Discrimination is a Pandora's box...once you start opening up that package, it never ends.
There are probably countless ways to "discriminate" against a person, a group, an idea...
But the thing that's important to know, is that you have to be discriminating about discrimination. After all, not all discrimination counts. Some discrimination doesn't matter, and is acceptable, even a badge of honor among some. But other discrimination is reprehensible, and can cause you to lose your status, your job, your business.
AIrbnb has a non-discrimination policy....but it doesn't cover every type of discrimination. Here's an article that sheds light on that. No, I'm not a Trump supporter. Trump scares me and, as I see it, it's past time for him to be impeached. But I also feel that one of the reasons he was elected, was owing to the kind of prejudice seen in the exchange below. Instead of being divisive, "I can't have anything to do with people like you," isn't it better to build bridges? To listen to people, without dismissing them? And.....helping people connect and feel "belonging"...and wasn't that the original idea of Airbnb?
I can understand both sides but the fact that one's business is in the home where they live does make it trickier due to the potential of being faced with stress and unpleasantness long term at home.
While I wouldn't assume this is a snowflake situation (though it could be) I don't think a host should assume there will be contention in-person due to opposing beliefs. On the other hand she may have reason to be hyper-sensitive or reactive due to what she has endured long term in her political work, and feel the need to prevent that.
It's every host's choice how to respond but I would have just drawn a boundary if and when the topic were to come up, that I prefer to not engage, in order to remain respectful. It's much more realistic that the young man has better manners and social discretion than his mom exhibited and that nothing would have come up.
Post by High Priestess on Feb 11, 2019 1:09:38 GMT
I agree that the son Dean would probably have been easier to communicate with.
As I've posted before, I disagree with the "non-discrimination policy" as applied to private homes where the host lives. I feel that anyone should be able to discriminate in any way whatsoever, in renting space in their private home: and in most states in the US, this is allowed by the law in any case.
Here are some of my suggestions
To begin with, it's a little awkward to assess this communication since it seems not all the comments are included and the included comments are out of order.
First, it's not clear if she did this, but I would suggest that the host Amy describe herself in her profile, in a way that at least "hints" at her political interests/leanings or the kinds of people she would be happiest to host. Given that she lives right in Washington DC, one could expect she might get inquiries from both sides of the aisle, and it could help people find the best fit, the more info they have about her. If she came straight out and said she would prefer not to host Republicans, or could be uncomfortable with people praising Trump in her own home, that would be something she could do to perhaps stem off awkward inquiries. Generally I don't recommend hosts using language to make anyone unwelcome -- other than creeps, rule-breakers and the generally disrespectful --- but if the host REALLY doesn't want Trump supporters in her home, as they aren't a protected class under the non-discrimination policy, I suppose this could be done. In fact, Nancy even recommends that Amy do this, and suggests she would not have inquired w/ Amy if Amy had been forthcoming about her not wanting to host Trump supporters.
Second, I think there's an issue in the length of stay that is being inquired about. I find it curious that the host is allowing long stays, of 2 months or more, but says "I generally dont' do any screening." That seems odd, and also doesn't fit with her response to Nancy. Suppose neither Nancy nor Dean ever spoke about Congressman Zeldin...would the fact that Dean was a Trump supporter ever have entered the picture? Would Amy have accepted him otherwise? At the very least, I'd recommend Amy not use such a fly by the seat of my pants approach to screening guests. If you in Washington CD and you're concerned about people's politics, DO screen your guests, particularly for longer stays.
Third, this is a third party inquiry. One thing I'd strongly recommend to Amy, is not gettting into conversation with third party persons. If I received this inquiry from Nancy, I'd have told her, "I can't take a third party booking...can you please have Dean contact me directly?" By talking directly to Dean, Amy could have "bypassed" Nancy's defensive response and things might have gone more smoothly.
Fourth, when screening guests, I recommend that hosts ask a slew of questions all at once. If a host has one particular area of concern, I recommend "masking" that concern somewhat, by asking several other questions in other areas. That way, the guest is not clued into exactly what you are most concerned about and is more likely to respond honestly. For instance, suppose you are a host who does not accept local guests, guests who live in your same city. If you ask ONLY about whether they live in that city, and particularly if you indicate this would be a no-go, they might become aware that this is a concern to you and respond dishonestly, but if you ask 4 or 5 other questions at the same time, about different things, they will be less clued in as to which question is most of concern to you. Thus, one could "mask" a concern about someone's politics by asking 5 other questions at the same time.
Then, when declining someone, do not give a reason for the decline. This helps prevent the guest feelings being hurt and them getting defensive, and also can help prevent arguments.