Co-Owner of NBA Team Under Fire for Dismissing Persecuted Uyghurs
1/18/2022 United States (International Christian Concern) – Today, the minority owner of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors and billionaire venture capitalist, Chamath Palihapitiya, is under fire following a shocking dismissal of the atrocities being committed against Uyghur Muslims in China’s Xinjiang province.
During an episode of the “All In” podcast, co-hosts Jason Calacanis and Palihapitiya opened a discussion on U.S.-China policy, particularly in response to the recently passed export ban on goods from Xinjiang. This new law has remained a topic of interest, as it represents one of the most significant responses to the ongoing atrocities in Xinjiang, which has now been declared a genocide. However, in response to this topic, Palihapitiya managed to shock his listeners while responding to Calacanis – “Let’s be honest, nobody cares about what’s happening to the Uyghurs” he claimed.
When pressed by his co-host, Palihapitiya doubled down – “if you’re asking me, do I care about a segment of a class of people in another country – not until we can take care of ourselves, will I prioritize them over us.” He continued by listing several issues facing many Americans today, and concluded that, “Of all the things that I care about, it is below my line.”
Equally shocked, the NBA and the Golden State Warriors have attempted to separate themselves from the billionaire co-owner’s comments. Unfortunately, Mr. Palihapitiya is hardly out of line from some within his industry. Several major US corporations have continued to ignore the ongoing persecution in China. It was only last month when Intel issued an apology to its Chinese suppliers and customers for its statement to comply with the US’ anti-forced labor law. While multiple governments around the globe are attempting to alienate China and hold them accountable, they are undermined by many multinational corporations who deny the ongoing persecution, knowing there is a payday at the end of it.
This struggle over human rights in Xinjiang has continued to grow and the stakes have increased rapidly as the world nears the Beijing Winter Olympics. While multiple western powers, including the U.S., Australia, and the U.K. have taken public stands to diplomatically boycott the Olympics, most, if not all of its advertisers have avoided similar stands. They know that if they stand up to China for its abuses, it may impact their ability to profit from this 1.6-billion-person market.
While these recent comments shock us today, they are a reminder that we must advocate for a united front if we want to push back against China’s human rights abuses and its continued religious and ethnic persecution. At a time where solidarity for victims of persecution is needed most, we must not allow them to be dismissed in the nebulous of other troubles. We must call on the corporations we support with our purchases and urge them to live out the values they preach, even when they are a world away.
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