Patterico's Pontifications

1/17/2022

NBA Owner: Nobody Cares about the Uyghurs [Updated]

Filed under: General — JVW @ 4:41 pm



[guest post by JVW]

UPDATE 1/18/22: It turns out the Warriors did release a statement on Mr. Palihapitiya’s obnoxious comments. Silly me: I was looking for it on the team’s website yesterday when I should have known that these days all this kind of stuff is exclusive to Twitter. Anyway, here it is:

—- Original Post —-
We have discussed in the past the National Basketball Association’s craven and corrupt attitude regarding their partnership with China in light of the Chinese government’s treatment of the Uyghur people, a Turkic-Muslim ethnic group which activists claim the Chinese government is systematically trying to eradicate via internment, control of child-bearing, and perhaps even liquidation. The outgoing Trump Administration formally characterized China’s actions against the Uyghur people as genocide, and to it’s credit, the Biden Administration has not yet publicly walked-back that characterization (what the Biden Administration might be telling China privately is another matter).

It soon became clear that the NBA, as well as some of its most prominent and outspoken social justice figures such as stars LeBron James and James Harden along with coaches Steve Kerr and Gregg Popovich, were not too willing to cogitate on the ethics of doing business ($5 billion worth, according to reports) with the sort of government which would treat its Uyghur citizens in such a harsh manner (not to mention China’s thuggish smothering of Hong Kong). This while they continued to yammer on about all of the far more complicated and nuanced events occurring here at home, even when their observations were proven to be premature, uninformed, and insipid. And though the NBA has quietly suffered through the criticisms of the league and its stars from within its own ranks as well as from the general public, they have yet to truly address the conundrum of being an achingly woke sports league while still doing business with tyrants and thugs — a conundrum that other billion-dollar U.S. businesses are facing, with most of them opting for profit over principle.

So it should come as no surprise that earlier today an investor in an NBA franchise, Chamath Palihapitiya of the Golden State Warriors, made explicit the notion that his own political priorities do not include challenging the autocratic Chinese government:

Golden State Warriors owner Chamath Palihapitiya suggested recently that “nobody cares” about China’s system of concentration camps, forced labor, and high-tech surveillance against the Uyghur community in Xinjiang.

“Nobody cares about what’s happening to the Uyghurs, okay,” Palihapitiya said during an appearance on the All-In podcast. “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.”

He went on to list other issues that occupy his focus, including climate change, the potential economic fallout of China invading Taiwan, and U.S. stores not having stocked shelves. The Warriors part-owner said that if America is able to find solutions to all of its own issues then he might shift focus to the oppression of the Uyghurs.

Palihapitiya is the founder and CEO of Social Capital, a venture capital fund whose self-declared mission is “to advance humanity by solving the world’s hardest problems.”

One would be forgiven for assuming that instead of “solving the world’s hardest problems,” Social Capital was really only interested in finding a way to profit from the world’s most trendy and exploitable problems. Chamath Palihapitiya was born in Sri Lanka but emigrated as a small boy with his family as refugees and ended up in Canada. Trained as an electrical engineer, he instead went into investment banking and was lucky enough to land at Facebook early on where he apparently developed a reputation for controversial product developments as well as being a tyrant of a boss. Despite the impression left by the phrasing the National Review article used, Mr. Palihapitiya can’t truly be considered the owner of the Golden State Warriors; he holds a minority investment stake in the team and thus serves on the board of directors for the franchise. But given some of the controversial comments made earlier by Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, it’s not a stretch to conclude that Mr. Palihapitiya’s views about the Uyghur situation are fairly representative of a large swath of NBA ownership.

You can hear Mr. Palihapitiya’s views in his own words in the video embedded below:

The entire podcast is found here. It probably won’t come as a surprise to know that Mr. Palihapitiya also pushes the debunked idea that the CDC admits 75% of all COVID deaths have been people with four or more co-morbidities, that he believes there aren’t any laws against insider trading for members of Congress, and that he holds the requisite Bay Area/Silicon Valley billionaire positions on climate change, policing in minority communities, the operations of our prisons, and the like.

Again, Mr. Palihapitiva is not a majority owner of an NBA franchise, merely a minority stakeholder and a member of a franchise’s governing board. But given his professed beliefs on a topic which has thus far vexed NBA leadership (through, unfortunately, not as much as it should) it will be interesting to see what, if anything, the league has to say in response.

– JVW

58 Responses to “NBA Owner: Nobody Cares about the Uyghurs [Updated]”

  1. And how does the league feel about all of this coming during Martin Luther King, Jr. Weekend of all times?

    JVW (ee64e4)

  2. I guess to be completely fair, Mr. Palihapitiva did quickly pivot from his very flippant “nobody cares about the Uyghurs” to “I don’t care about the Uyghurs.” It doesn’t make it substantially better, but at least he now has plausible deniability that he was reflecting the sentiment of his fellow NBA stakeholders.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  3. He thinks his ethnic background will insulate him from his words and actions. He’s probably right.

    NJRob (a1a9b9)

  4. if he’s a refugee from sri lanka, i’m guessing he doesn’t have much in common with the predominant religion there, which would explain why he doesn’t care about the uyghurs

    in any case, he sounds like a thoroughly repulsive person who is led by the nose by money, which makes him the ideal nba owner

    JF (e1156d)

  5. Sounds more Aziz Ansari than Apu, that’s the extent to which I cared when I played the video.

    urbanleftbehind (c073c9)

  6. Memo to NBA: Happy NMLK Day;

    I HATE basketball. And I have lived in Indiana.

    The last organized basketball event attended was the Harlem Globetrotters. In London. In 1970. And only because the tickets were free– and to see ol’Meadowlark & Curly hold court.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  7. ^MLK Day. Sorry- typo- new keyboard.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  8. Watching the Warriors is now “below my line”, even if/when the Supersonics are restored to their proper place in Seattle.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  9. it will be interesting to see what if anything the league has to say in response.

    Crickets chirping

    Horatio (6f8983)

  10. DCSCA: I HATE basketball. And I have lived in Indiana.

    Paul Montagu: Watching the Warriors is now “below my line”, even if/when the Supersonics are restored to their proper place in Seattle.

    I used to be a big NBA fan. In the early 90s it was probably my favorite sports league. I had season tickets to the Lakers from 1999 through about 2013, so I saw their five championships during that period (I never cared for the Lakers as a team though, and certainly not their obnoxious and entitled fan base). But I have really soured on today’s NBA game for a variety of reasons: certainly some political ones, but I also am not a fan of how the modern game is played, especially the wanton chucking up of three-pointers. I suppose one of these days I can reprise my anti-NFL post and explain everything that I hate about the NBA.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  11. Since Palihapitiya is from a prominent Sri Lankan family, the odds are that he was raised, formally, as a Buddhist, since the nation is about 70 percent Buddhist.

    Judging by what little I have read about him, he strikes me as a typical Silicon Valley leftist, politically.

    (His Wikipedia biography (linked in the post) is inconsistent with other things I found in a quick search. They are probably correct on this, though. Along with substantial contributions to the Democratic Party, there is a contribution of “$7,500 to Republican Ted Cruz in 2011.” No, I don’t know what to make of that.)

    Jim Miller (edcec1)

  12. I’ve been playing basketball since I was seven, JVW, and played all the way up to the college level for a couple years, regrettably it happened before they had the 3-point line because I was shooting from out there anyway.
    I love the game, and I still love college basketball, but the way Supersonics moved out of town turned me off and I decided to boycott the league until we get our franchise back.
    The league’s affiliation with China only turned me off all the more, and now here’s this Palihapitiya lout.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  13. JVW – I will still watch a little of the NBA from time to time, but less because of their politics, and because the modern game is so often boring. After you have seen 10,000 pick-and-roll plays, the next one is less likely to catch your attention.

    And, most of all, I hate the favoritism given to the “superstars”. It is so blatant that the announcers mention it, without criticizing it. It has been a problem for decades, but I think it has gotten worse in recent years.

    Jim Miller (edcec1)

  14. Paul – You are almost certainly more informed on the NBA than I am> Do you agree that their games are often boring, and that favoritism has gotten worse?

    Jim Miller (edcec1)

  15. “especially the wanton chucking up of three-pointers”

    I’m with you. I get the probability and all….but we now have 7 footers that sit trying to get a corner 3. Yuuck. It’s just not the game I grew up with. Add to that the handcuffs on defenders, the egregious non-calls on “superstars”, the flopping and complaining by Lebron, guys like Kyrie Irving and Ben Simmons being drama queens and choosing self over team, and players trying to build super teams with their buddies…..it’s hard to be a fan. I’m tracking the Bulls….because they’re a fascinating story this year….and DeRozan is an old-school mid-range assassin…..but people are too caught up in mindless statistics, rather than who is playing the best team basketball. The “3” has its place…..just not the 30-40 times a game we regularly see now. If you mix in the China missteps….the forced racial demogoguery….and the political correctness, they’re obviously not targeting my demographic. The NFL has a better product…..though I concede they have their issues as well….

    AJ_Liberty (3cb02f)

  16. Jim, I haven’t watched enough of the NBA in recent years to know, but I don’t doubt the favoritism has gotten worse. There’s a lot of money at stake.
    As far as the play goes, I appreciate the athleticism and skill level, but I don’t have a lot to say beyond that. I liked the Spurs when they had Duncan, and the Warriors for a few years before Durant, for the same reasons: They were unselfish and moved the ball extremely well.
    But for me personally, I’d rather play a little gym rat at the local Y.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  17. but I also am not a fan of how the modern game is played, especially the wanton chucking up of three-pointers. I suppose one of these days I can reprise my anti-NFL post and explain everything that I hate about the NBA.

    JVW (ee64e4) — 1/17/2022 @ 6:31 pm

    The three-point fest that began in earnest with the Warriors was basically part of the game’s evolution.

    As most of us can remember, back in the 80s, the vast majority of offenses were often run-and-gun affairs that featured a plethora of great mid-range shooters and dunkers, transcendent point guard play, and scrappy big-man play in the post. The three-pointer was used, but even sharpshooters like Larry Bird didn’t take that many 3-point shots, and by the time you became that type of player, you were often at the end of your career or a 6th man that was brought on to provide a bit of instant offense while the starters got a blow.

    The 90s followed with tight, defense-oriented game plans that were designed to neutralize the mid-range jumpers and slow the game to a crawl. Hard-nosed big-men (O’Neal, Olajuwon, Mourning, Mutombo, Robinson) and slashing guards who could penetrate the defense dominated this era. This was followed by the “ball-hog” era of iso shooters that could create their own shot (Melo, Iverson, Bryant) and render all that defensive effort useless.

    The three-point era evolved primarily in response to the ball-hogs. Teams like Golden State realized that by pushing the game’s pace and chucking threes, you put more pressure on the opposing team to not sit around and watch the team’s superstar dribble for 20 seconds before trying to get a shot. If you wanted to keep pace, you needed three-point shooters of your own. Essentially, things opened up again like they had in the 80s.

    I’m not sure how the game’s going to change next, but I suspect it’s going to go in the direction of the 90s-era Princeton-type offenses that slow the game down, in an effort to cut down on the actual three-point opportunities per game, while employing guys who can pass to backdoor cutters that get behind defenders who are out on the perimeter to stop the threes, or can draw guys to them and subsequently wing it to shooters on the perimeter to hit threes of their own.

    Factory Working Orphan (2775f0)

  18. A person like Mr. Chamath Palihapitiya does not speak recklessly. The NBA is now more likely to pay him his price to buy out his interest, I think. More than he would get in an arm’s length deal. And I’ll leave it at that.

    nk (1d9030)

  19. @10.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nsDfsdbbkJc

    … as only the great Howard Cosell could call it.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  20. …if/when the Supersonics are restored to their proper place in Seattle.

    Paul Montagu (5de684) — 1/17/2022 @ 5:19 pm

    There are no more Supersonics. And the Oklahoma City Thunder are currently in their rightful home.

    Demosthenes (3fd56e)

  21. Sri Lanka has its own ethnic conflict, iirc. There was a period after independence where the Sri Lankan Tamils were subject to what some call ethnic cleansing. So, maybe Mr Palihapitiya is inured to the idea, being a member of the majority Sinhalese group.

    https://www.theworldsikhnews.com/ethnic-cleansing-of-tamils-in-sri-lanka-a-timeline-of-buddhist-extremism/

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  22. There are no more Supersonics. And the Oklahoma City Thunder are currently in their rightful home.

    Sacrilege. Heresy. Other bad things.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  23. The corporate establishment in both parties silicon valley billionaires and venture capitalists follow the golden rule: those with the gold rule. Romney wing of the republican party and the clinton/biden corporate media wing of the democrat party also believe in the golden rule. Populists in the republican party and leftist sanders/AOC wing are considered the enemy of the corporate establishment.

    asset (f8f74d)

  24. A person like Mr. Chamath Palihapitiya does not speak recklessly. The NBA is now more likely to pay him his price to buy out his interest, I think. More than he would get in an arm’s length deal.

    At various moments I toy with the idea that he is operating on a very sophisticated level — that he actually wants the NBA to take a tougher stance against doing business in communist China, but understands that the only way to “raise consciousness” (as our leftist brethren are so fond of saying) about this issue is to pretend that he is just giving an honest appraisal of what conventional NBA wisdom is right now concerning the Uyghurs. That’s probably not even close to true, but I sure like to pretend it’s accurate.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  25. I will still watch a little of the NBA from time to time, but less because of their politics, and because the modern game is so often boring.

    Yes, and so much of what I hate about the NFL has to do with the ridiculous 82 game season, which ensures that teams are going to be phoning it in several times a year. I also agree with your assessment of the favoritism that referees give to superstars, though I am willing to consider that it actually not be as bad these days as it was in the 1990s and 2000s when Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant reigned supreme. I was at that infamous Lakers-Kings playoff game when it sure looked like the referees were given orders to ensure that the series went past Game 5, so refereeing in the league in general is something that I find to be fishy.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  26. Played when the game was teamwork. Double picks and backdoors – no dunking, no 3 point line. Have not watched a game since MJ with da bulls. What kind of a-hole would go to a game with owners and players this mentally damaged?

    mg (8cbc69)

  27. He would have been less gross had he just said “I got mine so f**k them.”

    I understand that some groups don’t care what other people think. Protesting or speaking out about the actions of North Korea or Iran are pointless. They don’t care about public opinion in the the way Disney or the NFL does. But China does care what the world thinks of them and this persons excuses and whatabout provide cover for them to continue their genocide. It’s not about who is perfect or who is the worst when you add up all the historical injustices and atrocities. It’s about who is doing what now.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  28. I’ve said it before; I’ll say it again:

    If Hitler had followed the playbook that China is using now, there would be no Jews left today.

    Palthapitiya is just another money-hungry stooge showing the world that profits come before people.

    Hoi Polloi (15cfac)

  29. Jerry West was likely threatened with Kobe-as-new-NBA logo silhouette, but Nick MFing Saban?

    https://sports.yahoo.com/nick-saban-and-jerry-west-sign-letter-pushing-west-virginia-sen-joe-manchin-to-support-voting-rights-bill-152633383.html

    urbanleftbehind (141279)

  30. Since only 3% of Americans in this poll mentioned the Uyghurs as “What’s the first thing you think about when you think about China?”, I daresay most Americans don’t care either.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  31. Since only 3% of Americans in this poll mentioned the Uyghurs as “What’s the first thing you think about when you think about China?”, I daresay most Americans don’t care either.

    Uh, you’re quoting a poll which reports that 70% of Americans believe that our nation should place a higher premium on opposing human rights violations in China than on maintaining friendly business relations with them. Just because people don’t name-check the Uyghurs hardly proves that people “don’t care.”

    JVW (ee64e4)

  32. UPDATE 1/18/22: It turns out the Warriors did release a statement on Mr. Palihapitiya’s obnoxious comments. Silly me: I was looking for it on the team’s website yesterday when I should have known that these days all this kind of stuff is exclusive to Twitter. Anyway, here it is:

    Warriors statement re: Chamath Palihapitiya: pic.twitter.com/zUl6i9sOve— Warriors PR (@WarriorsPR) January 17, 2022

    JVW (ee64e4)

  33. Thanks JVW, that statement was weak tea. It said he doesn’t speak for them. Good, it doesn’t say that they disagree with him, or what they do think. Feels like a PR release intended to create some distance without giving the story any more air. Cowardly on their part.

    Maybe if more people that do business with / in china spoke up about Chinese human rights violation the 67% of respondents that care about such things, but don’t have the details, would be better informed about the details.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  34. My last NBA comment.
    I could see back in the 1980s that the game was eventually going to change because of the 3-point shot, because it was being dramatically under-utilized in the 1980s and a good part of the 1990s.
    After all, it’s just math. The value of that shot is 50% higher than a regular field goal. It only makes sense to have more players on the floor who can hit that shot.
    To amp up an offense, the easier solution is to have not just one good 3-point shooter on the floor, but four or five. But not only that, you need players who are athletic and quick enough to slash, to make a strong moves off the dribble and, yes, use pick-and-rolls to create space and mismatches and openings.
    BTW, pick-and-rolls have been around since Bob Cousy. It’s not something to complain about, especially when a couple of players use it to perfection.
    With this more inside-out game, there is less of a need for the traditional centers to plug up the paint. Better to have a 6’10” guy who is lithe, who can run the floor, dribble, shoot the occasional or frequent three, and is long and quick enough to guard smaller players on switches. Think Anthony Davis or Durant.
    It’s interesting (well, to me) to think about how some of yesterday’s legends would’ve fared in today’s game. Bill Russell won more championships than any other, but I doubt he’d be more than a bit player today because his offense was ten feet and in. Rebounding and defense is always important, but the better players have to be more multi-dimensional. The pre-Laker Wilt Chamberlain would’ve done a lot better, IMO. End of hypothetical.
    This also means that 6-foot white guys like me have a better shot of getting in the league, the kind who can shoot and have the quickness to drive around someone and have the grit to bother the bigger players. Think Steve Nash, Stockton, etc.
    And this isn’t really about the NBA. One of the best WA State high school teams I saw was Sehome in Bellingham. None of the players (and it was really only five players who were in the whole game) were good enough for Division I, but together they were formidable because they could all shoot the three and they all could create their own offense (more or less), giving them the chance to score or dish to the open guy. None of this really revelatory, the game was going to evolve to this state.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  35. The Warriors management didn’t condemn Mr. Palihapitiya’s, which is not good enough.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  36. Did abolitionists wear cotton undies?

    nk (1d9030)

  37. Did abolitionists wear cotton undies?

    Since we’re discussing basketball and cotton underwear, I have to tell you a great story from the awesome book Loose Balls by Terry Pluto, about the old American Basketball Association from the late 60s to mid 70s. There was a player from Detroit named John Brisker, who was a militant Black Panther-type power forward who served as an enforcer both on and off the court. Apparently one day a young black teammate was dressing in the locker room when Brisker stormed up to him ripped his cotton underwear right off his body, shouting “What’s wrong with you? Don’t you know our ancestors picked that cotton? Get yourself some silk drawers!” After retiring from the league, he disappeared in Uganda.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  38. Brisker was a Sonic for awhile. I remember the guy. Not a bad player, but it was in the dark days of the Bill Russell coaching era.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  39. The capitalists will sell us the rope we use to hang them with. V. LENIN

    asset (aa4544)

  40. There’s a little truth to what Chamath Palihapitiya said, but it’s not quite as callous as that.

    ((And I think he;s probably he’s trying to make the government of China happy.)

    From The Theory of Moral Sentiments by Adam Smith (1759)

    Part III. Of the Foundation of our Judgments concerning our own Sentiments and Conduct, and of the Sense of Duty in paragraph III.I.46

    http://hobbs4.people.clemson.edu/Chinese%20Earthquake.pdf

    Let us suppose that the great empire of China, with all its myriads of inhabitants, was suddenly swallowed up by an earthquake, and let us consider how a man of humanity in Europe, who had no sort of connexion with that part of the world, would be affected upon receiving intelligence of this dreadful calamity.

    He would, I imagine, first of all, express very strongly his sorrow for the misfortune of that unhappy people, he would make many melancholy reflections upon the precariousness of human life, and the vanity of all the labours of man, which could thus be annihilated in a moment.

    He would too, perhaps, if he was a man of speculation, enter into many reasonings concerning the effects which this disaster might produce upon the commerce of Europe, and the trade and business of
    the world in general.

    And when all this fine philosophy was over, when all these humane sentiments had been once fairly expressed, he would pursue his business or his pleasure, take his repose or his diversion, with the same ease and tranquillity, as if no such accident had happened. The most frivolous disaster which could befal himself would occasion a more real disturbance.

    If he was to lose his little finger to-morrow, he would not sleep tonight; but, provided he never saw them, he will snore with the most profound security over the ruin of a hundred millions of his brethren, and the destruction of that immense multitude seems plainly an object less interesting to him, than this paltry misfortune of his own.

    To prevent, therefore, this paltry misfortune to himself, would a man of humanity be willing to sacrifice the lives of a hundred millions of his brethren, provided he had never seen them?

    Human nature startles with horror at the thought, and the world, in its greatest depravity and corruption, never produced such a villain as could be capable of entertaining it.

    But what makes this difference? When our passive feelings are almost always so sordid and so selfish, how comes it that our active principles should often be so generous and so noble? When we are always so much more deeply affected by whatever concerns ourselves, than by whatever concerns other men; what is it which prompts the generous, upon all occasions, and the mean upon many, to sacrifice their own interests to the greater interests of others?

    It is not the soft power of humanity, it is not that feeble spark of benevolence which Nature has lighted up in the human heart, that is thus capable of counteracting the strongest impulses of self-love. It is a stronger power, a more forcible motive, which exerts itself upon such occasions. It is reason, principle, conscience, the inhabitant of the breast, the man within, the great judge and arbiter of our conduct. It is he who, whenever we are about to act so as to affect the happiness of
    others, calls to us, with a voice capable of astonishing the most presumptuous of our passions, that we are but one of the multitude, in no respect better than any other in it; and that when we prefer ourselves so shamefully and so blindly to others, we become the proper objects of resentment, abhorrence, and execration. It is from him only that we learn the real littleness of ourselves, and of whatever relates to ourselves, and the natural misrepresentations of self-love can be corrected only by the eye of this impartial spectator. It is he who shows us the propriety of generosity and the deformity of injustice; the propriety of resigning the greatest interests of our own, for the yet greater interests of others, and the deformity of doing the smallest injury to another, in order to obtain the greatest benefit to ourselves. It is not the love of our neighbour, it is not the love of mankind, which upon many occasions prompts us to the practice of those divine virtues.

    It is a stronger love, a more powerful affection, which generally takes place upon such occasions; the love of what is honourable and noble, of the grandeur, and dignity, and superiority of our own characters……

    Sammy Finkelman (c49738)

  41. There is a difference between expressing opposition to China’s human rights record (which is appalling) and taking concrete action to implement that condemnation. For example, would the American public be willing to boycott Chinese goods (everything from tchotchkes, consumer goods, to capital equipment) for any great length of time? I doubt it.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  42. There are two ways to make people behave positive reinforcement and negative reinforcement. You can get more cooperation with a kind word and a cattle prod then you can with a kind word. B.F. skinner. I don’t care what you think I only care how you behave!

    asset (aa4544)

  43. Since only 3% of Americans in this poll mentioned the Uyghurs as “What’s the first thing you think about when you think about China?”, I daresay most Americans don’t care either.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 1/18/2022 @ 10:39 am

    I majored in Chinese, and am steeped in Chinese culture. I doubt Uyghurs would be the first thing that came to mind if somebody asked me this question.

    norcal (bb51bb)

  44. Factory Working Orphan (2775f0) — 1/17/2022 @ 7:24 pm

    I enjoyed you comment. Thank you for making it.

    felipe (484255)

  45. norcal, how about if the question were rephrased to “What’s the first thing you think about when you think about human rights in China?” I suspect the Uighers would be in the top three.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  46. @45 Good point, Paul. The chances would go up for sure, although it might fall under political dissent in general.

    norcal (bb51bb)

  47. Paul Montagu – My uncle had season tickets to the Sonics back in the 70’s. Saw a dozen or so games during the 78-79 championship year. DJ was a rookie but “Down Town Freddie Brown” was the man to watch. Sikma and Silas with Gus Johnson -they were a great team.

    mg (8cbc69)

  48. norcal (bb51bb) — 1/18/2022 @ 2:36 pm

    I doubt Uyghurs would be the first thing that came to mind if somebody asked me this question.

    The kind of government it has should be, and hat’s probably the single worst thing it’s doing right now.

    About human rights, most people would think of Hong Kong, or the tennis star who became incommunicado, or the Great Firewall, or Falun Gong, or threatening family members of Chinese living abroad to force them to deltete or modify their Twitter or Facebook accounts, or even arresting or detaining the account holders themselves when they come back for a visit for the same reason, or forced abortions (although that’s now stopped, and the Chinese government is trying to reverse course, only to discover that, while you can pressure people to reduce the birth rate, getting it back up is not so easy – they could try freedom, or immunity from arrest, or Tibet, or killing people for transplants, or the Great Leap Forward or Cultrl Revolution in the past, or the execution of “landlords” after 1944.

    The situation in Xinjiang (Sinkiang or maybe East Turkestan) and the Uyghurs, in and out of Xinjiang, hasn’t gotten that much attention – they’ve been pretty much cut off from the world – although the Chinese attempts to interfere with laws forbidding the importation of anything from Xinjiang unless it can be proven not to have been produced with any forced labor are getting it more attention.

    Sammy Finkelman (c49738)

  49. That wall they have comes to mind for me!

    mg (8cbc69)

  50. Speaking of a Sri Lankan deutschbag who’d rather ignore cultural genocide, here’s another Sri Lankan deutschbag, and his name is Neville Roy Singham.

    A monthslong investigation by New Lines can reveal that over the past five years almost $65 million has filtered through various entities connected with people who have defended the Chinese government and downplayed or denied documented human rights violations committed by Beijing against the Uyghur and Turkic Muslim minorities.

    This funding has moved through a complex series of mostly tax-deductible investment funds and charities, all linked by virtue of their governance structures to one man: the 67-year-old American tech magnate Neville Roy Singham.

    Of mixed Sri Lankan and Cuban heritage, Singham has long held an ideological affinity with the Chinese Communist Party, dating to his youthful membership in the League of Revolutionary Black Workers, a Mao-influenced group based in Detroit, Michigan. In his capacity as a cadre of the organization, which advocated revolutionary unionism in opposition to racist policies within reformist unions, Singham took a job at the Detroit Chrysler plant in 1972 at the age of 18.

    Of course he’s married to one of the founders of Code Pink.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  51. That wall they have comes to mind for me!

    Didn’t actually work. Just ask Genghis Khan.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  52. Buddhists in SW Asia tend not to be big fans of Muslims.
    While Buddhists are seen as peaceful by western countries, they are not when it comes to Islam.
    Remember that song with the line: “What’s so funny about peace, love and understanding”?
    Historically, Islam can be violently intolerant towards other religion, and Buddhists realized a long time ago that peace love and understanding with Islam is not reciprocal so I think the guy was telling the truth as he sees it the first time.
    He doesn’t care about Muslim Uyghurs

    steveg (e81d76)

  53. Aung San Suu Kyi won a Nobel Peace Prize. Granted its value was diminished by Obama’s win after doing nothing, but back in 1991 it was still thought to be a big deal.
    So when it came time to deal with Muslims in Burma, she was all in on expelling them because “Buddhists in Rakhine Province live in fear of a global Muslim power”.
    Which quite frankly, they do. Muslims in the majority often tend toward an extermination/subjugation policy and Buddhists in Myanmar are all in on returning the favor and *bleep* the peacefulness BS.

    I’m not defending at all what the guy said, but its sorta like the Armenians and the Turks. A long standing feud with a giant dollop of genocide

    steveg (e81d76)

  54. Doesn’t change my opinion that the Chinese policy towards Uyghurs is despicable.
    China would treat us the same if we were less powerful

    steveg (e81d76)

  55. Athletes warned against speaking up on human rights at Beijing Games

    Athletes travelling to next month’s Beijing Olympics were warned on Tuesday about speaking up on human rights issues while in China for their own safety by speakers at a seminar hosted by Human Rights Watch.
    ……..
    “There’s really not much protection that we believe is going to be afforded to athletes,” Rob Koehler, the director general of the Global Athlete group, said in the seminar. “Silence is complicity and that’s why we have concerns.

    “So we’re advising athletes not to speak up. We want them to compete and use their voice when they get home.”
    ………
    “Chinese laws are very vague on the crimes that can be used to prosecute people’s free speech,” Human Rights Watch researcher Yaqiu Wang said.

    “People can be charged with picking quarrels or provoking trouble. There are all kinds of crimes that can be levelled at peaceful, critical comments.”
    ………..
    Just boycott .

    Rip Murdock (379be7)

  56. Just boycott.

    Individual athletes cannot. Not and retain their memberships in their clubs, leagues, and athletic unions which organize the competitions, and award prizes and standings. They are not an open, right-to-compete marketplace. They are private clubs. Like the professional sports.

    nk (1d9030)

  57. questions whether a genocide is actually happening

    This is a matter of definition.

    – says the CCP isn’t a dictatorship

    !!!

    He can’t possibly believe that.

    While technically,, the PRC claims not to be a dictatorship, because it’s structured like a place with a constitution, there is no serious effort on Xi’s part, or the regime, to claim that. The regime doesn’t even like the idea of democracy circulating

    – says the US is no better than the CCP

    The question is: why is saying things like that?

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  58. It depends on what country the atheletes come from and if they have or do not have Chinese citizenship.

    But if they won’t be bothered for criticizing the regime, they also probably won’t be bothered much for shoplifting.

    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/sports/ucla-athletes-arrested-china-thank-president-trump-their-release-n821111

    https://www.latimes.com/sports/nba/la-sp-ucla-basketball-bail-20171108-story.html

    The athletes also can expect to be spied on.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)


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