America abolished slavery on December 18, 1865, ratifying the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. However, that has not prevented some white Americans from continuing to profit off of the diabolical history of human chattel slavery.
With the emerging popularity of antebellum plantation weddings, where attendees can enjoy sprawling estates with the sweet air of the south that faintly masks the stench of brutality, the loss of life and dignity of enslaved people that transpired within feet of gleaming white-columned mansions, some property owners have boldly decided to rent cabins that once housed enslaved Americans.
Recently, Wynton Yates, an entertainment and civil rights attorney and a TikToker who goes by the handle @LawyerWynton, uploaded a video clip rebuking an Airbnb listing advertising “The Panther Burn Cottage at Belmont Plantation” in Greenville, Mississippi, Mic reports.
Yates shows the listing description, which states the former slave cabin from the 1830s was later used for sharecroppers and then as a medical office. However, the owner, who boasts a Superhost status, is now profiting off the vile abode.
“The owner of this property is making money from slavery,” said Yates, Mic reports.
“How is this okay in somebody’s mind to rent this out? A place where human beings were kept as slaves,” Wynton incredulously asked in a video that accumulated more than two million views, according to Insider.
@lawyerwynton #airbnb this is not ok. #history #civilrights #americanhistory ♬ Blade Runner 2049 – Synthwave Goose
Yates highlighted the offensive property reviews from visitors who chronicled their stay with words such as “memorable” and “historic but elegant,” Insider reports.
One guest named Kristin posted they “Enjoyed everything about our stay.” Another guest, Katie, completely ignored the blood spilled on the land and wrote, “Highly recommend watching the sunset!”
Yates commented that the cottage would better serve as a memorial site to educate people on the horrors of American slavery – rather than a rental featuring a “Clawfoot tub, running water, tiles, nice lighting fixtures, water, towels, dresser,” he points out.
He continues to elaborate on how slavery is being “mocked” by transforming the property into a “luxurious vacation spot,” according to Insider.
Facing intense backlash, Airbnb caved and removed the tone-deaf listing from its site; the listing has been removed from the plantation’s website, too, Insider reports.
“We are taking this report seriously and have deactivated all listings associated with this property as we investigate,” said an Airbnb spokesperson in an email to Mic.
“Growing up, [my family] would take my siblings and my cousins and I and put slave shackles in our hands so that we could feel the weight of the steel that was put on our ancestors’ bodies to contain them,” Yates says. “To see someone just blatantly make a mockery out of it just didn’t sit right with me.”