Airbnb has banned a woman in California for listing her home on their site after she cancelled an Asian student’s booking, telling her: “This is why we have Trump.”
Dyne Suh, a 25-year-old law student from Riverside in California, was travelling to the ski resort of Big Bear Lake with her boyfriend and two friends. Miss Suh had contacted the Airbnb host prior to their arrival to confirm the booking.
But, three minutes from their destination, the host told Miss Suh they were no longer welcome.
"She said 'we're done' and cancelled the trip," said Miss Suh in a YouTube video, captured by a local journalist who happened to be parked next to a sobbing Miss Suh and her friends.
In the video, accompanied by text messages showing their conversation, she explains that she asked why their booking had been cancelled.
"And she said: 'One word says it all: Asian. It's why we have Trump.' "
Miss Suh, choking back tears, said she told the host that she would report her to Airbnb.
"We can't have foreigners telling us what to do," the host responded, according to Miss Suh.
Miss Suh, who emigrated from South Korea when she was three, said it shows the depth of racism in the US.
Writing on Facebook after the February incident, she pointed out it was far worse for people with darker skin or Muslims.
"It stings that after living in the US for over 23 years this is what happens," she said in the video. "No matter how well I treat others, if you're Asian you're less than human, and people can treat you like trash.
"People thought with the election of President Obama, racism is over in this country — no, it's very much alive," she said.
"It exists, and it can happen to anyone."
Miss Suh reported the host, who was removed from the site.
"We have worked to provide the guest with our full support and in line with our non-discrimination policy, this host has been permanently removed from the Airbnb platform," said Airbnb in a statement, adding that the company considers the host's behaviour "abhorrent and unacceptable."
Last year, Airbnb launched a three-month "comprehensive review," which concluded that "minorities struggle more than others to book a listing."
Subsequently, the site implemented a new policy requiring hosts to treat all guests "with respect."
"We believe that no matter who you are, where you are from, or where you travel, you should be able to belong in the Airbnb community," the company's new policy reads.
“I hope the story encourages more people to come out and share their own countless experiences of being racially discriminated against, and promotes a trend of more people finding ways to keep evidence of having been discriminated against,” she wrote on Facebook.