Wait, you mean to tell me that a third world country where foreign aid makes up 40% of the annual government budget and where more kids catch HIV and cholera than soccer balls, that a beloved native celebrity would get jacked? You don’t say. L.A. Times reports:
Hip-hop singer Wyclef Jean was recovering Sunday after he was shot in the hand, his publicist said. Spokeswoman Cindy Tanenbaum said Jean, who was in Haiti, was shot in Port-au-Prince on Saturday — on the eve of the country’s presidential runoff vote (ed’s note: Wyclef was attending a political rally for musician and Haitian presidential candidate, Michel Martelly). The wound was superficial, she said. The singer was taken to a hospital, treated and released. “He is doing well,” Tanenbaum said. Jean, who was born in Haiti, shot to fame in the mid-1990s as a member of the Fugees, a U.S.-based hip-hop and reggae group. He now performs as a solo artist. He has been an outspoken proponent of Haiti through his Yele Haiti Foundation and was one of the first celebrities to offer aid after the earthquake. In September, he officially ended his bid to be president of Haiti a month after election officials ruled that he was ineligible to run.
No explanation has been given as to why Wyclef was shot, so either political activists in Haiti should stick to machetes and rocks or people in Haiti trying to rob Wyclef should stick to machetes and rocks. Or just cough in his face. That seems to work pretty good for everybody else.
When he’s not blowing Hugo Chavez or talking a red plastic cup to help with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Sean Penn spends most of his time self-aggrandizing and rambling sanctimonious nonsense from his mansion about the poor and the needy. And because since he thinks he owns Haiti, Sean Penn is very concerned about Wyclef Jean’s bid to be the country’s next president.
“The last thing in the world that Haiti needs—and I’m not accusing Wyclef Jean of being an opportunist, I don’t know the man,” he said. How’s that for an opening gambit? Penn also questioned Jean’s motives for running for office, speculating that corporate interests that are “enamored” of the singer have pushed him into campaigning with promises of support—in the form of underpaid yet much-needed jobs in the country—which shields their own opportunism. “Right now, I worry that this is a campaign that is more about a vision of flying around the world talking to people, it’s certainly not about the youth drafting him,” Penn said. “I would be quite sure that this was an influence of corporations here in the United States and private individuals that may well have capitalized on his will to see himself flying around the world doing that.” As a result, Penn wants the media to keep an extra close eye on his campaign donors. “This is somebody who’s going to receive an enormous amount of his support, if he continues this campaign, from the United States. I have to say, I’m very suspicious of it, simply because he, as an ambassador-at-large, has been virtually silent. For those of us in Haiti, he has been a non-presence.”
You probably went your whole life without thinking about the people of Haiti or you only know them as the people who try to make rafts out of seat cushions to get to America, but now you’re telling anyone who will listen to donate money because they had an earthquake. Good for you. You’re just like Wyclef Jean, except for the fact that you’re not being accused of stealing money from the foundation you created. New York Daily News reports:
“I have been committed to helping the people of Haiti throughout my life, and that commitment will continue until the day I die,” Jean wrote in a statement posted to his Web site, which was accompanied by a video. Concerns over the Yele Haiti Foundation – also known as the Wyclef Jean Foundation – surfaced last week, after it took in close to $2 million through a text message movement to raise money to aid quake victims. Questions over accounting practices and its connection to Jean’s businesses kicked off reports online that the 37-year-old Grammy-winner was profiting from the organization. “I denounce any allegation that I have ever profited personally through my work with Yele Haiti,” he wrote. “These baseless attacks are simply not true.” In the video, Jean claims to have donated $1 million of his own money to the foundation, noting, “I never, or would ever, take money for my personal pocket when it comes to Yele.” An Associated Press review of tax returns and independent audits provided by Jean’s foundation showed that it was closely intertwined with Jean’s businesses.
The Haiti earthquake has already triggered hundreds of thousands of donations to musician Wyclef Jean’s charitable foundation, which expects to raise upwards of $1 million a day in the disaster’s wake. However, Internal Revenue Service records show the group has a lackluster history of accounting for its finances, and that the organization has paid the performer and his business partner at least $410,000 for rent, production services, and Jean’s appearance at a benefit concert. Though the Wyclef Jean Foundation, which does business as Yele Haiti Foundation, was incorporated 12 years ago–and has been active since that time–the group only first filed tax returns in August 2009. That month, the foundation provided the IRS with returns covering calendar years 2005, 2006, and 2007–the only periods for which it has publicly provided a glimpse at its financial affairs. In 2006, Jean’s charity reported contributions of $1 million, the bulk of which came from People magazine in exchange for the first photos of a pregnant Angelina Jolie (the actress reportedly directed that the publication’s payment go to Jean’s charity, not her personally).
I went to the foundation’s website and they didn’t mention that they were skimming money off the top, so I wish they would clarify that. Kinda like when Cowboys’ fans say they are “God’s team”. Do they mean actual God or Allah? Because if I’m not mistaken, Allah is the one who likes when you blow yourself up.