I have a horrible host story. The guy was just creepy. He was a micromanager who wanted everything done his way (e.g. call, don’t text; stop here, not there; give me your full attention right now; respond to me right now) and just had a weird vibe. It wasn’t horrible until he entered the property when we weren’t there to get a vacuum cleaner, then denied that he was there. He said the day before that he might come and get it for another guest at another site, so who else would want it?
Not cool. We don’t know what he was doing or what he was looking at while we were gone. We decided to leave early, and this is where the fun begins. He wrote me a nice review. My review wasn’t mean, but it was factual. He got his feelings hurt and retaliated with another multi-message rant about how I was weak and everything was my fault. He referred to a previous guest staying in which he said “I will know not to have any more non-native English speakers as guests.” I am brown skinned. He is not. Then told me he would be praying for me.
I reported this to Airbnb and guess what they did? First of all, they did nothing about his entering into the property without our knowledge or consent. That’s not even mentioned. Then they deleted my review. This guy gets to continue his abusive, racists ways and is listed as a Superhost.
Shame on you Airbnb. They say they “care” about racism. No, they don’t. This guy’s been openly bigoted since 2014 and he’s still hosting.
From the moment I saw the title I knew what to expect. Turns out I was more right than I thought! Anytime I see someone throwing out typical western words like “racist,” “creepy,” “narcissist,” “misogynist,” “scam,” and using words like “butthurt” or “literally” unnecessarily too much, I already have my doubts about the accuracy of their story. At least I didn’t see all the words I expected to see lol but I saw enough of the typical. I could also sense from the “vocabulary demeanor” that something was done or said to provoke his response. I will generalize since generalizations exist for a reason whether people wish to believe it or not. Every person I have met who says things like “Not cool” has turned out to be a young (teenager or 20s) person who falls more on the having an attitude side, regardless of race. Normally the type who get upset irrationally, tell a twisted or inaccurate version of a story and claim it’s factual.
Of course, I wasn’t there and I didn’t get to witness what happened or whether or not he was the one who took the vacuum as he warned that he may do, etc., but why do i get the feeling that the host didn’t use words like racist, narcissist, creepy, “not cool,” etc.? Why do I feel like if I read both the host and the writer’s reviews, one would sound more “grown” and truthful while the other would be a bunch of name calling and overly focused on and blaming everything on race? Now I am wondering what actually lead the conversation to race? The only people I encounter who tend to always want to think aboit, discuss and blame everything on race all the time are mainly Americans who share or at least resemble my ethnicity. When I DJ, the music I play follows the same pattern…
I am actually black with parents from Africa and the Caribbean. I’ve dated and traveled around the world, which, of course, means I’ve also stayed in plenty of AirBNBs. I never once had a problem with racism (and the only time the word “race” was brought up was, of course, in my first AirBNB stay in the US). Perhaps, the reason I never have issues despite surely being darker than the poster’s description of herself is because I never act in a way to feed generalizations or stereotypes to provoke people to have bad thoughts or memories of encounters with people similar to me. I’ve had a few issues with AirBNB in African countries and even the Philippines. Never have I lost and never have I been denied a refund. I can guarantee that the way I approached it and the style of vocabulary and demeanor I naturally use helped my case. I’m sure AirBNB went through my messages with hosts each time and were able to see clearly that my statements were accurate since I kept everything professional and did not irrationally overreact with the typical western name calling that happens when people don’t get their way.
I think the most I’ve been told is that “I don’t act like an American” or “I don’t act like someone that’s from the east coast” … And I actually choose to take that as a compliment. Some people have an expected behavior from me because of what they typically see and experience from people similar to me, but quickly realize that they will not get that from me. But, then again, like I said, generalizations exist for a reason. I am not one to act in such a way to feed a generalization or stereotype then get upset because the generalization or stereotype exists – and this is coming from someone who doesn’t even have any degree, so any excuse that I think I am better than anyone else cannot be used here. I am not rich, I am not white, I don’t have a degree, my family isn’t rich, etc. However, I am wise, know how to act and behave myself and I don’t do things that will cause people to have negative thoughts or generalizations about me. Instead of sitting around thinking of race all the time or calling people names that I don’t even know the real definitions of just because everyone else is doing it, I choose to focus on how to live a decent, happy trouble free life and explore the world, even if most would never assume that a black man without a degree could manage to spend months in other countries. Yes, I’ve been called crazy by some, even my mom. But, I choose how I want to experience life and how I want people to perceive me. Not everyone will like me, but I can guarantee that I will never act in a way to *give* anyone a legitimate reason to not like me. That is one way I figured out that most people aren’t truly “racist.” Most people here in America these days simply try to avoid any group of people who resemble those that tend to be problematic, accusatory and overly reactive in a negative way, but as soon as they see you are not that way, they embrace you. That is not a true “racist.” A true racist would immediately not like you regardless of what you do or how you act with no rational foundation for their hatred other than simpky the color of your skin.
This leads me to that one host that I used locally in the U.S. where race was brought up. Short version of the story is that she is actually a foreigner new to the U.S. Since being overly focused on race and name calling isn’t the norm in her country, she wasn’t expecting that here in the U.S. when she started hosting. Therefore, she came with an open mind. She heard her daughter (that was raised in western culture (like I was, by the way – I was born in DC)) playing music in the car. She liked some of the songs, so she did what most rational, non hateful people would do – she started singing along with them, the best she could, without any thought in her mind that doing so could be a “racist” or negative thing. Her daughter called her mom racist because she unknowingly sang words that she “wasn’t allowed” to say…. To keep a long story short, after this host experienced this and noticed how commonly and foolishly people used the word “racist” in this country, she developed a fear of dealing with anyone who physically resembled the type of people who are most likely to overreact and scream “racist” for everything, or frequently cause situations where people would have to overly focus on race. She started becoming more quiet and detached from guest and began to keep interactions limited to avoid issues with people as a result. Of course, there are those who will call her racist because of her reaction to other not so bright people, so she cannot win for losing (and yes, I am saying her daughter must not be so bright to follow the popular crowd and scream “racist” for stupid reasons).
I am sure she would prefer to not host to anyone of color again, or even any westerners in general since even her own daughter started acting silly. She did, however, wish to keep in touch with me – *after* she discovered that I would not help to feed any negative stereotype.
Imagine…. Someone singing, embracing and enjoying music from another culture, wanting to support it, then being called “racist” because they unknowingly sang ALL the words they could make out from the song… People are still actually releasing music that they want ALL people to support and embrace while using words that they only want SOME people to be allowed to day – with the expectation that the whole world will magically know and understand it…. Not to mention, word that was once used by TRUE racists to TRULY abuse those of color! People want to keep that word alive in music and everyday vocabulary and make it so only certain people can use it and expect equality while knowingly doing and causing situations that keep people divided….
Maybe I am better off not having a degree after all because I do not see the higher intelligence level from many people who cannot see anything wrong with that picture, yet, many of the people who think that way also have degrees lol.
Yes, much of this might have (seemingly) gone off topic, but there is a very big moral here, which I don’t feel I need to explain again.
If you commonly act in such a way that make people prefer to avoid you or anyone with many similarities to you, and you are recognizing it to become a common pattern, then, it is probably time to change whatever behavior or demeanor is causing people to respond to you that way. You can’t always blame the other person and label them with negative names just because everyone else is using those words (that they don’t even know the real definitions of) to label people they are mad at. Most of the problems we experience in life with other people are triggered by our very own demeanor and behaviors. You must give respect to earn respect in many cases, and having a seemingly aggressive demeanor or attitude will typically cause issues where people may “act funny” around you or try to straight up indicate that they wish to avoid you. The type of people I typically avoid are those who very frequently use words like racist, creepy, narcissist, etc. for everything. I am aware of what type of behaviors, thinking and issues that are common amongst people who frequently harbor those types of words / labels in their minds and are always quick to use them.
….And, the host is also a superhost! Obviously he couldn’t be as bad as he is being made out to be because in a world where many people in one of the most powerful countries in the world are quick to get upset and scream “racist” and call names for everything while accusing everyone else of being the ones who “got hurt,” there is no way he could make superhost status if he was really (or regularly) acting “racist,” “creepy,” or “narcissistic,” etc. I’ve seen people get called “creepy” for simply giving a short, simple, polite and respectful compliment in western culture, so there is no way a host can actually be creepy and make it to superhost undetected lol.
Maybe if the complaint were written differently I would be inclined to take it more seriously and believe the accuracy of it more. Unfortunately, however, the title alone already lead me to think “another typical, local, western styled, name calling, overreactive, high school or early college attitude rant.”
The moment I see those typical name calling words, lots of credibility is already lost with me. The way it was explained didn’t help to erase what I initially assumed from the title either.
Thanks for your Response
I have been both a host and a guest, so I can say exclusively from what you wrote there is no racism present.
Communication with non native English speakers can be tough. Arranging check in and check out is not simple like in a hotel. Arrangements with housekeepers, key collection and retrieval, home quirks explanation etc are really important for a host.
Answering whenever you want as a guest, is really not an option. If you want a completely carefree experience except for check in and out times, a hotel is always an option.
The discount (that admittedly may not always be there due to service fees etc) is part of the reason that certain requests are made of the guests.
Especially the arrival can be stressful for guest and host alike.
Being a person of color, there are micro aggressions that take place and it may be the reason for this person’s behavior, you haven’t proven it here.
The fact that he wrote you a decent review initially shows that he isn’t racist. He is not obligated to review you and racists also do not necessarily accept to host POC.
I think what happened is that the communication was lacking, he chose to write a decent review (as a super host is inclined to do) and then felt insulted by your review and chose to respond in kind.
Airbnb may have agreed with his assessment and chose to remove the review. Next time (if you are inclined to use the platform) make sure 100% of your communication is on the website.
If something racist, misogynistic, discriminatory is said in anyway, it will be noted.
I no longer use Airbnb for any reason because they have done other things that are illegal and highly unprofessional in my opinion, so although I may not agree with you in this case, I agree that Airbnb is not a reputable company.