A Black woman who vacationed with friends and stayed at a California Airbnb said they were swarmed by police and detained after a neighbor reported a group of Black people were taking luggage out of a house.
Call it a case of #VacationingWhileBlack, which joins the ranks of other racially insensitive run-ins with cops where Black people have had police called on them without cause, manhandled or brutally beaten.
Their harrowing story began to make the rounds on social media over the weekend sparking outrage.
Airbnb has since issued a statement, which reads:
“Last week, after becoming aware of the issue, we reached out to the victims of this terrible incident to express our sympathy and full support. Based on what we’ve learned and consistent with the various news reports, this incident appears to be an issue involving a neighbor, but the fact that this neighbor was not a member of the Airbnb community doesn’t change the fact that what happened to our Guests is unconscionable and a reminder of how far we still have to go as a society.
“Airbnb’s mission is to create a world where anyone can belong anywhere and we have aggressively worked to fight bias and discrimination in society. We encourage anyone in similar situations to contact us. We are also reaching out to our partners at the NAACP, National Action Network, Color Of Change, and others to discuss this matter and ensure we are doing all we can to protect our community when they travel. While we do fundamentally believe in the power of travel to break down historic barriers and have faith in our fellow humans, we will continue to do all we can to make sure our Guests feel like they belong when they travel to different communities around the world.”
The new challenge, however, is in how the company will manage discrimination and racial bias from those who are neither hosts or guests.