Venture capitalist billionaire and Golden State Warriors minority owner Chamath Palihapitiya is a Sri Lankan-born refugee who grew up in Canada and then made it big in the United States. Although reaping the benefits of America’s freedoms and capitalist economy, this leftist social justice warrior had more bad things to say recently about his adopted country than about the Chinese Communist regime. He cavalierly dismissed the suffering of the Uyghurs at the hands of the brutal regime as too unimportant for him to care about.
Palihapitiya evidently does not want to offend the Chinese government, considering that it could pull the plug on his Golden State Warriors’ lucrative business in China if he were to step out of line. The team has remained the most popular National Basketball Association franchise online in China.
Palihapitiya fancies himself as an anti-establishment social justice warrior. He founded Social Capital, with its mission “to advance humanity by solving the world’s hardest problems.”
Social Capital’s 2020 Annual Letter, written by Palihapitiya himself, supported Black Lives Matter. The letter claimed that “we have allowed systemic racism and unconscious bias to affect how an entire class of people are treated – by the justice system, by the penal system, by the social welfare system, by the education system and the list goes on – because of the color of their skin.”
Palihapitiya went on to write, “In no reasonable, moral worldview is this acceptable.”
In no “reasonable, moral worldview” is it acceptable either to look away while Uyghurs are rotting in Chinese “reeducation” detention camps, and enduring torture, rape, enforced sterilization, and forced labor conditions. Yet that is precisely what Palihapitiya has done when this hypocrite said on his podcast recently that he couldn’t care less about the suffering Uyghurs.
“Nobody cares about what’s happening to the Uyghurs, okay,” Palihapitiya said during his All-In podcast on January 15th as he discussed human rights issues with his fellow podcasters. “You bring it up because you care and I think it’s nice that you care. The rest of us don’t care. I’m just telling you a very hard, ugly truth. Of all the things that I care about, yes, it is below my line.”
Palihapitiya proceeded to recite the Chinese Communist Party propaganda line that the United States has no business lecturing the rest of the world in light of America’s supposed human rights abuses. Palihapitiya even questioned whether the Chinese regime is a dictatorship.
Palihapitiya added that the United States should not “step outside of our borders” until “we clean up our own house.” The United States, he said, should first deal with the plight of “black and brown men” who have been jailed for what he claimed are “absolutely ridiculous crimes.”
In short, this leftist billionaire is willing to give the Chinese regime a pass for its genocide and crimes against humanity as it continues to ruthlessly persecute the Uyghurs.
What Palihapitiya really worries about, in addition to protecting his own profits, are issues such as climate change and the bare shelves at U.S. stores.
The Golden Warriors officially distanced the team from Palihapitiya’s remarks, but they didn’t use the opportunity to stand up for the Uyghurs. There are too many profits at stake for the team and the NBA as a whole to speak out against the Chinese regime’s outrageous human rights abuses.
It took Boston Celtics basketball player Enes Kanter Freedom to show some moral courage.
“When @NBA says we stand for justice, don’t forget there are those who sell their soul for money & business like @chamath the owner of @warriors, who says ‘Nobody cares about what’s happening to the Uyghurs’
When genocides happen, it is people like this that let it happen
Palihapitiya responded to the backlash from his podcast by acknowledging that his remarks about the Uyghurs had lacked “empathy.” Palihapitiya then lumped the United States and China together and declared that “my belief is that human rights matter, whether in China, the United States, or elsewhere. Full stop.” He offered no apology.
Palihapitiya should have followed the advice that he dispensed to business students several years ago. “Don’t be a sellout,” Palihapitiya said back then.
Palihapitiya has proven himself to be a “sellout.” He is typical of the leftist elites who condemn the United States for falling short of their utopian vision, while reaping all the benefits of America’s capitalist economy and freedoms. At the same time, these elites are too often willing to shrug off the Chinese dictatorship’s brutal, systemic repression of its own people, lest they lose access to lucrative Chinese markets.