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Jack Dorsey tries to clear up his obliviousness about Myanmar atrocities

Jack Dorsey tries to clear up his obliviousness about Myanmar atrocities
[Photo: Thom Holmes/Unsplash]

On Sunday the Twitter CEO posted a few tweets about what a fantastic time he had while on a meditation retreat in Myanmar. It was a country, he tweeted, that was “absolutely beautiful” and whose “people are full of joy.” Oh, also “the food is amazing.”

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Dorsey followed up these tweets with explanations about his time spent meditating at a silent retreat for 10 days–during which he used tech like the Apple Watch to quantify his progress. As many have pointed out, Dorsey’s attempts to track and analyze his meditation experiences miss the Buddha’s teachings on meditation entirely.

But his inability to let go of tech at a silent meditation retreat aside, the biggest problem critics had with Dorsey’s recap of his experience was he seemed to be completely unaware that Myanmar is currently suffering from human rights atrocities and what UN investigators have called the “genocidal intent” of Myanmar’s army against the country’s Rohingya Muslim population.

More than 730,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar since 2017 when the army began its campaign of terror against them. It was a campaign that was allowed to spread via social media platforms like Facebook–and yep, Dorsey’s Twitter. Since then, at least 6,700 Rohingya were killed in attacks and another 2,700 others died from disease and malnutrition, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

In other words, Myanmar is a country far from having people “full of joy,” as Dorsey claimed. Rather, it’s a country in the middle of a full-scale persecution against an ethnic minority–and a persecution that has been enabled by the hate spreading on Twitter.

After the online backlash grew over the oblivious tech billionaire’s comments, Dorsey took to Twitter again last night to apologize about his seeming ignorance, saying he was “aware of the human rights atrocities and suffering in Myanmar” and “didn’t intend to diminish [the Rohingya’s plight] by not raising the issue.”

If you (or you, Jack) want to help the Rohingya, here’s how to do it.

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