Ali Velshi Profile picture
27 Feb, 13 tweets, 5 min read
I want to tell you a story about a place far away and its people about whom you probably don’t know much, but who are suffering. #velshi
Xinjiang is China’s largest region by size. It borders Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, Russia, Mongolia, and the former majority Muslim states of the Soviet Union. #velshi
Of the 25 million people who live in Xinjiang, about 11 million are Turkic, as opposed to the Han Chinese who are the overwhelming majority in China. They are known as Uighurs. #velshi
Uighurs speak their own language, similar to Turkish. They are, culturally and ethnically, Central Asian, like the people of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. #velshi
The Uighurs are also mostly Muslim, and the practice of their religion, while one of five permitted in China, is monitored by Chinese public security officials. #velshi
As is often the case when a country annexes a place, the mass migration of China’s ethnic Han majority over the past 70 yrs. to Xinjiang has changed the region. Uighurs now make up less than half the population & that shift has threatened their livelihoods. #velshi
According to the Council on Foreign Relations - in 2017, the Chinese imposed a blunt government policy of forcibly assimilating Uighurs into larger Chinese society, under the guise of a counter-terrorism campaign. #velshi
They built a network of detention camps, and moved what are believed to be a MILLION Uighurs into them. Some are working for meager pay; some for no pay at all. #velshi
The Chinese government long denied the camps existed, until irrefutable evidence emerged. Now, the Chinese say that they are vocational training schools, or boarding schools or re-education centers. #velshi
BBC reports that China is forcing hundreds of thousands of Uighurs and other minorities into hard, manual labor in cotton fields. The Chinese response is that the workers are part of a quote “voluntary poverty alleviation” project. That’s not the worst of it. #velshi
Those few who have managed to escape the region have reported physical, mental & sexual torture, including rape & sexual abuse & attempts to reduce the Uighur population through mass sterilizations, forced abortions & coercing Uyghurs to marry non-Uyghurs. #velshi
On his last full day as Sec. of State, Mike Pompeo tweeted that China was carrying out genocide against the Uighurs. America’s new Secretary of State Antony Blinken agreed, & pressed Beijing on its treatment of Uighurs in the first call between the 2 superpowers. #velshi
As America re-takes its place as a leader among nations, stopping genocide and ethnic cleansing around the world needs to become a priority. #velshi

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More from @AliVelshi

21 Feb
"The events in Birmingham & elsewhere have so increased the cries for equality that no city or state or legislative body can prudently choose to ignore them. It is a time to act, in Congress, in State & local legislative bodies & above all, in all of our daily lives"
That was President Kennedy in a speech to the American people on June 11, 1963. It was considered a watershed moment in the Civil Rights movement and marked the beginning of the end of a long struggle for equal rights. #velshi
Protesters began to pressure Birmingham’s business leaders to open employment to people of all races, and end segregation in public institutions, stores, schools, and restaurants. #velshi
Read 9 tweets
20 Feb
On Thursday the Biden administration, along with congressional Democrats, unveiled a new immigration bill creating a path of 8 years to citizenship for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants already in the country. #velshi
The bill also provides an expedited path for DREAMERS - the undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children by their parents. #velshi
The bill’s approval has a tough road ahead given razor thin Democratic majorities in both houses, but while there’s little bipartisan support for immigration reform in Washington, DC, there’s broad support for what it aims to do among Americans. #velshi
Read 11 tweets
7 Feb
A couple is two people, a minyan is ten, a jury is twelve - so what do you call eleven people? #velshi
2/ 13
Well in the case of the 11 House Republicans who joined the 219 democrats in voting to remove Georgia congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene from her committees assignments, you call it a good start … but with a very big caveat. #velshi
The House of Representatives resolution punishing Greene was barely more than a page long. House rules require Members of Congress to “reflect credibly” on the chamber, and pointed to Greene being removed for quote “conduct she has exhibited.” #velshi
Read 13 tweets
7 Feb
This week, the Senate will hear arguments about why the former seditionist President of the United States should be convicted of Inciting an Insurrection. Democrats will argue that the former commander in chief convinced an army of his followers to storm the Capitol. #velshi
Democrats will argue that the events of 1/6 damaged our Democracy.
But democracy was not the only victim of the insurrection. There is a yet greater and more personal toll for those who were inside the Capitol and those who were defending it. #velshi
Officer Sicknick (left) sacrificed his life. Officer Goodman (right) risked his life to save Members of Congress. These are names we’ve come to know & praise, but there are other heroes who woke up on 1/6 as one version of themselves & went to sleep forever changed. #velshi
Read 13 tweets
6 Feb
17 days ago @VP Kamala Harris became the first woman of color, the first woman of south Asian heritage, the first graduate of an Historically Black College & University AND, the first Black woman Vice President of the United States of America. #velshi
@VP 2/12
Whether or not you share @VP Harris politics, who she is embodies the future of our country, one that is growing ever more racially diverse. #velshi
Harris’s history-making started years before her swearing in ceremony when, after becoming just the second Black woman to serve in the Senate, she announced her plans to seek the Democratic nomination for President. #velshi
Read 12 tweets
31 Jan
Last week General Motors announced plans to be carbon neutral in its global operations by 2040 & to offer only zero-emissions vehicles even by 2035. #velshi
I’ve had my share of things to say about GM's poor corporate responsibility & leadership for years but now, it seems, even GM sees the writing on the wall: the future is about cutting emissions, transitioning to electric vehicles or other zero-emissions technologies #velshi
America is less than 5% of the world’s population, but uses 20% of all the oil produced in the world every day. Gasoline for driving accounts for half of that. #velshi
Read 11 tweets

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