Monday, December 7, 2009

Tiger and Chevron

For those who believe in karma, the timing of the Tiger Woods debacle, coming right before the Chevron World Challenge, hosted by Woods, cannot be ignored.

Chevron has been accused by a number of human rights organizations of being in partnership with the Burmese military regime, the same people who blocked aid agencies from helping the survivors of Cyclone Nargis that claimed close to 80,000 lives. As detailed in this article by Dave Zirin that appeared in the May 2008 issue of the Nation, human rights groups contacted Woods to voice concerns about his partnership with Chevron that helps fund the Tiger Woods Foundation, but received no response.

According to the Nation, "Ka Hsaw Wa, co-founder and executive director of EarthRights International, wrote in an open letter to Woods, 'I myself have spoken to victims of forced labor, rape, and torture on Chevron's pipeline--if you heard what they said to me, you too would understand how their tragic stories stand in stark contrast to Chevron's rhetoric about helping communities.' ERI's request to meet with Woods or someone from the foundation has been met with silence."

The story also shows how Chevron's unethical dealings are not just confined to Burma and includes the United States.

"Lawsuits have been issued against Chevron's toxic waste dumping in Alaska, Canada, Angola, California. Then there's the matter of 18 billion gallons of toxic waste the company has been accused of dumping in the Amazon."

There is hope that the end result of this mess that Tiger has created for himself might result in him becoming humble. Maybe, too, it can also teach him to look beyond his bankbook, the walls of his gated community and his gated life and see the world around him.

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