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You can find the update at the bottom of the post…
Here’s the thing – we’re as tired of writing about racism as you are of reading about it.
Sometimes, though, people need to be called out for their bullshit, and this seems like one such time.
A Camps Bay Airbnb host (that picture above is taken from the Airbnb listing) is now in hot water after his exchange with a would-be renter, Ziyaad Esack, was shared on social media.
We’ll start with Esack’s Facebook post, which you can see here, which contains screenshots of his conversation with Steven and a link to the Airbnb in question.
His post starts with this text:
Can all my “Mohammed” friends please stand up!
I am honestly shocked and appalled that things like this are still happening. I have been out of the country for a while and though there are times that i feel “eyes” on me when im in a predominantly white crowd or area.
Its never been this blatant. To be honest i dont really get offended easily but i just couldn’t let this go.
I have been trying to report it on airbnb to no avail. Its just disappointing to know that this is still where the mindsets are at.
For some background, Ziyaad is a South African citizen who works in Saudi Arabia, but was trying to book the Airbnb for a holiday when he returned back to South Africa.
Right, those screenshots:
So Steven is just going to come right out with some Mohammed bullshit?
Of course, when called out on that bullshit, it’s suddenly not at all about race or religion:
Allow me to interject for a second – no.
To finish, the end of that exchange:
Go ahead and look back at the conversation and you’ll see that the only reason race or religion was brought into the conversation was because Steven did so.
Since the post was spread on Twitter and Facebook, Airbnb has responded:
At this point, it remains to be seen what action they have taken:
On Ziyaad’s Facebook post, tempers flared, although one guy managed to keep a sense of humour:
A decent laugh, but all this is really just a reminder of how backwards-thinking some of our fellow Capetonians remain.
Guys, it’s 2019, and it’s not hard to know that you can’t pull shit like this and not expect to be called out for it.
We really don’t need another #ReclaimClifton-style divisive episode (Ziyaad clearly agrees and makes that clear in various responses to comments), but people shouldn’t feel safe sending these kinds of messages in this day and age.
Oh, and before anybody tries to defend the Airbnb host on the basis that it’s his property and his call to make, you should be aware that Airbnb explicitly outlaws such practices in their Nondiscrimination Policy: Our Commitment to Inclusion and Respect.
Come on, we are so much better than this down here in Slaapstad.
UPDATE: An Airbnb spokesperson reached out to us with the following statement:
“Discrimination has no place on Airbnb and goes against everything our community stands for. We have removed the host from our platform and are providing the guest with support through our Open Doors initiative.”
Airbnb’s Open Doors initiative states:
Under the Open Doors policy, if a guest is not able to book a listing because they have been discriminated against, Airbnb will ensure the guest finds a place to stay. The Airbnb team does this by providing timely, 24/7, personalized, hands-on support from a specially trained Airbnb employee who will help the guest find a place to stay on Airbnb.
Hopefully, this ends with Ziyaad finding accommodation for his holiday, and the surf’s up the entire time he’s here.