Boston Celtics center and newly-sworn United States citizen Enes Kanter Freedom responded to a left-wing Silicon Valley billionaire who is a part owner of the Golden State Warriors, after he dismissed the ongoing human rights abuses by the Chinese Communist Party against the Muslim-minority Uyghurs in China’s Xinjiang Province.
Kanter called the treatment of Uyghurs, who are reportedly housed in dire conditions in concentration-type camps and endure forced labor and other abuses, as a “genocide” – which select Western leaders have brought attention to ahead of the Beijing Olympiad next month.
Earlier Monday, Chamath Palihapitiya, a former America OnLine (AOL) executive and founder of Social Capital, said on his podcast that “nobody cares about what’s happening to the Uyghurs, OK?”
“You bring it up because you really care and I think… The rest of us don’t care… I’m telling you a very hard, ugly truth, OK? Of all the things that I care about. Yes, it is below my line,” said Palihapitiya, 45, amid crosstalk from his stunned guest.
WARRIORS PART-OWNER AND VENTURE CAPITALIST ATTEMPTS TO CLARIFY SCATHING REMARKS ON UYGHUR MUSLIMS
“Until we actually clean up our own house, the idea that we step outside of our borders… with us sort of like morally virtue signaling about somebody else’s human rights track record is deplorable,” he said.
Kanter Freedom, a Turkish-American who amended his last name to signify his pride in becoming a new U.S. citizen last year, said he too was shocked when his manager sent him Palihapatiya’s comments in a text message before an afternoon NBA game.
“First of all, I couldn’t believe it. I was very angry, very disgusted and very disappointed,” Kanter Freedom said.
“I couldn’t focus on the game because of his comments, I mean, you look at the Uyghur people. What’s happened to the Uyghurs is one of the worst human rights abuses in the world today, and there’s a genocide happening while we’re talking right now. And he’s going out there and saying, ‘I could care less’. It’s a shame, and it is disgusting.”
Host Tucker Carlson noted that Palihapitiya is also a “huge donor” to the Democratic Party and aligned candidates.
The Silicon Valley mogul donated tens of thousands of dollars to liberal candidates and causes including President Joe Biden, several State Democratic Parties, former Rhode Island Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo – the current U.S. Commerce secretary – as well as Hillary Clinton, Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J. and Rep. Rohit Khanna, D-Calif., according to OpenSecrets records.
The records also show a small number of donations to New Jersey Republicans Chris Christie, Kim Guadagno, and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.
Carlson further reported that the Warriors distanced themselves from Palihapitya’s comments, saying the venture capitalist “does not speak on behalf of our franchise,” while Palihapitiya later put out a statement acknowledging that his family “fled a country [Sri Lanka] with its own set of human rights issues, so this is something that is very much part of my lived experience.”
“To be clear, my belief is that human rights matter, whether in China, the United States or elsewhere; full stop,” Palihapitiya tweeted late Monday.
On “Tucker Carlson Tonight”, Kanter Freedom added that Palihapitiya was “virtue signaling” and that his company, Social Capital, “pretend[s] to care about social values.”
“He pretends to care about others, but the only thing he cares about is money and promoting the CCP (Chinese Communisty Party) propaganda. And it makes me sick how he’s using social justice to make money for his company,” he said.
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“I want to ask him one question– If your mother, if your daughter, if your sister was in those concentration camps and get in torture and gang-raped every day, would you still think about money? Would you tell? Would you still remain silent?” Kanter Freedom asked.