Alexis Ohanian, the co-founder of Reddit, announced on Friday that he was resigning from his position in order to help fight racism. He also requested that he be replaced by a black candidate.
I’m saying this as a father who needs to be able to answer his black daughter when she asks: “What did you do?”⁰https://t.co/4UiozIOo8P— Alexis Ohanian Sr. 🚀 (@alexisohanian) June 5, 2020
"I co-founded Reddit 15 years ago to help people find community and a sense of belonging. It is long overdue to do the right thing. I’m doing this for me, for my family, and for my country. I’m writing this as a father who needs to be able to answer his black daughter when she asks: “What did you do?” wrote Ohanian on his webpage.
"I have resigned as a member of the Reddit board, I have urged them to fill my seat with a black candidate, and I will use future gains on my Reddit stock to serve the black community, chiefly to curb racial hate, and I’m starting with a pledge of $1M to Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Camp. I believe resignation can actually be an act of leadership from people in power right now. To everyone fighting to fix our broken nation: do not stop."
It was a bold move and one that should be welcome by people everywhere. Unfortunately, some were quick to point out that Reddit has not always been the community Ohanian wishes it to be.
Ellen Pao, the former CEO of Reddit, called out current CEO Steve Huffman on Twitter, saying the site has tolerated racism in the past.
I am obligated to call you out: You should have shut down the_donald instead of amplifying it and its hate, racism, and violence. So much of what is happening now lies at your feet. You don't get to say BLM when reddit nurtures and monetizes white supremacy and hate all day long https://t.co/VN5XCiYp5g— Ellen K. Pao (@ekp) June 2, 2020
One has to wonder what the next steps will be for both Huffman and the site and if they will have an outcome on this dire situation of racial hatred. Will Reddit forever be changed?