He was no hero, ei­ther

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The Nov. 22 news ar­ti­cle “Re­mote tribe in In­dia kills Amer­i­can” re­ported the death of John Allen Chau at North Sen­tinel Is­land but glossed over his bla­tant trans­gres­sion and racism as fear­less mis­sion­ary work. The truth is that Chau not only il­le­gally ap­proached the is­land but also used his sta­tus and money to push sev­eral lo­cal fish­er­men into crime and per­sis­tently im­posed him­self on the Sen­tine­lese peo­ple. He was not mo­ti­vated by faith but by bla­tant racism, re­fer­ring in his di­aries to the is­land as “Satan’s last strong­hold.” He also did not “try to speak their lan­guage” as the ar­ti­cle claimed, but yelled some­thing in Xhosa, a South African lan­guage. Yes, a South African lan­guage, which, by the way, Chau didn’t speak. Some have al­ready rightly con­demned Chau for his self­ish, reck­less and ar­ro­gant trans­gres­sion. Re­ports should not gloss over his bla­tant racism and ef­fron­tery un­der the guise of brav­ery, ad­ven­ture or — worse yet — faith. Amin Ebrahimi Afrouzi, Berke­ley, Calif.

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