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Racist AirBnB host cancels Asian woman's booking, gets fined

15 Jul 2017 | By Abheet Sethi
Racist AirBnB host fined $5,000

Tami Barker, an AirBnB host in California who discriminated against an Asian guest, has received a $5,000 fine and told to attend an Asian-American studies course.

Barker had cancelled a booking by Dyne Suh, saying: "One word says it all. Asian."

The punishment was imposed by California's Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), in an agreement with AirBnB.

In context: Racist AirBnB host fined $5,000

15 Jul 2017Racist AirBnB host cancels Asian woman's booking, gets fined

What happened?Barker mentioned Trump in hateful message to Suh

The DFEH said Barker had cancelled Suh's booking just before she was scheduled to arrive at the listing in Big Bear, California.

"I wouldn't rent it to u if u were the last person on earth," Barker told Suh in a message.

"I will not allow this country to be told what to do by foreigners" and "It's why we have [President Donald] Trump."

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Suh: "People can treat you like trash"

Emotional accountSuh: "People can treat you like trash"

Suh made a recording just after Barker cancelled her stay in which she gave an emotional account of the incident.

"It stings that after living in the US for over 23 years, this is what happens," Suh said.

"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."

LandmarkSuh's case first to lead to punishment of AirBnB host

After the incident, Suh complained to the DFEH, the department that works with AirBnB to address cases of discrimination against guests.

Suh's case marks the first time that DFEH and AirBnB collectively punished a host.

However, such an arrangement is only active in the AirBnB's home state of California, where regulators have clamped down on issues arising from the company's growth.