Former AG Eric Holder Will Help Airbnb with Anti-Discrimination Policy

Airbnb enlists the help of Eric Holder to battle racism perpetrated by some hosts on its platform

Eric Holder
(Image: File)

Former Attorney General and President Obama appointee Eric Holder will aid Airbnb in crafting an anti-discrimination policy, writes Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky in a blog post.

From the post:

We believe that Black Lives Matter, and we support those who are making their voices heard. We also support the brave police officers who often protect peaceful protesters, and who risk their lives every day for all of us.

But it’s not enough to just offer our sympathies. We aren’t so naïve to think that one company can solve these problems, but we understand that we have an obligation, to be honest about our own shortcomings, and do more to get our house in order. That’s why we’ve been talking more openly about discrimination and bias on our platform and are currently engaged in a process to prevent it.

We are honored that former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has agreed to join our team to help craft a world-class anti-discrimination policy. Holder will be working with John Relman, a leading civil rights attorney and national expert on fair housing and public accommodation issues.

““I’m looking forward to working with Airbnb to develop and implement a world-class anti-discrimination policy. Airbnb is committed to building a community where everyone can belong, no matter who they are or what they look like. I’m eager to help them craft policies that will be the model for companies who share Airbnb’s commitment to diversity and inclusion,” said Eric Holder.

Airbnb has been under fire for not addressing complaints of racial discrimination by the platform’s black customers.

A class-action lawsuit was filed against the space sharing site after Gregory Selden, a black man, was refused accommodations by an Airbnb host in Pennsylvania. When Selden made the request posting a fake account as a white man, his request was accepted.

Chesky and his team have gathered other outside experts in the effort to combat racism by hosts. A few include Laura Murphy, the former head of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Washington D.C. Legislative Office and Dr. Robert W. Livingston of Harvard University.

“After meeting with several senior executives at Airbnb, I’ve concluded that the organization has a sincere and profound interest in eliminating any and all discriminatory bias on its website, and is prepared to fight the problem using multiple tactics. One weapon in the arsenal is anti-bias training and education which will help to promote greater respect and fairness to all in the Airbnb community,” said Dr. Livingston.