Chamath Palihapitiya, a billionaire venture capitalist and prominent donor to Joe Biden’s presidential campaign, said on the podcast All In that “nobody cares” about the ongoing genocide by the Chinese Communist government against the Uyghur Muslims.
“Every time I say that I care about the Uyghurs, I’m really just lying if I don’t really care. And so, I’d rather not lie to you and tell you the truth, it’s not a priority for me,” said Palihapitiya, a co-owner of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors.
Co-host Jason Calacanis was making a point about Biden’s “very strong” statement about the Uyghurs, which led to this exchange.
Calacanis: His [President Biden’s] China policy, the fact that he came out with a statement on the Uyghurs, I thought it was very strong.
You know, it’s one of the stronger things he did, but it’s not coming up in the polls.
Palihapitiya: Let’s be honest, nobody, nobody cares about what’s happening to the Uyghurs, okay? You bring it up because you really care. And I think that’s really nice that you care but …
Calacanis: What? What do you mean nobody cares?
Palihapitiya: The rest of us don’t care. I’m just telling you a very hard truth.
Calacanis: Wait, you personally don’t care?
Palihapitiya: I’m telling you a very hard truth, okay? Of all the things that I care about. Yes, it is below my line. Okay, of all the things that I care about it is below my line.
Palihapitiya later “clarified” his comments.
“As a refugee, my family fled a country with its own set of human rights issues so this is something that is very much a part of my lived experience,” said Palihapitiya, who was born in Sri Lanka. “To be clear, my belief is that human rights matter, whether in China, the United States, or elsewhere. Full stop.”
Palihapitiya made it quite clear that, in fact, he believes human rights and genocide don’t matter at all — at least to him. And if he had stopped there, he might have been excused for expressing plain ignorance.
But Palihapitiya wasn’t finished digging yet.
Owner of the @warriors🏀 says he doesn’t care about the Uyghurs.
The conversation goes downhill from there.@chamath…
– questions whether a genocide is actually happening
– says the CCP isn’t a dictatorship
– says the US is no better than the CCP pic.twitter.com/qAwi7hUPvo
— Michael Sobolik (@michaelsobolik) January 17, 2022
“I’m not even sure that China is a dictatorship the way that you want to call it that,” Palihapitiya said after a cohost called the communist nation a “brutal dictatorship.”
“This issue may be small data points being extrapolated in a way to create a narrative that may not be true,” he continued.
Palihapitiya implied Calacanis’s denunciation of their abuse comes at the expense of his responsibility as a white man to rectify social ills within the United States.
“We have an abysmal track record of taking care of colored men and women in this country, and so I have zero patience and tolerance for white men blathering on about s*** that happens outside your own backyard,” he said. “Fix your own backyard … You are uniquely in a position of power in a way that the rest of us are not. And so when you guys clean up the inside, then we can go and face the outside.”
“You are uniquely in a position of power in a way that the rest of us are not,” says the man whose wealth helped elect a president. I’m white and my wealth couldn’t help elect a dog catcher. And the obscene appeal to people of color — implying that criticism of him was racist — is laughable in this context.
In truth, Palihapitiya was speaking of an uncomfortable reality. If he wasn’t — if the world gave a damn about the Uyghurs — there would be no Olympic games in China, the NBA wouldn’t have a billion-dollar deal with the Chinese Communists, scientists would have unfettered access to Chinese labs to investigate the origins of the coronavirus because the entire rest of the world would have demanded it, and the Chinese would be held responsible at the world court for their crimes.
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