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  • Twitter CEO Celebrates His Birthday In Country Engaged in Genocide

    Twitter CEO Celebrates His Birthday In Country Engaged in Genocide

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    At 42, some people might celebrate their birthday at a backyard barbecue with friends, others might enjoy a night out on the town. A lucky few get to travel, squeezing the sand between their toes or getting bitten by frost in the French Alps.

    But if you’re Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, these sorts of celebrations are old news. So instead, you plan a 10-day meditation vacation to Myanmar, where the U.N. has accused the government-backed military of pursuing a campaign of “genocide” against its Muslim minority since August 2017.

    When you return from said vacation, you don’t use your public platform as CEO of one of the world’s largest social media platforms to spread awareness about the ethnic-cleansing campaign happening in your new favorite getaway retreat.

    Instead, you share pictures of your less than five-star accommodations and encourage those “willing to travel a bit” to get a slice of the fun. Because who wouldn’t want to meditate in the midst of mass graves? Exclusive ski resorts and private islands are so last year!

    It’s safe to assume Dorsey didn’t have any malicious intent when he decided to brag about his international birthday bash. But his shameless tweets go to show the Twitter CEO is at best tone-deaf, and at worst, completely ignorant of the world around him.

    In a string of tweets journaling his trip, Dorsey began by saying:

    For my birthday this year, I did a 10-day silent vipassana meditation, this time in Pyin Oo Lwin, Myanmar. We went into silence on the night of my birthday, the 19th. Here’s what I know.

    Dorsey then explained the purpose of his trip—to “answer the question: how do I stop suffering?”

    It might be tempting to think Dorsey was referring to the Muslim-minority Rohingya people, who have faced execution, widespread arson, and systematic rape at the hands of the government-backed Buddhist majority. Their suffering in recent months is beyond words, as New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof captured on a trip earlier this year:

    Myanmar’s ethnic cleansing became impossible to hide with the exodus in August of Rohingya bearing stories of massacres and pogroms. In interviewing those refugees late last year, I was particularly shaken by the account of a woman, Hasina Begum, who told me how soldiers had executed the men and boys in her village, had made a bonfire of their bodies and had then taken the women to a hut to be raped. ‘I was trying to hide my baby under my scarf, but they saw her leg,’ Hasina Begum said. ‘They grabbed my baby by the leg and threw her onto the fire.’

    But if you thought Dorsey was tweeting about the Rohingya, you’d be mistaken. It appears he was referring to his own suffering as a self-made billionaire. So how does a Silicon Valley superhero cope with such suffering? Meditation. He shared of his chosen technique:

    Vipassana’s singular objective is to hack the deepest layer of the mind and reprogram it: instead of unconsciously reacting to feelings of pain or pleasure, consciously observe that all pain and pleasure aren’t permanent, and will ultimately pass and dissolve away.

    Sadly, for Begum and the other victims of Myanmar’s ethnic cleansing, vipassana doesn’t cut it. Their pain won’t “ultimately pass and dissolve away,” and only the lucky ones will feel pleasure again.

    In true virtue-signaling fashion, Dorsey then describes the sacrifices he made spending 10 days in his “basic” room, which he said is “free,” given to meditators by charity. Only the most virtuous billionaires would choose to stay in accommodations like this.

    On Day Six, Dorsey “caught a nasty cold.” But on Day 11, he was able to listen to rapper Kendrick Lamar again.

    Dorsey then shared photos of different cities and monasteries he visited in Myanmar, which look beautiful only if you can ignore the backdrop of a genocide.

    Then he backtracked—because he forgot to share the 117 mosquito bites he got while meditating in a cave. Ouch! Thankfully, there are remedies for that.

    When it was finally time to end his thread, which Dorsey managed to do without once mentioning the word “genocide,” the Twitter CEO thanked his followers for reading about his birthday trip.

    “Always happy to answer any questions about my experience,” he said.

    Since he offered, I do have one thing: Before you blew out the candles, did you wish for the genocide to end?

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