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Came here to rant about racial stereotypes and negative reviews

Let me preface this by stating that I’m not a leftie, nor am I too fond of the race baiting done by the media. This trend of throwing around accusations of racism willy nilly bothers me to no end.

With that being said…

Our air bnb rental is in a predominantly black neighborhood, but a safe, middle class neighborhood nonetheless. It has its own security and the neighborhood is very well maintained. Lawns are always mowed, etc. It’s in the suburbs, so not even inner city by any means. The houses all look the same with nice brick exterior and backyards.

We have always gotten good reviews and positive comments about the neighborhood. Guests usually arrive at night so there aren’t that many people walking around. I should note that the vast majority of our guests have been white and we are white too, and almost all gave great reviews including about safety.

Within the last month, I got two negative reviews about my “bad neighborhood” that was totally “unsafe”. No freaking joke, one of them actually wrote in the private feedback to Air bnb (on top of the public feedback about how unsafe the neighborhood is) that they thought it was the PROJECTS and that they wanted to look up crime statistics when they arrived. I wish I was making this up. This guest was also a very rude and cold one so am not really surprised.

I should mention it is a very family oriented neighborhood and kids play outside all day. I know all my neighbors and they are all lovely people, almost all mixed race of course.

Obviously it is because they saw too many black people outside. Why else would they say that? Did they see violence, bars on windows, ugly houses? Nope none of the above. Again, it is a straight middle class neighborhood. I have lived in the city during my younger years and in plenty a bad neighborhood and this place is not that.

The two guests who wrote such things were from very white states.

I’m so mad that I went from having almost all five star reviews, and now I have a 4 star review because within the last five guests two of them wrote this. One of them didn’t even stay, she left within an hour of arriving.

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Would you mind sharing a link to your listing?

If your guest wrote an untrue negative things in a public review you can contact airbnb , they will investigate and delete false statements. It happened to me once when guest actually thretened me with bad review mentioning in her massage some particular things she will write about my place ( probably looking for refund or something else). I called airbnb right away and they told me they will delete untrue part of review if she will write it.

My understanding was that Air Bnb never deletes reviews. Plus, they wrote a bunch of other nonsense along with it that I really can’t prove to be false even though it is. Unless they delete the whole review there is no point.

Very disheartening. Maybe Airbnb will remove the reviews if they can determine that there is racial bias involved. They are pretty sensitive to that though the problem is usually hosts discriminating, not guests.

My city is 85% Hispanic and I have bars on some of the windows. It’s a very modest neighborhood but very safe. I’ve never had any issues or concerns or bad ratings or reviews. I wonder if I’m going to have to worry about that now that “bigot pride” is on the increase.

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well, if a guest wrote that your neighborhood is unsafe and crime map shows 0 in your area . Airbnb must modify that review.

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That was actually a good idea, I hadn’t thought of that. To be honest, I hadn’t thought at all about contacting Air Bnb. In my few minutes of research into my area, I found that most of the people in my neighborhood are white collar, rape risk is below national average, robbery risk is below national average, etc. So I’m still unsure about contacting Air bnb but I might.

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If you cannot get these reviews taken off by airbnb, which is probably somewhat doubtful, your post is the basis of your public response. If this review, and your response stands, it will warn other feeble minded guests that they will actually (gasp!) see black people in the neighborhood and in their own interest stay away, to your and your neighborhood’s benefit!

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Absolutely contact airbnb! They are actively combating accusations of racism in the platform and are likely to be highly responsive.
My homes are also in a historically black / gullah neighborhood. I have lived here for over 16 years, and in the past 3 years suddenly I find that I now live in a “mixed” neighborhood! But elaborate property descriptions help, as there is no sense in butting heads with racists.
So I suggest some “hints” in your verbal descriptions, like I used to do. For example = " Immaculate large upscale home in an older neighborhood which was settled by freed families after slavery was abolished. Many of the descendants still own homes in this closely knit historical area".
The bigots will stay away.

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I think you can take those reviews off by mentioning that they obiously did not like the “color” of the neighborhood.

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@cassid posted on another thread that ABB told her today they no longer remove reviews so it appears that KIKC’s suggestion that you call them out in your response is your only option.

Airbnb operates in the real world. I’m a African American man who hosts, I think my profile picture keeps most bigots away, however my home is in a predominately black and Hispanic section of town. I would consider it very middle class. My neighbors all work full time and crime is non existent in my area. In 10 years of living at my place, the only thing I have experienced is ordering snow melt (salt) through amazon before a big storm and having it stolen from my front door. Considering we were expecting 12-15 inches of snow from that storm I’m guessing the FedEx man probably “misdelivered” it to his own home.

Even as a superhost with great ratings I always take a few hits on location. I have chalked it up to all of the brown and yellow faces that my guests must drive and walk past to get to my place. I post in my listing the average travel time to NYC via public transportation and driving so when guests arrive they know what to expect .

I would estimate that at least 60% of my Caucasian guests ask me if the neighborhood is safe. I don’t mind questions such as “is it safe to walk at night”. That’s fair no matter where you are in the world. However when I get the “is my car safe” question it really irks me.

It’s like no my whole airbnb profile is a setup to steal your 2005 Honda civic.

My neighbors and I are far from wealthy but nobody is interested in your POS…

Rant over.

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I’ve been doing this for a year and it’s the first time this has happened, so it is thankfully rare. Almost all our past guests have been white and have said nothing but positive things about the neighborhood. We are white too FFS. If we can live here safely with dozens of positive reviews, you can stay here for one or two nights with no problem. I don’t know what is wrong with some people they really do not think.

We also have white neighbors and kids of all races play outside all summer long with no problem. I should note these guests were from very non diverse areas so I sort of get it, but no I don’t and it pisses me off. My parents, who live in a rich neighborhood (million$ + area), flew here one summer and had nothing but great things to say about the neighborhood! They commented on the greenery, the parks…the only things that matter. I still can’t get over the one who actually thought this was government housing. Just what the *******

LoL Kenny, that was a good one on the POS Honda Civic. Well said.

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Don’t believe it. …

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I would play the “racism card”, contact AirBnB and tell them the reviews are race biased.
It’s business, any means to get the reviews removed are allowed…

Currently AirBnB is very sensitive about the race thing, make use of it!!

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You said there were other things in the review you couldn’t prove false. What are those?

If all else fails, you can go to small claims court and ask for an order to remove the review. The guests won’t show, so the judgement will be in your favor. I’d save that as a last resort, but it does work.

I would also contact AirBNB about this – they are under a good deal of pressure (as they should be) to respond to anti-Black racism and they will continue to remove reviews under these kinds of exceptional circumstances.

Don’t let a couple of racists publicly disrespect your neighbors this way – get their remarks removed! Good luck!

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Did both of these people leave public comments about the safety of the neighborhood? I wonder if that second person followed suit with the first person who did it. It just takes one person to start the bandwagon effect.

If one of them didn’t stay…I don’t believe their review can stay. Anyone?? Doesn’t Air have to remove the review if the reviewer refused to stay?

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