Rohan Gilkes tried to book a cabin in Idaho where he’d be visiting friends and was repeatedly turned down through Air bnb. The company caters to savvy travelers who enjoy a variety of lodging choices. According to Fusion, Gilkes, is going after customers Air bnb looks down its nose at by starting his own company Noire bnb. He was ignored by Air bnb because he is black. Gilkes says, at Noire bnb,
“Everyone is welcome.”
Gilkes Was Ignored
The Barbados native figured out something was amiss with Air bnb after he tried booking for a few weeks at scattered times. If per chance he got a place the offer was rescinded within minutes. Suspecting foul play, Gilkes asked a white friend to try and rent a space. He was welcomed into the fold of the same place where Gilkes was turned down. That’s a lawsuit in my book.
White People Underestimate Black Spending Power
Here’s what Air bnb forgot to address. Black people spend money to travel. We’re pretty big on the whole escapism thing especially as it relates to white supremacy. What Air Bnb has successfully done is alienate part of their customer base. Black people with disposable income can book with Gilkes, he’s much cooler anyway. I plan to use Noire bnb myself and I’m going to promote it to others.
Ujamaa: Cooperative Economics
I’ve decided to have some say in where my dollars are spent. They need to circulate in the black community five or six times. Black dollars need to be spent with black businesses the same way other communities support their own. First. Always.
Customers who experience rejection from Air bnb are uniting. They’re hashtagging #AirbnbWhileBlack with stories of being accepted and immediately turned down for nice rental spaces. Gilkes experience aligns with those of others who were turned down with similar race issues at the base.
Gilkes says promotional material for Noire bnb will include black people having a wonderful time. By placing black images in the marketing game it lets people know black dollars are welcome. Sounds. Dreamy.
Featured Image: Facebook Rohan Gilkes