'Because I was white' — Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian shares story of walking away from a police encounter in college after he was found drunk and high in his car

alexis ohanian
Jin S. Lee
Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian shared a story on Tuesday about the police that let him go to college after drunk and passed out in his car high on Tuesday.
"Because I was white. I left + started Reddit, not prison time," Ohanian tweeted. "I am grateful for this policeman's tolerance of myself + disgusted that it was so obviously not (never) granted to everyone just because of his race."
In early June, Ohanian resigned from Reddit's board of directors, calling it a "long overdue" move to "do the right thing" to distance himself from a platform on which racist content lives.
He asked Reddit to replace him with a black candidate, a request that the company complied with when it appointed Y Combinator partner Michael Seibel to the board.
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Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian shared a story on Twitter about a peaceful encounter with a police officer in college to highlight his white privilege and racial inequality.
In a Twitter thread released on Tuesday, Ohanian announced that he was released from college after a policeman found him drunk and passed out in his car. Ohanian said that he could go home with no punishment or harm "because I am white" and told his followers that he was "disgusted" that colored people would not be given the same leniency.
"I left + started Reddit, not prison time. I became an entrepreneur, no statistics," Ohanian wrote on Twitter. "I am grateful for this policeman's tolerance of myself + disgusted that it was so obviously not (never) granted to everyone just because of his race."
Ohanian told the story along with a video about Rayshard Brooks, the black man killed by police on a Wendy drive through Atlanta last week. The shootout is the latest incident in a long history in which blacks in the United States died from police officers. The Washington Post reports that there have been more than 100 such encounters so far this year. George Floyd's death in Minneapolis last month sparked a series of protests against police brutality around the world that have continued daily in many cities.
The resulting surge in the Black Lives Matter movement has led to a call to hold brands, companies and executives to account. Reddit, which co-founded Ohanian in 2015, has been scrutinized in its history of hosting hateful rhetoric and hatred-based communities. After CEO Steve Huffman recently said in an employee letter that the "Hate, Racism, and Violence" platform did not tolerate, users and moderators called out Reddit's "obvious hypocrisy" and urged him to adopt policies that target racism and hate speech Has. "disadvantaged groups.
Days later, Ohanian resigned from Reddit's board of directors calling it a "long overdue" move to "do the right thing." He promised to use his future profits from Reddit shares for the black community and urged the company to replace his position on the board with a black candidate. Reddit complied and last week appointed Y Combinator partner Michael Seibel to its board.
You can read the full story on Twitter that Ohanian shared about his experience with the police:
Alexis Ohanian Sr.

@alexisohanian
· 6h
"You didn't deserve to die for being drunk" @Trevornoah is absolutely nailing the problem, namely that there is a clear double standard in the US: "If you weren't black, you might still be alive. " is completely unacceptable
https: // www.
youtube.com/watch?v=tR5YAC
uDR5A
...
YouTube @YouTube
Alexis Ohanian Sr.

@alexisohanian
And I know because in 2005, just a few months before completing and starting @reddit, a policeman on campus found me sleeping in my car, keys in the seat next to me. I was drunk with an eighth of weeds in my pocket. I had a little fun with friends that evening and
53
5:29 p.m. - June 16, 2020
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Alexis Ohanian Sr.

@alexisohanian
· 6h
Reply to @alexisohanian
And I know because in 2005, just a few months before completing and starting @reddit, a police officer on campus found me sleeping in my car, keys in the seat next to me. I was drunk with an eighth of weeds in my pocket. I had a little fun with friends that evening and
Alexis Ohanian Sr.

@alexisohanian
When I got back to my car, I knew I couldn't go anywhere, so I leaned back and passed out. I saw the lights of a policeman who woke me up some time later. He asked me to get out of the car and asked if I could drive home ...
46
5:29 p.m. - June 16, 2020
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See the other tweets from Alexis Ohanian Sr.
Alexis Ohanian Sr.

@alexisohanian
· 6h
Reply to @alexisohanian
And I know because in 2005, just a few months before completing and starting @reddit, a policeman on campus found me sleeping in my car, keys in the seat next to me. I was drunk with an eighth of weeds in my pocket. I had a little fun with friends that evening and
Alexis Ohanian Sr.

@alexisohanian
When I got back to my car, I knew I couldn't go anywhere, so I leaned back and passed out. I saw the lights of a policeman who woke me up some time later. He asked me to get out of the car and asked if I would be able to drive home ...
46
5:29 p.m. - June 16, 2020
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See the other tweets from Alexis Ohanian Sr.
Alexis Ohanian Sr.

@alexisohanian
· 6h
Reply to @alexisohanian
I was drunk (and high) so I couldn't say anything terribly coherent as "no drive" and I just repeated to answer every question until he was frustrated and asked me to call a few friends to pick me up. They came and picked me up, but while we were waiting, he said how lucky
Alexis Ohanian Sr.

@alexisohanian
I thought that even with the car off, I didn't have any keys in the ignition because it would have been much worse for me. I thanked him (I think) and came home safely, except for a bad hangover the next day. For years these friends and I told this story + laughed about that night.
90
5:29 p.m. - June 16, 2020
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See the other tweets from Alexis Ohanian Sr.
Alexis Ohanian Sr.

@alexisohanian
· 6h
Reply to @alexisohanian
I thought that even with the car off, I didn't have any keys in the ignition because it would have been much worse for me. I thanked him (I think) and came home safely, except for a bad hangover the next day. For years these friends and I told this story + laughed about that night.
Alexis Ohanian Sr.

@alexisohanian
Because I was white. I went away + started Reddit, no prison time. I became an entrepreneur, not statistics. I am grateful for this policeman's tolerance of me + disgusted that it was so obviously not (never) granted to everyone just because of his race.
189
5:29 p.m. - June 16, 2020
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