After all the hemming and hawing the best the New York Post can come up with is, “yeah? Well you’re ugly?”
I’m sure the forced labor children of Uzbekistan’s cotton fields are thanking the brave journalists and human rights workers who waited until a fashion show to express concern for their plight are sighing in relief even as we speak.
Human Rights Watch is correct to note that Uzbekistan is a terrible abuser of human rights. HRW is also pissed off they were forcibly removed from Tashkent some time ago, and some of their employees were jailed. But what, exactly, does freaking out over a fashion show, but nothing else Uzbekistan does around the world in a diplomatic, cultural, or social setting actually accomplish?
This is what Nathan and I both find so puzzling about this week’s fashion flap. It’s so… well, trivial is the only way I can think of describing it. It doesn’t help anyone, doesn’t improve anyone’s lives, and all it does it allow preening white people to point to a bad man and his daughter and yell “nanny nanny boo boo we canceled your fashion show!”
If that’s where advocating for human rights in Uzbekistan has come to, actual Uzbeks—you know, the people everyone says they care about?—are pretty much screwed.