Wyclef‘s press conference where he again addresses the issues at hand..Below is an excerptof the press conference.. You can and should see full conference which includes Q&A.. at
I’m glad Wyclef spoke to this, because it was pretty disheartening to see people jump on the hate bandwagon when we let so much slide. Tax write-offs and filing are not the last or even the first word in corruption.. You want corruption.. ask your bank about the bailout money and the late fees they charge? Ask about Haliburton and Blackwater contracts paid for with your tax dollars? Ask about the way things DIDN’T run after Katrina.. Hell let’s be real ask why is George Bush and Bill Clinton on the case when you look at their shabby track records with Haiti..
Below is a blog that someone wrote in defense of Wyclef.. Its pretty thorough
Word to Yele-I Write the Wrong
I will never claim to be an expert in economics, my credit report alone would betray me. Nor can I profess to have gained any insight to the inner-workings of volunteer/humanitarian agencies.
Having been fortunate, I count my blessings that I have never had to lean on any such entity. My family in one way, shape or form has always provided whatever assistance any of us needed, be it shelter, food, clothing or simply bus fare. So again I must admit my lack of intimacy with such institutions.
However, I am not aware of any one who looks like me who does not remember the ravaging flood effects of Katrina and the flood of money that poured into one of the most popular volunteer relief organizations, the American Red Cross. Just about every high-profile philanthropist, bad boy thug-turned legit rapper, religious leader to media outlets and major companies, combined millions of dollars were donated to the relief efforts promised by the American Red Cross.
Let me note here, FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) an agency of the U.S. government, and yes even under the executive orders of our beloved Barack Obama, directs charitable donations to the American Red Cross. The American Red also receives various grants from FEMA including http://www.fema.gov/news/newsrelease.fema?id=18473
Now on its own website FEMA acknowledges “The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Grant Programs Directorate (GPD) is fiscally responsible for approximately 17,000 open grants and is programmatically responsible for more than two-thirds of those grants.
The following preparedness grants are programmatically managed by the Grant Development & Administration Division of GPD.”
According to policies set forth in its directorates on the site, these grants can cover everything down to staffing expenses of a volunteer/relief organization. So, in my estimation, the American Red Cross can be qualified as a money-laundering service for our government. It pays itself to do the work. Well I know it isn’t that cut and dry, but where I come from in the hood that’s what it looks like. You are an agency charged with overseeing a particular task, you then identify a group to perform such task for you, utilizing your dollars, training, directive, etc. ultimately reporting to you any funds raised which you in turn manage and act as fiscal agent over.
So that is the base understanding I’ve come to in trying to figure out why in God’s name, as we sit helplessly here on American soil watching as the poorest neighboring country is completely devastated beyond human capacity, would various entities attempt to discredit a movement to bring relief to the people of Haiti.
Wyclef Jean, for those who have not been attuned to hip hop prior to Cash Money or Young Jeezy, is a grammy-winning, international hip- hop artist who single handedly put Haiti on the map. Through his artistry and advocacy, it brought to light history of Haiti for many who were just too young or simply never cared enough to realize Haiti’s rich history. It was the first country that freed itself from slavery and not only overthrew that heinous institution, but defeated the whole lot of French rule.
Wyclef in his music has always paid homage to his homeland, and shared the culture and pain of his countrymen unashamedly. He did this at a time when many Black Americans shunned any relationship to Haiti. At the height of his career as a member of the Fugees, (group first named ‘Refugee Camp’ for the conditions many Haitians find them selves when arriving on American soil) the group went back to Haiti and took several media outlets to document the plight there. Subsequently, that trip garnered Haiti prime shine in various magazine articles. During his solo career, Wyclef went back further still to his roots, releasing a full CD in creole titled, Welcome to Haiti Creole 101. And then in 2007, pledging a more substantive allegiance to his native land, Wyclef became a Haitian ambassador for the government.
This to me, speaks volumes of his love and honor of his country. But greater than that it speaks of the mutual respect and pride the country has for him.
So why is it when a native son of Haiti yells out for relief from the devastation that has demolished his beloved land, why would there be questions of his intentions? What force would rally against his efforts and bring questionable allegations regarding his foundation http://yele.org
Smoking Gun posts IRS returns for the year 2009. Listing the foundation as being in operation for “12 years,” they say accounting has not been so transparent. Maybe it hasn’t. But check the records of many and you’d be hard-pressed to find squeaky clean accounting, even among the most financially prudent. But they continue to try and smear this guy by pointing out he “paid” himself for rent and performances.
Check it… just on some real plain and simple hood logic: if you open a business/not-for-profit, foundation, carity, church, etc. you have to keep the lights on. Most times, that money is coming out of your very own pocket. You do what you must to hold yourself afloat until things start rolling. In the grand scheme of things, if you have an accountant savvy enough, you’l wind up writing a large amount off. Isn’t that what every tax paying American seeks out like a leprechaun searching for a pot of gold, that tax-incentive? I’d like every politician to disclose personal or affiliated returns for the public. Of course I know they have to go through the motions of making them public, but when is the last time your elected official directed you to his/her returns and they were in plain view? Uh, huh.
For me, I just can’t see what the deal is. For one, yes he may have performed at a charity event, yes yes I know his foundation gave it. But who said the band played for free? Did the production company who handled stage, lighting, hotel, travel, catering, security, attorney fees, and on and on the list could go. Did those entities get tossed in for free. Come on. In America? I doubt it. He probably had to pay them folks and somewhere down the line he figured he’d get his scratch back.
Hell, you wanna steer me away from giving to something? Show me an organization that has ties to assisting in wars, paid by war monies. Show me an organization that since its inception has had ties to government. Show me an organization that has claimed to be a relief and rescue agency for all victims of disaster, that existed pre-post slavery but has no record of providing relief to the families of the thousands of blacks who were lynched. Surely they knew of this hideous “devastation” since Ida B. Wells was traveling the same circles of the UN and such with her message of anti-lynching. Surely those families needed “relief.”
Well, I don’t have to look any further to see it. It is the Red Cross and I for one, if not for any other proof than the shenanigans of the Katrina debacle, won’t be giving my money anytime soon to its efforts.
But that’s just little ole me who does not have much insight when it comes to these matters.
BTW, if you’d like to know how much money RC has made in the last two days, check out the article below. Now where are their tax returns? Hhow are they accounting for all the donations?
Yet, it took them longer to get on the ground than it took Yele.
I am signing off. And if you’re looking for me, I’ll be tweeting away, reminding you to text yele to 501501.
BTW, peep the video Wyclef did speaking about the work of his foundation long before the earthquake rocked Haiti.