Alexis Ohanian co-founded Reddit in 2005 with two other white geeks. He is now announcing that he will step down from the board as he urges Reddit to replace him with a person of color which is a really cute headline but in reality, does this do anything for the black community or just an opportunity for Mr. Serena Williams to pat himself on the back?
He wrote a blog explaining his decision because of course he wrote a blog. “As a father who needs to be able to answer his black daughter,” is a really dope line and I know I’m not writing in the most supportive tone right now but I do believe that this is important to Ohanian.
It’s just tough to imagine that leaving his position will somehow improve life for black people. Honestly seems like he’s been wanting to leave Reddit for a while now and this is a great opportunity for him to do so in the name of some grander cause when in actuality, he’s outgrown the company and doesn’t want to be bothered with day-to-day operations anymore.
Ohanian is a managing partner for the Y Combinator, a tech startup incubator valued at around $80 BILLION. My man did not quit his job and sacrifice his income for equality. He funds startups that make money for him while he’s on vacation with Serena.
Reddit has only had one non-white guy on the board. Ellen Pao was the CEO for 8 months before she was booed out of the position and forced to resign. Pao’s job was to cleanup the racist and vile subreddit such as r/shitniggerssay and r/beatingwomen. The Reddit community freaked out and created a petition complaining about being silenced.
Reddit caved into the pressure of like, 100 of the worst people on the Internet and Pao had to resign. Here’s what a Reddit board member said in an interview AGAINST Pao’s attempt to clean up their shit site:
“You can’t legislate the hate away. That doesn’t work. But you can try to build software in a way to emphasize the good parts”.
Does this not sound exactly like how every lazy politician has handled systemic racism since day one? People totally unaffected by discrimination never seem to see the value in tackling that discrimination and instead they shrug it off. “Let’s focus on the good of Reddit” while there are incels on your site planning to blow up buildings and drive into crowds because they can’t get laid.
Where was this noble Alexis Ohanian when Pao was completely undermined and disrespected by not only the users but her own employees?
And I’ll ask again, how does stepping down from Reddit do literally anything for black people? If you truly had this realization that you are raising a black daughter and want better for her then how does leaving the Reddit board in the hands of white dudes that don’t feel the same way as you positively affect black people?
And let’s say Reddit does actually replace Alexis Ohanian with a black person. What is preventing that person from being treated any differently than Ellen Pao was? It’s impossible to not look at this as just performative nonsense while my guy goes out and has a fun summer with no responsibilities. But congrats, you got the good press you wanted.