facts suggest that Barker did not discriminate and is not "racist", but lost her temper after being messed around and consequently insulted the customers in a particular way which, in the USA, results in an over-the-top punishment. What she should do is get some practice at other ways of insulting people. Then in future she'll be able to let off steam without the whole world attacking her because she said "Jehovah", or whatever.

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Re: Whites Stop Whining

"The reported facts suggest that Barker did not discriminate..."

But here in the US, government agencies are smart enough to notice discrimination when someone openly declares so.

Read the full story, Barker had agreed to accept 2 additional guests and 2 dogs for 50 additional dollars. She even corrected the amount to 50 dollars when Suh appeared to understand it as 50 per person and 2 x50=100 additional fee. Barker simply could have refused to allow dogs or additional guests. Even if she refused at the last minute, the penalty would be minimal, like <100 dollars and perhaps warning from Airbnb but she had to mouth off why she is refusing the guests and she has to pay 5000 dollars to the good government of California.

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Airbnb is not racist. The title is as misleading as the story here. Facts are the guest tried to overbook (sneak in other guests) on one of the busiest weekends of the year even though she booked a different amount. Tried to pull a fast one, and even made a video of it, as if she was under so much stress. Wow, what an actor. Only in LA. YES the host is an idiot/racist, and yes you DON'T EVER make comments like that when you are renting your house out. That's all Airbnb is. A business.

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"Airbnb is not racist. The title is as misleading as the story here."

The title says "(the) Airbnb ->host<- is racist", not Airbnb.

If you don't know the difference, you are not smart enough to make any kind of judgement.

Or maybe you should take ESL lessons from your fellow racist Barker to improve your ESL gibberish.

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Strangley,

the >< didn't show up on my display. Must be the browser playing up....

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Re: Strangley,

The title says "racist Airbnb host ...". That means the host - Tammy Barker - is racist, not Airbnb. "host" is the term that was deleted on your browser because arrowheads are Java symbols, I think.

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Just to play devil's advocate, since no one else has that I have seen:

Many of you know of the brouhaha that has been caused by Brits traveling to Spain, then filing suits for food poisoning against the resort after returning home. Before they started being successful cracking down on the scam, the resorts considered refusing to accept vacationers from the UK, just out of self-preservation. If they had, would they then be considered racist (yes, I know, it would be more 'nationalist' than racist, but the word racist would attach, anyway)?

Different groups exibit different attributes, cultural, of course, not genetic. People of certain countries are quite often labeled; French are rude; Brits have bland food; Americans are fat; etc.

We do not have any back-story on this. Suppose many Asians make unendless demands and cause constant problems as this one did, and this homeowner had suffered in the past. Would that not make the situation more like that of the Spanish resorts wanting to rid themselves of all Brits because of the high number who tried to scam them? This would not be racism, but a revolt against a cultural attribute that was detrimental to running a successful business.

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The US is an immigrant country and has a higher standard with respect to racial equality as they should.

And it goes both ways. Many East Asian landlords get into trouble because they are not familiar with the US laws. They often want to rent their buildings only to those from the same country etc. In fact if given choice many would choose to strike down these housing laws; they won't mind being discriminated a little if they can discriminate back.

There are many variations of this. In NYC all stores should have signs that contain English so that everyone has access to the store, not just a particular ethnicity.

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