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Who is Ryan Alexander? Lyft driver banned for listening to conservative radio show

Alexander was listening to former Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke on 'Mark Belling Late Afternoon Show.' A passenger complained it was 'racist'
Representative image (Photo by urbazon/ Getty Images)
Representative image (Photo by urbazon/ Getty Images)

It was supposed to be just another day for former Lyft driver Ryan Alexander. Till he picked up a female passenger who supposedly had problems with his choice of what to listen to on the radio.

The Lyft driver has claimed that the app permanently deactivated his account after the passenger complained that he was listening to News/Talk 1130 WISN during her ride. Alexander, interviewed on the 'The Dan O'Donnell Show,' revealed that a Lyft representative told him during a phone call on Saturday, August 28, 2021, that his account was suspended because he had been listening to "racist talk radio programming," a violation of the app's terms of service.


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Who is Ryan Alexander?

Ryan Alexander had been a Lyft driver for many years. On Saturday, August 28, 2021, he discovered that his account was permanently suspended because he was listening to the conservative radio station. 

On the show, Alexander says that he clarified he was listening to former Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke who has filled in for Mark Belling during the 'Mark Belling Late Afternoon Show' on Thursday evening (August 26, 2021) when a passenger took notice of the discussion Clarke was having about Black Lives Matter and abortion rates in the African-American community. "She called Clarke trash, slammed the door to my car when she got out, and specifically referenced abortion which Clarke did talk about briefly while she was in the car," Alexander said recalling the event.

During the particular portion of the program that the passenger heard, Clarke, who is Black himself, expressed the opinion that the Black Lives Matter organization did not truly care about Black lives because it was not upset about the rate of abortions among Black mothers. "If Black lives mattered, if this Marxist movement truly cared about Black life, they would be every single day protesting in front of abortion clinics all across America that kill more Black babies than any other demographic," Clarke said. "That is a fact. In 2014 in New York City, more Black babies were aborted than were born for heaven's sakes, so don't tell me that Black lives matter. When 83 percent of the homicide victims are Black and 83 percent of the perpetrators are Black, don't tell me that Black lives matter because they didn't get the memo apparently."

After his passenger left the car, Alexander said that he continued driving for Lyft until Friday evening, when he discovered that his account had been suspended. "I attempted to contact Lyft for more information but with simply told I would have to wait for someone to get back to me," Alexander explained. "This happened Saturday morning when I got a call from a Lyft employee named Sebastian who told me they had gotten a complaint that I was listening to racist talk radio. The complaint specifically cited the host had mentioned abortion rates in the Black community, and that African-American communities were the problem in the country."

Alexander clarified to the Lyft representative that this was not true and that nothing Clarke said was racist in nature. "Maybe two minutes into the conversation, I was given the final decision that my account would be permanently deactivated," Alexander said, adding, "As I tried to get clarification on why, it quickly became obvious that that decision had been made prior to talking to me and that the phone call was simply a formality." In an email to him of their decision, Lyft said, "Safety is our top priority here and we take these matters seriously. In accordance with our Terms of Service, your account will stay deactivated and you won't be able to re-apply with a new account."

This is not the first time that Alexander found himself in trouble over the choice of his listening choices on radio. Alexander claims that he has faced a complaint about listening to talk radio before this, but is unsure of exactly what he might have been listening to in the previous instance. "This is over the course of nearly 11,000 trips," he says, "and I was told that two complaints was enough to justify a permanent ban. The prior complaint was too vague for me to know exactly what it was in reference to, but since I primarily listen to WISN while driving I'm confident it was regarding one of the hosts there."