Friday, October 26, 2007

Byrne won't apologize

Last night I "borrowed" from Gary Weiss's blog (here) that posted Patrick Byrne's You Tube video where he suggests that minority children who don't graduate from high school should be "burned" or "thrown away."

Today the NAACP of Utah called for Byrne to apologize and retract his comments. He wouldn't. What a surprise.

So what did Byrne say? He tried to turn it around, of course. Obfuscate. From the Associated Press, as reported by the Deseret News (story here):

"Byrne said he had no intention of apologizing and claimed his comments were taken out of context."

But, Jeanetta Williams of the NAACP held her ground:

"Williams said she believes Byrne literally meant that minorities who don't graduate should be burned or thrown away.

"Those were his words, not mine," she said."

For Byrne "burning" or "throwing away" a few kids really doesn't mean that much to him. Especially kids of color.

Consider this:

1. In September 2001, after returning from a trip to India and Southeast Asia, Byrne launched Worldstock "Socially Responsible Goods," a store within whose ostensible purpose was to sell disadvantaged artisan work “as inexpensively as possible so as to maximize the amount of return for them.” Regarding Worldstock’s relationship with vendors, Byrne said “it’s got to be paternalistic” because in reality, Worldstock is “holding all the aces.”

2. One issue Byrne knew Worldstock would face was the possibility that its goods were produced by child labor, products which he described as being “morally tainted.” However, after considering the arguments for and against the possibility of child labor in making Worldstock items, Byrne decided “children might legitimately help their parents in informal, cottage-industry settings, if their work were [sic] limited and they go to school.” Given a “blurry world,” “Worldstock allows child labor for less than two hours a day, coupled with mandatory schooling, because such labor occurs in the home rather than the factories.”

Yes, this is the multi-millionaire bachelor funding Utah's private school voucher scam. In his own words. For which he will never, ever apologize.

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