Airbnb host fined $5000 for denial of Asian American

In February, Dyne Suh tried to rent an Airbnb near Big Bear Lake, California but was denied by the host who said it was because she was Asian. This week, she got satisfaction, Colette Luke reports.

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(SOUNDBITE) DYNE SUH, AIRBNB GUEST SAYING:
“It’s like a bruise that never quite heals because people keep hitting that spot.”
Dyne Suh tried to rent an Airbnb in Running Springs, California, in February but was denied by the host, Tami Barker, who said in a message:
“I wouldn’t rent to u if u were the last person on earth. One word says it all. Asian.”
(SOUNDBITE) DYNE SUH, AIRBNB GUEST SAYING:
“I’ve seen and experienced racism my whole life. but this is the only time in my life where i actually had text messages and evidence right there.”
Airbnb banned Barker…
and this week, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing came to Suh’s defense… They ordered Barker, to pay a $5,000 dollar fine and take a course in Asian American studies.. ..

(SOUNDBITE) JON ICHINAGA, CALIFORNIA DEPT. FAIR EMPLOYMENT AND HOUSING SAYING:
“The respondent in the case is agreeing to enroll in an introductory asian american studies class. this is an element of what we like to call restorative justice, which means people can make mistakes, people can do bad things, but they’re not irredeemable.”
And for Suh that’s enough:
(SOUNDBITE) DYNE SUH, AIRBNB GUEST SAYING:
“Taking a terrible incident and then turning it into a good thing, an educational opportunity, I think is a much better remedy than just paying a fine or having sanctions..”
And she hopes others will speak up:

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