south african artist sibahle nkumbi assaulted & pushed down stairs by racist asshole

July 11, 2017

It seems like every other day there’s another story about racism and Airbnb. The latest revolves around South African visual artist Sibahle Steve Nkumbi, who was captured on video being thrown down a staircase while leaving an Airbnb she and a few friends had rented out in Amsterdam. Nkumbi came to the city to work an exhibit at the Stedelijk Museum with Zanele Muholi, and claims she was a few minutes late for checkout when the the owner of the room began to throw her belongings down the stairs. As she was exiting, he then pushed her down the stairs as well. In the video, you can see that she bumps her head during the fall before her body go limp.

The artist, who was taken to the hospital for her injuries, says the attack was racially motivated. In the above video posted to Youtube, Nkumbi explains that the owner referred to her and her friends as “you people,” and said “you are not the queen you think you are… this is not Africa.”

“If this had been a white person, I can guarantee you this would have turned out differently,” she explains.

Airbnb did not comment on ramifications for the host, but Director of Diversity and Belonging David King told The Independent, “Nobody should ever be treated like this and it will not be tolerated.”

He added: “Appalling and unconscionable behaviour against members of our community runs counter to everything Airbnb stands for. Our CEO Brian Chesky and I are reaching out to the affected guests. We will take the strongest actions we can against such abhorrent conduct, including banning people for life from our platform and assisting law enforcement with their investigation and potential prosecution.”


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