‘We don’t take blacks’: Melbourne woman booted from Airbnb over disgusting texts

A Melbourne teenager and her sister were “shocked” when they tried to rent a room in the CBD and were rejected because “you are black”.

 A Melbourne Airbnb host has been kicked off the platform for telling renters “we don’t take blacks” and, “If you are black, please forgive us for not receiving you”.

A woman named Helen had her texts to prospective guests exposed over the weekend by two sisters who tried to rent her property and were rejected because of the colour of their skin.

In an exchange posted to social media, one of the girls asks the hosts if the room is available.

“Hi, just wanted to book this for two nights for my sister and I’s getaway,” she wrote.

Helen responded: “Hi, thank you so much! If you are black, please forgive us for not receiving you!”

One of the girls, who is 19 years old and has lived in Melbourne her whole life, wrote back asking for a refund of the $190 she had paid as a deposit.

“Okay, give me my money back right now cause I am black.”

The messages from Helen.

The messages from Helen.

She has since been banned from Airbnb.

She has since been banned from Airbnb.

Helen wrote: “You can apply to the platform to return it. Thank you!”

The teen wrote: “I do not appreciate this at all! This is pure RACISM. In a time like today especially, I’ll be sure to report you immediately. For someone to be hosting on a major platform such as this, such discrimination is not acceptable.”

The host claimed she was “not discriminating against anyone” and “we really don’t have the ability to deal with this”.

She blamed “building management” who she claimed “gave us an ultimatum”.

The 19-year-old, whose family moved to Australia from Somalia before she was born, told news.com.au she was “shocked” by the exchange.

“I was booking an Airbnb for my sister and I and I gave her half of the money,” she said.

“Then she replied two days later and said if I was a black she couldn’t offer the house to me anymore. Which is so disgusting.

“We then messaged her back and explained she can’t say that and think she can get away with that. She then started to talk about our upbringing and how we don’t know how to act. She told us that it was her building management that made that rule. My money hasn’t been returned back to me yet but I did apply for a refund.

“To be honest I’m just so shocked that she was so racist I’ve never ever experienced anything like this.”

Airbnb responded quickly, removing Helen and her listing from their platform.

Airbnb responded quickly, removing Helen and her listing from their platform.Source:AFP

News.com.au approached Airbnb and were told the host of the property had been banned and an investigation was ongoing.

“Airbnb’s mission is to create a world where everyone can belong anywhere,” said Derek Nolan, Airbnb’s Head of Public Policy for Australia

“This is something we care deeply about and are absolutely committed to. Discrimination is unacceptable and has no place in our community.

“We have removed a host and the listing in question and will continue to investigate the matter.

“We enforce a strict non-discrimination policy and under our Open Doors initiative, if a guest feels they have been discriminated against, we will provide personalised support to ensure they find a place to stay.”

On social media, others shared their interactions with Helen. In one screenshot, she told guests: “No party” and “I’m sorry we don’t take blacks. You’re welcome to stay!”

 

 

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