Chamath Palihapitiya says ‘human rights matter’ but stops short of apologizing after saying he doesn’t care about the Uyghurs

Chamath Palihapitiya.

Palihapitiya told a podcast last week that he doesn’t care about China’s Uyghur genocide.
“It’s not a priority for me,” the venture capitalist and co-owner of the Warriors had said.
He issued a statement on Monday saying human rights matter, but it contained no apology. 

The venture capitalist and Golden State Warriors co-owner Chamath Palihapitiya issued a statement clarifying his remarks about the Uyghurs in China, but stopped short of an apology.

Palihapitiya had said in an episode of the “All-In Podcast,” which published Saturday, that the issue of the Uyghur genocide in China was “below my line.”

“I’m sorry if that’s a hard truth to hear but every time I say that I’m caring about the Uyghurs I’m really just lying if I don’t really care, so I’d rather not lie to you and tell you the truth. It’s not a priority for me,” he said.

Since 2016 China has detained at least one million members of the majority-Muslim Uyghur minority at prison-like camps in the Xinjiang region, and subjected many of them to brainwashing, birth-rate control, and forced labor.

In a statement posted to Twitter Monday, Palihapitiya said he understood the backlash to his comments.

“I recognize that I come across as lacking empathy. I acknowledge that entirely. 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. To be clear, my belief is that human rights matter, whether in China, the United States, or elsewhere,” he said.

—Chamath Palihapitiya (@chamath) January 18, 2022

The Warriors said in a Monday statement that Palihapitiya “does not speak on behalf of our franchise, and his views certainly don’t reflect those of our organization.”

Yaqiu Wang, a senior China researcher at Human Rights Watch, tweeted that Palihapitiya’s apology fell far short.

“What an non-apology. There is not even a mention of the word ‘Uyghur,'” she said.

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Politics, Sports, News UK, China, Uyghur Muslims, Chamath Palihapitiya

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