Airbnb Promotes Sioux 'Racist Stereotypes' To Make A Quick Buck

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The Facebook post, which has been deleted, featured a woman in a summer dress holding two children as she posed in front of a Native American-style tent situated in a rocky desert.

 

The online hospitality service Airbnb has been accused of cultural appropriation and misinformation after it released an ad for a weekend rental property in California, featuring a “Sioux style” teepee.

The Facebook post, which has been deleted, featured a woman in a summer dress holding two children as she posed in front of a Native American-style tent situated in a rocky desert.

The full post read, “This Memorial Day weekend, go off the grid with your kids in true Sioux style, no tent-pitching necessary. Inside this 250-square foot tipi, which accommodates up to 7 people, you'll have the comforts of a cozy master bedroom. And outside, you're surrounded by desert riches: Joshua trees, succulents, epic sunsets, and peacocks, yes peacocks. It's an unconventional getaway for a social family like yours. The only problem you'll run into is figuring how to get the little ones to want to go home.”

The Instagram version of the ad was geotagged to Joshua Tree National Park in California. However, the Sioux tribe is not native to that land. In fact, they hail from the American Midwest, including Minnesota, Wyoming, North and South Dakota and Nebraska as well as Manitoba and Saskatchewan in Canada.

Native Americans quickly seized the ad accusing Airbnb of promoting stereotypes to make money for themselves.

“Folks want to be us with the ‘comforts of a master bedroom’ but don't want to deal with the actual consequences of being Native,” said Dr. Adrienne Keene, who is a Cherokee and a professor at Brown University.

She also implied it was a glamorizing of the month-long encampment in North Dakota where thousands of indigenous protesters demonstrated against the building of the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline and faced brutal incidents of violence by state and federal authorities as well as private mercenaries.

 

Artist and writer Mari Kurisato, a native of Ojibwe Nakawe in Denver, shared images of Native Americans on horses facing off against law enforcement officers armed with riot gear during the pipeline protest and wrote, “Dear @Airbnb This is true Sioux Style Your ad campaign is tasteless racism.”

 

“Airbnb is profiting off of racist stereotypes and that is unacceptable in a democratic society,” Judith Le Blanc, director of the Native Organizers Alliance, who is a member of the Caddo Tribe of Oklahoma, told BuzzFeed. "When Airbnb uses a racist stereotype it’s buttressing social norms that oppress Indian people.”

 

 

 

Airbnb deleted the photos on Instagram and Facebook shortly after the backlash and its spokesperson Nick Pappas apologized in an email stating, “We should not have used this language and we want to apologize to everyone for our poor judgment. We have deleted these posts.”

However, this isn’t the first time the hospitality service has mired itself in controversy. Several black users complained the company has discriminatory practices by rejecting applicants based on race.

Carbonated.TV
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