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Airbnb host to pay $5,000 for racist tirade, last-minute cancellation

Airbnb host to pay $5,000 for racist tirade, last-minute cancellation
An Airbnb host who canceled a reservation at the last minute during a snowstorm while racially abusing the scheduled guest has agreed to pay a $5,000 fine as part of her punishment for the incident, which breached California civil rights law.

"The agreement includes a personal apology, an agreement to complete volunteer service with a civil rights organization, and an agreement to participate in a public education event," read a statement from the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing published Thursday.

The host, Tami Barker, refused to allow Dyne Suh and her party of three people and two dogs to stay at her Airbnb listing near Big Bear, California in February.

"If you think 4 people and 2 dogs are getting a room for $50 a night on big bear mountain during the busiest weekend of the year... you are insanely high," Barker wrote in a message.

As the conversation progressed, the exchange became increasingly heated with Barker referring to Suh’s race, as well as President Donald Trump, as the reasons why she was refusing to adhere to their updated agreement.  

"You are a con artist... I wouldn't rent to u if u were the last person on earth,” Barker wrote, adding: “One word says it all. Asian.”

“It's why we have Trump. And I will not allow this country to be told what to do by foreigners,” she added.

Suh has been living in the US since she was three years old and is an American citizen.

"I consider myself an American," she said in a video about the incident which went viral at the time of publishing.

“Despite having sent confirming text messages approving of additional guests, the host denied that she had agreed to additional guests and cancelled Ms. Suh’s reservation,” the Department of Fair Employment and Housing said in its statement.  

Barker has since issued an apology to Suh and will take a college-level course in Asian American studies and volunteer at a civil rights organization in addition to the fine as part of her deal.

Suh expressed her satisfaction at the outcome in a statement published on Facebook and called for more victims of racial discrimination to come forward to improve race relations nationwide.  

The statutory minimum penalty for breach of California's anti-discrimination laws is $4,000.

“We commend Ms. Suh, who was motivated to file a complaint by a desire to encourage other victims of discrimination to step forward and stand against injustice,” said DFEH Director Kevin Kish.

“We are also heartened by the host’s willingness to embrace corrective measures that are forward-looking and restorative,” he added.

The host has also been permanently banned from Airbnb.