Dealing with Haters from Bangladesh

One of the things I’ve learned from this project is that some of the most vile, intolerant, and hideous comments I have received have been left by local Bangladeshis who are privileged enough to have the resources to access (and be hateful) on YouTube.

The thing to keep in mind is that, with over 80% of the country earning less than $2 a day, those within Bangladesh who are able to comment and critique my videos come from a very narrow (and very privileged) position in society. I guess sometimes the hardest people to get through to are those living right in the middle of it all.

More after jump. Discretion advised.

One of the common themes is anti-Americanism or anti-Western attitudes. Ironically enough, many of these comments are from those who were wealthy enough to emigrate to the developed world to pursue a job or an education.

Shortly after posting my video where I teamed up with Rick Davis to help kids in the Chittagong Hill-Tracts, a South Asian living in the UK writes:

what a fucking great job, giving $100 doller to a kid and making name for yourself maagir bacha shawn. dont bring those fithy american pigs to our land thats including you.

Often accusations of fame-seeking and or an “American agenda” are often the main criticisms I get. Shortly after posting “The Hard Lessons of Aid Work” another UK-based South Asian accuses me of being an American trying to overtake the Bangladeshi political system:

Any American pretend to be or dreaming to take leadership of complex bangladesh u my kid this an impossible task for you and never dream it.we are whachin you.

A very sensitive spot for many of the Bangladeshi haters is anything that portrays Bangladesh in a bad light. For example, shortly after posting video of the cockroach infestation in the home I was staying in Bangladesh, a Bangladeshi wrote:

whoever took this video should visit New york which is worse then this

Often Bangladeshi haters usually have their own explanation why poverty exists. And – unfortunately more often than not – it’s plain-old game of blaming the United States and being intolerant towards other religions. In reply, to my Christmas in Dhaka video one 20-year Bangladeshi in Canada writes:

This video is shit… It is absolutely shit. I was born and brought up in Dhaka, and I came to Toronto to study. There is a goverment holiday for christmas, or any religious celebreation. But that doesnt mean people do christmas. That’s absolutely crap. People barely care about christmas. And talking about USA helping Bangladesh. Mr Idiot, whoever you are, if you had studied economics, you would know one of the reasons our country is so poor is because of our slavery towards USA.

For the record, here is a photo of the Bangladeshis that “barely care about Christmas”:

img_1362_2

Sometimes, many Bangladesh haters can get so vile and hateful that I am left with no choice but to delete their comment and block them. A few months back, I had to block a user who posted this:

u are not an inspiration ! ur a chor ! dallal er pola khaia khaia mota hoisos chudnar pola ! and now fuckin extortin money u MADERCHOD ! KUTTA of bangladesh ! pls dot donate any kindof money ! he steals ppls money ! dont trst this motherfucker !!!! he is CHOR !!

Roughly translated (some of the worst language I am not familiar with) but basically he says “you are a thief! you eat and eat and got fat [expletive]” followed by that I am “extortin” money and am a [expletive] and a dog of Bangladesh (I cleaned that up a bit) . This is followed with a plea for everyone to stop donating with the accusation that I’m stealing…

Ending poverty once and for all requires an honest commitment by the well-to-do from those within developing (or “third world”) countries. That means reducing the anti-American rhetoric (often, hypocritically, voiced by those enjoying the comforts of America), ending racial and religious intolerance, and not vilifying those who are trying to help the poor.

Even though haters are everywhere, the kind of comments left by some rich Bangladeshis shows there is much progress left to be made.

34 Responses to “Dealing with Haters from Bangladesh”


  1. 1 Peter

    Hate is everywhere. Just as love.
    Ignore the hate and the hateful.

    Embrace the love and the loving.

    You in your heart should believe you do the right thing.
    That is the most important

  2. 2 Peter

    Hate is everywhere. Just as love.
    Ignore the hate and the hateful.

    Embrace the love and the loving.

    You in your heart should believe you do the right thing.
    That is the most important

  3. 3 Peter

    Hate is everywhere. Just as love.
    Ignore the hate and the hateful.

    Embrace the love and the loving.

    You in your heart should believe you do the right thing.
    That is the most important

  4. 4 Peter

    Hate is everywhere. Just as love.
    Ignore the hate and the hateful.

    Embrace the love and the loving.

    You in your heart should believe you do the right thing.
    That is the most important

  5. 5 Jolene

    Well Shawn,ignore these comments you know very well the outcome of youtube and public viewers.No matter what good intention you have someone is bound to be on your back.Think of the great outcome than the negative.You have done an amazing job so keep it out don't let some petty comment stop you from painting a bigger picture.

  6. 6 Jolene

    Well Shawn,ignore these comments you know very well the outcome of youtube and public viewers.No matter what good intention you have someone is bound to be on your back.Think of the great outcome than the negative.You have done an amazing job so keep it out don't let some petty comment stop you from painting a bigger picture.

  7. 7 Jolene

    Well Shawn,ignore these comments you know very well the outcome of youtube and public viewers.No matter what good intention you have someone is bound to be on your back.Think of the great outcome than the negative.You have done an amazing job so keep it out don't let some petty comment stop you from painting a bigger picture.

  8. 8 Jolene

    Well Shawn,ignore these comments you know very well the outcome of youtube and public viewers.No matter what good intention you have someone is bound to be on your back.Think of the great outcome than the negative.You have done an amazing job so keep it out don't let some petty comment stop you from painting a bigger picture.

  9. 9 Ferdaus Al Amin

    Shawn,
    I am sorry that you had to go through these hate comments. At least I, being from Bangladesh, welcome you to Bangladesh. Currently I am in Toronto, the place you are from. Apart from hate comments, you did not put up some good comments. I am sure you had some.

    With the fertile land, Bangladesh; $2 earning per day is a huge income for a lot of Bangladeshi people. Unlike US or Canada, the Government does not highly tax people( no tax at all for these low income groups). The tax in Toronto is 13%(was 15%) on almost everything. Whether one has a job or not, one has to pay taxes(which is a hghe revenue to the Government). The Government can in return fund capital based project(may be your one too).
    Car insurance is the highest in Toronto. I was assessed to pay S300 per month to get my car with the only driver being me. Where this huge easy money of insurance goes, even Government does not intervene ostensibly proving how they want to get involved in easy money earning by some favored companies.

    As a country Bangladesh is a great country. I say this because I've travelled both east and west. The cost of living is low, climate is extremely favorable. One can live in Bangladesh with US$100(hundred) per month easily. But that applies to locals only. You would not be able to stay in Bangladesh even if you are given US$3000(three thousand) per month. My belief, because you are accustomed to Toronto living.

    Any way welcome to Bangladesh. It is a great country. You are welcome to stay at my place when I am in Bangladesh (I am planning to go back to Bangladesh)

  10. 10 Ferdaus Al Amin

    Shawn,
    I am sorry that you had to go through these hate comments. At least I, being from Bangladesh, welcome you to Bangladesh. Currently I am in Toronto, the place you are from. Apart from hate comments, you did not put up some good comments. I am sure you had some.

    With the fertile land, Bangladesh; $2 earning per day is a huge income for a lot of Bangladeshi people. Unlike US or Canada, the Government does not highly tax people( no tax at all for these low income groups). The tax in Toronto is 13%(was 15%) on almost everything. Whether one has a job or not, one has to pay taxes(which is a hghe revenue to the Government). The Government can in return fund capital based project(may be your one too).
    Car insurance is the highest in Toronto. I was assessed to pay S300 per month to get my car with the only driver being me. Where this huge easy money of insurance goes, even Government does not intervene ostensibly proving how they want to get involved in easy money earning by some favored companies.

    As a country Bangladesh is a great country. I say this because I've travelled both east and west. The cost of living is low, climate is extremely favorable. One can live in Bangladesh with US$100(hundred) per month easily. But that applies to locals only. You would not be able to stay in Bangladesh even if you are given US$3000(three thousand) per month. My belief, because you are accustomed to Toronto living.

    Any way welcome to Bangladesh. It is a great country. You are welcome to stay at my place when I am in Bangladesh (I am planning to go back to Bangladesh)

  11. 11 Ferdaus Al Amin

    Shawn,
    I am sorry that you had to go through these hate comments. At least I, being from Bangladesh, welcome you to Bangladesh. Currently I am in Toronto, the place you are from. Apart from hate comments, you did not put up some good comments. I am sure you had some.

    With the fertile land, Bangladesh; $2 earning per day is a huge income for a lot of Bangladeshi people. Unlike US or Canada, the Government does not highly tax people( no tax at all for these low income groups). The tax in Toronto is 13%(was 15%) on almost everything. Whether one has a job or not, one has to pay taxes(which is a hghe revenue to the Government). The Government can in return fund capital based project(may be your one too).
    Car insurance is the highest in Toronto. I was assessed to pay S300 per month to get my car with the only driver being me. Where this huge easy money of insurance goes, even Government does not intervene ostensibly proving how they want to get involved in easy money earning by some favored companies.

    As a country Bangladesh is a great country. I say this because I've travelled both east and west. The cost of living is low, climate is extremely favorable. One can live in Bangladesh with US$100(hundred) per month easily. But that applies to locals only. You would not be able to stay in Bangladesh even if you are given US$3000(three thousand) per month. My belief, because you are accustomed to Toronto living.

    Any way welcome to Bangladesh. It is a great country. You are welcome to stay at my place when I am in Bangladesh (I am planning to go back to Bangladesh)

  12. 12 Ferdaus Al Amin

    Shawn,
    I am sorry that you had to go through these hate comments. At least I, being from Bangladesh, welcome you to Bangladesh. Currently I am in Toronto, the place you are from. Apart from hate comments, you did not put up some good comments. I am sure you had some.

    With the fertile land, Bangladesh; $2 earning per day is a huge income for a lot of Bangladeshi people. Unlike US or Canada, the Government does not highly tax people( no tax at all for these low income groups). The tax in Toronto is 13%(was 15%) on almost everything. Whether one has a job or not, one has to pay taxes(which is a hghe revenue to the Government). The Government can in return fund capital based project(may be your one too).
    Car insurance is the highest in Toronto. I was assessed to pay S300 per month to get my car with the only driver being me. Where this huge easy money of insurance goes, even Government does not intervene ostensibly proving how they want to get involved in easy money earning by some favored companies.

    As a country Bangladesh is a great country. I say this because I've travelled both east and west. The cost of living is low, climate is extremely favorable. One can live in Bangladesh with US$100(hundred) per month easily. But that applies to locals only. You would not be able to stay in Bangladesh even if you are given US$3000(three thousand) per month. My belief, because you are accustomed to Toronto living.

    Any way welcome to Bangladesh. It is a great country. You are welcome to stay at my place when I am in Bangladesh (I am planning to go back to Bangladesh)

  13. 13 uncultured

    Hi Ferdaus πŸ™‚ There definitely have been good comments. The best, by far, have been from people who are too poor to access YouTube. The Bangladeshi comments I get on YouTube are – of course – from those rich enough to own a computer and/or have access to the internet. There are positive comments from Bengalis, but I am genuinely surprised at how many negative comments come from (rich) Bengalis.

    And I lived in Bangladesh for over a year on a budget not much more than $100. I, for one, thought I was accustomed to a Toronto lifestyle. But I learned to do without electricity, without hot running water (or any running water), without toilets, and in places infested with roaches. So don't think me too accustomed to Toronto living! πŸ˜›

  14. 14 uncultured

    Hi Ferdaus πŸ™‚ There definitely have been good comments. The best, by far, have been from people who are too poor to access YouTube. The Bangladeshi comments I get on YouTube are – of course – from those rich enough to own a computer and/or have access to the internet. There are positive comments from Bengalis, but I am genuinely surprised at how many negative comments come from (rich) Bengalis.

    And I lived in Bangladesh for over a year on a budget not much more than $100. I, for one, thought I was accustomed to a Toronto lifestyle. But I learned to do without electricity, without hot running water (or any running water), without toilets, and in places infested with roaches. So don't think me too accustomed to Toronto living! πŸ˜›

  15. 15 uncultured

    Hi Ferdaus πŸ™‚ There definitely have been good comments. The best, by far, have been from people who are too poor to access YouTube. The Bangladeshi comments I get on YouTube are – of course – from those rich enough to own a computer and/or have access to the internet. There are positive comments from Bengalis, but I am genuinely surprised at how many negative comments come from (rich) Bengalis.

    And I lived in Bangladesh for over a year on a budget not much more than $100. I, for one, thought I was accustomed to a Toronto lifestyle. But I learned to do without electricity, without hot running water (or any running water), without toilets, and in places infested with roaches. So don't think me too accustomed to Toronto living! πŸ˜›

  16. 16 uncultured

    Hi Ferdaus πŸ™‚ There definitely have been good comments. The best, by far, have been from people who are too poor to access YouTube. The Bangladeshi comments I get on YouTube are – of course – from those rich enough to own a computer and/or have access to the internet. There are positive comments from Bengalis, but I am genuinely surprised at how many negative comments come from (rich) Bengalis.

    And I lived in Bangladesh for over a year on a budget not much more than $100. I, for one, thought I was accustomed to a Toronto lifestyle. But I learned to do without electricity, without hot running water (or any running water), without toilets, and in places infested with roaches. So don't think me too accustomed to Toronto living! πŸ˜›

  17. 17 belal c

    Sean, i'm bangladeshi origin in uk and i agree with you about bangladeshi haters. Sorry about the mails you revceived but basically you must be doing something right to agitate these people. in my experience, a lot of wealthy people in bangladesh are the stupidest, most arrogant, vile scum around- because they have money where a lot of people live in poverty they think they are special. The uk folks mailing you with hate probably uneducated working in restaurants. if they insult you take it as a compliment- if these worms are turning you are doing something right!

  18. 18 belal c

    Sean, i'm bangladeshi origin in uk and i agree with you about bangladeshi haters. Sorry about the mails you revceived but basically you must be doing something right to agitate these people. in my experience, a lot of wealthy people in bangladesh are the stupidest, most arrogant, vile scum around- because they have money where a lot of people live in poverty they think they are special. The uk folks mailing you with hate probably uneducated working in restaurants. if they insult you take it as a compliment- if these worms are turning you are doing something right!

  19. 19 belal c

    Sean, i'm bangladeshi origin in uk and i agree with you about bangladeshi haters. Sorry about the mails you revceived but basically you must be doing something right to agitate these people. in my experience, a lot of wealthy people in bangladesh are the stupidest, most arrogant, vile scum around- because they have money where a lot of people live in poverty they think they are special. The uk folks mailing you with hate probably uneducated working in restaurants. if they insult you take it as a compliment- if these worms are turning you are doing something right!

  20. 20 belal c

    Sean, i'm bangladeshi origin in uk and i agree with you about bangladeshi haters. Sorry about the mails you revceived but basically you must be doing something right to agitate these people. in my experience, a lot of wealthy people in bangladesh are the stupidest, most arrogant, vile scum around- because they have money where a lot of people live in poverty they think they are special. The uk folks mailing you with hate probably uneducated working in restaurants. if they insult you take it as a compliment- if these worms are turning you are doing something right!

  21. 21 Owen

    Shawn, Belal is absolutely right.- that sort of hate rubbish is always a good sign you're on the right track. If they had an intelligent argument in their head to use they've chosen not to deploy it – the more likely explanation is that they're nasty ignorant bigots of the sort whose wrath should reassure you.

  22. 22 Owen

    Shawn, Belal is absolutely right.- that sort of hate rubbish is always a good sign you're on the right track. If they had an intelligent argument in their head to use they've chosen not to deploy it – the more likely explanation is that they're nasty ignorant bigots of the sort whose wrath should reassure you.

  23. 23 Owen

    Shawn, Belal is absolutely right.- that sort of hate rubbish is always a good sign you're on the right track. If they had an intelligent argument in their head to use they've chosen not to deploy it – the more likely explanation is that they're nasty ignorant bigots of the sort whose wrath should reassure you.

  24. 24 Owen

    Shawn, Belal is absolutely right.- that sort of hate rubbish is always a good sign you're on the right track. If they had an intelligent argument in their head to use they've chosen not to deploy it – the more likely explanation is that they're nasty ignorant bigots of the sort whose wrath should reassure you.

  25. 25 Anon

    Thank you for your wonderful efforts. Please keep it up. I am a Sikh Indian living in Canada and I applaud your courage and efforts to help those in need. Do not pay attention to the hateful comments and just continue forward. You are an inspiration to everyone and I admire you.

  26. 26 Anon

    Thank you for your wonderful efforts. Please keep it up. I am a Sikh Indian living in Canada and I applaud your courage and efforts to help those in need. Do not pay attention to the hateful comments and just continue forward. You are an inspiration to everyone and I admire you.

  27. 27 Anon

    Thank you for your wonderful efforts. Please keep it up. I am a Sikh Indian living in Canada and I applaud your courage and efforts to help those in need. Do not pay attention to the hateful comments and just continue forward. You are an inspiration to everyone and I admire you.

  28. 28 Anon

    Thank you for your wonderful efforts. Please keep it up. I am a Sikh Indian living in Canada and I applaud your courage and efforts to help those in need. Do not pay attention to the hateful comments and just continue forward. You are an inspiration to everyone and I admire you.

  29. 29 Azmi Jahan

    Shawn that is expected by haters in Bangladesh. They don’t do much to help the poor and the ones who do they get the heat are the good people like you. America is not to blame but the Bangladeshi government is for the poverty in the country. I’m a Bangladeshi born, American raised prospective medical student and I will join you soon insh’Allah. However, I won’t be as easy or polite to these haters like you are.

    Either way, don’t pay attention to these idiots. America gave me a lot of opportunities and these haters are just jealous of you.

    These rich Bengalis from Bangladesh are the ones who have the capabilities to help the poor but they refuse to. The reason is these poor people are their slaves. If these poor people are no longer poor or uneducated, then they can’t be exploited. A lot of these elite Bengalis are criminals and they are afraid of outsiders like us educating and helping the same poor people they kick around, harm, and exploit. But with time poverty will be gone in Bangladesh as the poverty is being reduced 2% every year thanks to people like you and hundreds of other NGOs.

    Funny thing is…you’re not even American, you’re Canadian. I’m American so I will get more heat than you because us Americans are extremely aggressive and less tolerant to haters.

    But either way, good luck and I hope much success for you.

  30. 30 Azmi Jahan

    Shawn that is expected by haters in Bangladesh. They don’t do much to help the poor and the ones who do they get the heat are the good people like you. America is not to blame but the Bangladeshi government is for the poverty in the country. I’m a Bangladeshi born, American raised prospective medical student and I will join you soon insh’Allah. However, I won’t be as easy or polite to these haters like you are.

    Either way, don’t pay attention to these idiots. America gave me a lot of opportunities and these haters are just jealous of you.

    These rich Bengalis from Bangladesh are the ones who have the capabilities to help the poor but they refuse to. The reason is these poor people are their slaves. If these poor people are no longer poor or uneducated, then they can’t be exploited. A lot of these elite Bengalis are criminals and they are afraid of outsiders like us educating and helping the same poor people they kick around, harm, and exploit. But with time poverty will be gone in Bangladesh as the poverty is being reduced 2% every year thanks to people like you and hundreds of other NGOs.

    Funny thing is…you’re not even American, you’re Canadian. I’m American so I will get more heat than you because us Americans are extremely aggressive and less tolerant to haters.

    But either way, good luck and I hope much success for you.

  31. 31 Azmi Jahan

    Shawn that is expected by haters in Bangladesh. They don’t do much to help the poor and the ones who do they get the heat are the good people like you. America is not to blame but the Bangladeshi government is for the poverty in the country. I’m a Bangladeshi born, American raised prospective medical student and I will join you soon insh’Allah. However, I won’t be as easy or polite to these haters like you are.

    Either way, don’t pay attention to these idiots. America gave me a lot of opportunities and these haters are just jealous of you.

    These rich Bengalis from Bangladesh are the ones who have the capabilities to help the poor but they refuse to. The reason is these poor people are their slaves. If these poor people are no longer poor or uneducated, then they can’t be exploited. A lot of these elite Bengalis are criminals and they are afraid of outsiders like us educating and helping the same poor people they kick around, harm, and exploit. But with time poverty will be gone in Bangladesh as the poverty is being reduced 2% every year thanks to people like you and hundreds of other NGOs.

    Funny thing is…you’re not even American, you’re Canadian. I’m American so I will get more heat than you because us Americans are extremely aggressive and less tolerant to haters.

    But either way, good luck and I hope much success for you.

  32. 32 Laila

    Hi Shawn,

    I love your site, I am going to read it properly soon but I totally agree with your views on the mentality of these people. On a personal level I have struggled for so long trying to make sense of these people. I can appreciate that life must be hard in a 3rd world country but they just make things worse on themselves.

    I recently visited Bangladesh and the one thing that stood out for me was the willingness of this richer society to block out what is happening around them all in the name of high society and prestige.

    I found solace in getting to know people in the rural villages, and to be fair some are really nice people but I have yet to meet anyone ‘rich’ who is nice or down to earth.

    The cockroach thing was very hilarious, especially the comments below, just proves how defensive and in denial they are of their country. I know a lot of bangladeshis have a lot of negative things to say about India, but no one can deny that Indians work hard and they really look out for one another, which cannot be said for bangladeshis!

    On a final note, the mota comment was hilarious, why are they always hating on us being able to eat and put on weight. I am a big girl myself and they love to focus on that, it just makes me laugh because when any of them visits uk they put on like 10 lbs from all the food they can actually walk into the shop and buy.

    You have my support, im so happy that I am not the only one who thinks this stuff.

    Keep up the good work and I hope that we can work towards making a better bangladesh with morality, kindness and integrity.

  33. 33 Laila

    Hi Shawn,

    I love your site, I am going to read it properly soon but I totally agree with your views on the mentality of these people. On a personal level I have struggled for so long trying to make sense of these people. I can appreciate that life must be hard in a 3rd world country but they just make things worse on themselves.

    I recently visited Bangladesh and the one thing that stood out for me was the willingness of this richer society to block out what is happening around them all in the name of high society and prestige.

    I found solace in getting to know people in the rural villages, and to be fair some are really nice people but I have yet to meet anyone ‘rich’ who is nice or down to earth.

    The cockroach thing was very hilarious, especially the comments below, just proves how defensive and in denial they are of their country. I know a lot of bangladeshis have a lot of negative things to say about India, but no one can deny that Indians work hard and they really look out for one another, which cannot be said for bangladeshis!

    On a final note, the mota comment was hilarious, why are they always hating on us being able to eat and put on weight. I am a big girl myself and they love to focus on that, it just makes me laugh because when any of them visits uk they put on like 10 lbs from all the food they can actually walk into the shop and buy.

    You have my support, im so happy that I am not the only one who thinks this stuff.

    Keep up the good work and I hope that we can work towards making a better bangladesh with morality, kindness and integrity.

  34. 34 Laila

    Hi Shawn,

    I love your site, I am going to read it properly soon but I totally agree with your views on the mentality of these people. On a personal level I have struggled for so long trying to make sense of these people. I can appreciate that life must be hard in a 3rd world country but they just make things worse on themselves.

    I recently visited Bangladesh and the one thing that stood out for me was the willingness of this richer society to block out what is happening around them all in the name of high society and prestige.

    I found solace in getting to know people in the rural villages, and to be fair some are really nice people but I have yet to meet anyone ‘rich’ who is nice or down to earth.

    The cockroach thing was very hilarious, especially the comments below, just proves how defensive and in denial they are of their country. I know a lot of bangladeshis have a lot of negative things to say about India, but no one can deny that Indians work hard and they really look out for one another, which cannot be said for bangladeshis!

    On a final note, the mota comment was hilarious, why are they always hating on us being able to eat and put on weight. I am a big girl myself and they love to focus on that, it just makes me laugh because when any of them visits uk they put on like 10 lbs from all the food they can actually walk into the shop and buy.

    You have my support, im so happy that I am not the only one who thinks this stuff.

    Keep up the good work and I hope that we can work towards making a better bangladesh with morality, kindness and integrity.

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