Short-term home rental site Airbnb announced Thursday that it was putting new measures in place to counter discrimination by hosts that refused to rent their homes to black people. The company hired none other than former Attorney General Eric Holder to help it craft new policies.
A Harvard study published earlier this year showed that people with African-American-sounding names were 16 percent less likely than people with white-sounding names to be accepted as a guest on the site. That statistic did not come as a surprise to many African-Americans who have tried — and failed — to use the service to rent a room or apartment. Morning Shift talks to Kristen Clarke, president and CEO of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law about what she thinks of the new Airbnb policies and about her own Airbnb experience as a black woman. We also check with Chicago-based business consultant Quirtina Crittenden, who created the #AirbnbWhileBlack hashtag on Twitter, and Stefan Grant, whose negative experience with Airbnb as a black man prompted him to start his own short-term home rental site Noirbnb.