Shouldn’t we all be willing to allow people of every race, religion, sexual orientation, age, and gender to come live with us? Isn’t it just plain wrong to shut your door on a face just because you perceive that face to be of a dark shade? It’s so hurtful to be refused entry to someone’s home just because you’re Airbnb’ing while black, or while gay, or while a man. Something must be done.
That’s the argument being made by some black Americans who claim they have suffered discrimination by Airbnb hosts. There have been some participants in Airbnb who say they were repeatedly rejected by hosts who are white. They make the assumption that the only reason this could possibly be happening is because of their color. They can’t conceive, apparently, that there could be any other reason.
Perhaps the hosts are unfamiliar with the workings of Airbnb and mistakenly posted a date they later realized was inconvenient for them. Or the guest requested only one night, and they preferred to rent to another guest who needed several nights. Or they had a bad experience with a former guest and were being extra cautionary. Or, in the case of gender, let’s say the host is a single woman who is uncomfortable allowing strange men in her home. Then again, it could be that they are rejecting someone because of the perception that he is black.
You may consider, for example, Host Archie (fictitious name) to be a bigot. You may demand that he be chastised for his behavior. You may think that he needs to take a class in sensitivity training. It sounds reasonable. We all want a better society and more tolerance, and Airbnb, with its massive influence, should be at the forefront of this effort.
The problem is, this entire response is based on buying into a series of falsehoods and one-sided vision. The knee-jerk reaction that anyone claiming discrimination is always a victim and that anyone discriminating for whatever reason is always at fault is just going with the flow of lazy thinking.
This chain of claims and reactions is built on a series of false premises: not only that there is discrimination in the Airbnb “community,” but that it’s widespread, it needs to be fixed, and we should focus solely on the hosts.
I’m amazed people actually still use Airbnb. At all. With all the horror stories that have come out about guests not leaving and the police not being able to do anything about it, or homes being vandalized to the point of thousands of dollars, people still willingly open their homes for this website?! You shouldn’t be willing to do this unless you have crazy insurance and the disposable income to repair the home after every guest.
I wouldn’t want a stranger living in my home. For any reason. Regardless of the single woman with strange men staying there with you, or leaving and letting people take over your home while you aren’t there… you know things have a fairly good chance of going wrong. Maybe I am just the least trusting person on Earth, but I’ve had cleaning duty in retail stores I worked at, I know what people do when they know they aren’t responsible for cleaning or fixing something they are using. You end up with a lot of expensive broken fixtures, carpets and flooring that need to be replaced, and missing items.
Yes, I know that isn’t what the article is about. But this is a bigger point.
- You have a right to decide who comes into and/or stays in your home. And your qualification shouldn’t matter. They aren’t paying the mortgage or the homeowner’s association dues. You don’t get to complain.
- Why are you still doing this?!