With the current state of American politics (left/right, rural/urban, red/blue, rich/poor, etc.), I'm seeking some very open and honest discussions asking whether guests (including traveling hosts) would hesitate or purposefully refuse to stay at an Airbnb in a small town for fear of staying with a potentially unfriendly, even hostile, host. Honestly preferred, please.
Let's assume that an individual or family elects to drive from the Atlantic to the Pacific coasts, taking in a few days to enjoy the scenery by traveling on two-lane roads through smaller cities and towns. Let's further assume that the individual is BIPOC and/or LGBTQ+ and/or politically progressive. Would this individual or family hesitate in ANY way to stay in a small town? If so, why? (I can guess, but I'd prefer not to.)
This question also applies to a very conservative individual or family that would hesitate or refuse to stay with a host that may be BIPOC, LGBTQ+ or politically progressive.
Last year I ran across placeism, defined as "discriminatory practices against a locality or geographic location." I suggest extending this definition as "discriminatory practices against any individual or group living in or coming from a locality or geographic location." There are certainly dozens of other discriminatory practices of more importance than placeism, but it may be simply unaddressed currently.
Airbnb has been leading the charge against racism by hosts who may not book a room to someone of another color, orientation or same-sex relationship. I'm curious whether there may be guests who may choose to stay in a chain motel or large city instead of staying at an Airbnb in a small town or rural area.
Thanks in advance for your honest replies.
@Fred13 Just to check I'm understanding you correctly. You wouldn't engage in a political dialogue because you appreciate in advance that you'd fail to change anyone's mind? Is thatyour gist? If so its a very diplomatic one. I appreciate that nugget (again if I've understood you correctly - but do fill me in if that's not it!!) . Thanks
Aye @Mary996, it took me forever to learn that lesson, hard to change people's mind because their life experience has been different than mine. No wonder we think so differently. So today I put emphasis in what we have in common and thus get to enjoy everyone's company, especially if they have a good sense of humor. 🙂
@Fred13I love a really good laugh but at the end of the day for me I put more emphasis on trying to understand others, where there's the possibility of that (sometimes I have to accept its a non-starter for whatever reason), but I'm a very sympathetic person and generally find myself intrigued by others, and, that that in itself can overcome many barriers. So I'm probably the opposite to you !! Great topic by the way. Thanks for raising. Are you enjoying the discussion so far? You are giving me some insights to life over the pond. I hadn't really thought about possible no-go areas on the basis of Political affliation. Its concerning. But people such as you Fred are making a difference. Thank you!
@Jim1373 "refuse to stay at an Airbnb in a small town for fear of staying with a potentially unfriendly, even hostile, host." The same could be said about an Airbnb in a big city, east cost, west coast, deep south, etc. Of course this attitude is called prejudice or bigotry.
No doubt there are some people who make judgements or assumptions about others based on where they live. I suspect the number of people is pretty low but it does exist. Hopefully in today's world with so many people traveling and living in different places throughout their lives, they can judge others as individuals and not as groups.
In any case, not sure it would impact the choice of an airbnb vs any other accommodation.
@Jim1373 It's amazing that you posted this because I was just discussing with my daughter the idea of adding a sign to my listing photos saying "All Are Welcome Here." I haven't had a single issue with the places I host in rural Maine but I would nevertheless like to underscore this sentiment.
I would love to take a trip such as you describe and would not hesitate to stay in a small town Airbnb. But now that you've brought it up, I would probably do a little research on the area, supposing that there are small pockets of intolerance everywhere. However, I wouldn't worry so much about the middle of the country, because I've found that Midwesterners have a tradition of tolerating others even when they don't agree with them. Possibly an outcome of pioneer days, when your life could depend on your only neighbor whether you agreed with one another or not.
Fantastic sentiment. I lived next door to someone who pulled a gun on our local Councillor...!! He was a colourful character .... to say the least.... but I think perhaps because he appreciated that I wanted to understand his concerns we got along.