Airbnb busted after lawyer calls out company for listing refurbished ‘slave cabin’ lodgingAugust 2, 2022
“If you were to see just the pictures of the inside of it, you’d have no idea (of) the history of that building, and I think for me, that is a mockery of the experience. … It is the continuation of erasing what the experience of slavery was,” Yates told USA Today.
Airbnb has since removed the listing, and the owner of the property, Brad Hauser, claims the structure was a doctor’s office and not slave quarters. Okay, Brad.
But why anyone would even want to stay on a plantation for their vacation confounds me. Don’t people realize the soil is literally soaked with the blood of generations of enslaved people who were brutalized, raped, and denigrated?
River Travel Magazine voted it “BEST Bed & Breakfast and BEST Hidden Gem of the Mississippi River!”
“Growing up, [my family] would take my siblings and my cousins and I and put slave shackles in our hands so that we could feel the weight of the steel that was put on our ancestors’ bodies to contain them,” Yates told Mic.com. To see someone just blatantly make a mockery out of it just didn’t sit right with me.
In a statement sent to USA Today, Airbnb writes:
“Properties that formerly housed the enslaved have no place on Airbnb. We apologize for any trauma or grief created by the presence of this listing and others like it, and that we did not act sooner to address this issue.”
But the Belmont plantation isn’t the only one listed on Airbnb. You can also rent a “charming Creole cottage” called the “Marguerite” on the Destrehan Plantation, just 20 minutes outside of New Orleans.
The cottage is described as a place where Marie Celeste, the daughter of the original owner of the plantation, lived.
“She [Marie Celeste] went on to marry a Destrehan. Marguerite was an enslaved cook and laundress who lived here with her two children, Charlo and Noel. You can learn more about both of these amazing women on the tour that is included with your stay.”
Sounds great… not.
In a Smithsonian article praising Louisiana’s Whitney Plantation as one of the only plantations that tells the history of the period from the perspective of those enslaved there, the writer calls the place “America’s Auschwitz.”