Alexis Ohanian Recalls Police Encounter That Screams White Privilege
After the brutal murder of George Floyd, stars are choosing to speak up. Whether it’s in support of the Black Lives Movement or relating their own experiences. Alexis Ohanian, Reddit co-founder decided to tell the world about his encounter with the police, highlighting his “white privilege.”
Alexis Recalls A Stupid College Anecdote
In an Instagram post, Alexis recalled an incident in college where he fell asleep drunk in his car.
“2005, just a few months before graduation and starting @reddit, a police officer on campus found me asleep in my car, keys on the seat next to me,” Alexis shared along with a picture of the said car. “I was drunk with an eighth of weed in my pocket. I’d had some fun with friends that evening and when I got back to my car, I knew there was no way I was driving anywhere, so I reclined the seat and passed out.”
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2005, just a few months before graduation and starting @reddit, a police officer on campus found me asleep in my car, keys on the seat next to me. I was drunk with an eighth of weed in my pocket. I'd had some fun with friends that evening and when I got back to my car, I knew there was no way I was driving anywhere, so I reclined the seat and passed out. The light of a police officer woke me up some time later, he asked me to step out of the car, so I did the best I could to stabilize my 6'5" frame as he asked how much I'd had to drink and then asked if I was capable of driving home. I was pretty drunk (and high), so I couldn't say anything terribly coherent other than "No dRIvE. nO DrIVe." and I just repeated that to answer every question until he got frustrated and asked me to call some friends to pick me up. While we were waiting, the cop said how lucky I was that I didn't have the keys in the ignition, even with the car off, because it would have been way worse for me. I thanked him (I think) and got home safe except for a bad hangover the next day. For years, those friends and I would tell that story + laugh about that night… It was just a stupid college story. #BecauseIWasWhite. I walked away + entered Y Combinator–not a jail cell…or worse. I became an entrepreneur, not a statistic. I'm grateful for that police officer's tolerance with me + disgusted that it's so obviously not afforded (and never been) to everyone just because of their race.
Alexis continued saying it was the lights of a police car that woke him up some time later. The cop asked him to step out of the car and inquired whether Alexis would be able to drive back home. Alexis shared he was too drunk to answer with anything coherent. He could only reply with “no drive” to every question he was asked. Finally, the cop got frustrated and asked Alexis to call some friends to pick him up. While they waited for his friends to pick him up, the cop told him how lucky he was to not have keys in the ignition. Otherwise it would’ve been something way worse for him.
How Different Would It Have Been If He Was Black?
However, after narrating the “stupid college story” that is just a college anecdote for Alexis and his friends. He wondered how the night would’ve ended had he been of a different race.
“#BecauseIWasWhite. I walked away + entered Y Combinator. Not a jail cell…or worse,” he concluded. “I became an entrepreneur, not a statistic. I’m grateful for that police officer’s tolerance with me + disgusted that it’s so obviously not afforded (and never been) to everyone just because of their race.”