9 Aug 2010

'Wy' I Don't Think 'Clef' Should Be Running For Haiti President

When you play the word association game and think of Haiti a few things come to mind, one of them would probably be Wyclef Jean.

When you think of popular artists who are associated with politics, up until last week Wyclef was not one of them. I’d think of Will.I.Am [Obama campaign] or Diddy [Vote or Die campaign] before I’d think of Wyclef.

So Wyclef Jean wants to run for President of Haiti? **insert straight face here** When I first heard the news I was not impressed, I pretty much did a kiss teeth and a rolls of the eyes. Every time I saw or read a story I was also giving it the serious side eye.


I believe this is solely a self righteous opportunity for Wyclef that isn’t 100% about Haiti. Actions speak louder than words people, they really do. Academy Award winning actor Sean Penn has taken MONTHS out of his life and work to be PHYSICALLY on Haitian soil lending a hand in rebuilding Haiti. Sean Penn has been very open [which I like] and has questioned Wyclef’s motives for presidency. Good. I’m glad someone has.

"He [Wyclef] has been virtually silent for those of us in Haiti, he has been a non-presence," said Penn, who has been running a vast camp for homeless earthquake victims through the charity he co-founded.

"So, I want to see someone [running for president] who is really, really willing to sacrifice for their country and not just someone who I personally saw with a vulgar entourage of vehicles that demonstrated a wealth in Haiti that, in context, I felt a very obscene demonstration."

Read here about Sean Penn's and his work in Haiti
People who are all in favour of Wyclef running for President, JUST BECAUSE he’s Wyclef need a wake up call. I haven’t heard much about his political interests or associations since he’s been a public figure in 1991 up until now, that’s almost 20 years! All of a sudden I’m hearing a lot of “he can be a voice for Haiti.” Bitches please, Wyclef is ALREADY a voice for Haiti. What Haiti needs is a GENUINE President with political experience and a good [enough] reputation to help turn its country around. How are you going to start your political career out from a bleating goat [singer], to ambassador, straight to President? OK so you’re an ambassador…well so is former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell for the UN. You have a charity? I could set one of those up too, many people and celebrities do. Aside from receiving funds from the public and distributing that amongst yourself [yeah I said it] and Haiti, what are you doing on the ground RIGHT NOW to help YOUR PEOPLE?

Truth be told, if he were as active as Penn I’d give him more credit and this blog post would be a little more in his favour despite ‘Yelegate’ and the missing $400,000.

Financial Woes
“Much of Yéle Haiti's money has been paid out to Wyclef Jean, his relative and fellow Yéle Haiti director Jerry Duplessis, or companies they own. For example, of the $1,142,944 in total revenue the foundation collected in 2006, at least $410,000 was paid directly to Jean and his business partner for rent, production services, and Jean's appearance at a benefit concert The Foundation paid $250,000 to Telemax, a television station controlled by Jean and Duplessis, $31,000 to rent its own offices from Platinum Sound owned by Jean and Duplessis and $100,000 for Jean's own performance at a benefit concert in Monaco, when Jean had been paid only $40,000 as headliner at 2002 festival at the top of his career with the Fugees.”

“Wyclef's waterfront mansion that was purchased through his corporation on Pine Tree Drive in Miami Beach, Florida, is now owned by a bank as of November 2008. The property is valued at US$1.4 million. He took out a US$2-million mortgage to purchase and renovate the property, but fell behind in payments. There are more than $100,000 in construction and architectural liens associated with the property. The house was reported to be auctioned at the Miami-Dade Courthouse on December 12, 2008. Wyclef Jean's corporation, which he and a few friends set up several years ago, then owed the bank US$2.4 million

In January 2009, Wyclef mentioned, in a walk-by interview, that the problems with their Miami property were due to a contractor's sitting on the job for two years, and that the court-ordered sale did not take place, and that he plans to sell the property later.

While Jean was chairman of Yéle Haiti there were accusations of financial misconduct. On 4 August 2010, The Smoking Gun reported that Jean owes the IRS $2.1 million.”

I’m not saying that Wyclef cannot be a good President if he was elected, that’s not what I’m saying. What I’m saying is I do NOT believe that his motives for wanting to become President are 100% genuine, and they NEED to be. Haiti is broken and it needs fixing with some SERIOUS dedication and commitment. The time to show that dedication was in January and the months that followed immediately after that where more of his permanent presence needed to be felt. If you couldn’t commit to Haiti after the worst disaster it has ever experienced then when are you going to REALLY be committed to Haiti Mr Jean?

I read a comment on a website that ran with the story and it said that if he becomes President he would not have to pay the IRS back taxes. Whether that is true or not, I do not know, but what is all of this about taxes I’m reading here?....So I just called up my best friend and asked her about Wyclef’s taxes. Her name is ‘Google’ and she told me that Wyclef has been hit with a tax lien of $2.1 million dollars. Excuse the f**k outta me? Say what?? I needed to read other news sources to make sure what I was reading was correct and actually had some validity to it.

So Mr Jean, you want to run Haiti but cannot run your own damn bank account? Who is this man hiring to take care of his finances? This tax story coupled with the mysterious $400,000 of money from his Yele charity which went on miscellaneous expenses, (rumoured to be some on a mistress) is not doing any good for his image right now at all. He’s not even in a position to call himself credible at this point. Y’all can make excuses for Yele, but now go ahead with your dumb as rocks selves and make excuses for this IRS situation right here. I dare you.

Video posted on Wyclef's You Tube channel on the day he announced he was running for President of Haiti

OK, so you want to help your people, that’s all well and good, but when I read quotes from Wyclef like:
“If not for the earthquake, I probably would have waited another 10 years before doing this. The quake drove home to me that Haiti can't wait another 10 years for us to bring it into the 21st Century.”

So Wyclef is telling us that the earthquake made him realise that Haiti needed some change for the better? My black ass has never touched Haitian soil but you better believe even I knew that country needs a total 360 before that earthquake.

Why would he have waited 10 years? You love your country, you love your people, but you would have waited 10 years to do right by them?? That makes no sense to me. Is that another way of saying, “the earthquake made me even more of a global figure. My singing career isn’t going anywhere fast right now, so this will definitely keep me in the limelight and get the IRS off my back in the process?”

I would really love to believe that Wyclef was 100% genuine in his Haiti rebuilding pledge, but any old fool can say “we need better schools, better education, and the rebuilding of this country.” Where’s his political ‘talk? Does he have any? Does he even have any REAL experience on the political circuit? Is he even educated enough to be a worthy candidate? For those that say and think, it doesn’t matter, it does. You have to have a mind and an understanding for politics to be involved in it or it will show through and he could just end up looking like a Black Bush over there. The Western world hasn’t paid much attention to Haiti’s government and politics, but if you get Wyclef in there, you better believe all eyes will be on him and his spending habits. I also hope Wyclef doesn’t have any more women or screwed over business associates from his past in his closet. The press will be looking to pay money for people with stories to bring him down. With stories on Yele and the IRS all within 8 months, you better believe they are already on a roll.

This is a joke, I go to Wikipedia to read up on Wyclef’s political career and see the following:

That’s it?

I’m going to be frank here like I usually am, there is something about Wyclef [yes JUST by looking at him] that doesn’t sit right with me at all. My spirit doesn’t take to him and he seems out and out shady. From the $400k from Yele to the $2.1 million tax lien, he’s already proved to be a good liar [to a degree mind you]. Maybe that will make him a good enough candidate as politics and lies pretty much go hand in hand. “Men lie, women lie, numbers don’t!”

This isn’t about Haiti; this is about raising his profile and using the plight of Haiti as a stepping stone to be an Obama type figure to a country in dire need of help. He’s not smart enough for the politics of America, but he’s dumb enough for some citizens of Haiti where a nation of people worship him and feel that his celebrity is SOLELY enough.

I’m still not getting how Sean Penn one of many people out there in Haiti can be out there physically lending a hand to the Haitian people and Wyclef has been a “non-presence” over the past six months, and when he does show he comes with an entourage and flashy vehicles.

So what’s the real deal, do you have to live in Haiti for 5 consecutive years before you can run as President?
If he becomes President of Haiti does that really mean he won’t have to pay his IRS taxes?

This will be an interesting story to follow over the next few months, and I’ll be keeping a close eye on it.

Just because some of the Haiti citizens worship Wyclef and sees him as a hero it doesn’t mean that he is one. I was a little pissed at seeing him donning a suit shaking hands with the enamoured crowd thinking “bruh you need to roll up your sleeves and get to working, there’s still a lot of work to be done on the ground.”

Start as you mean to go on. Wyclef needs to actually look at Sean Penn as an example of fighting for the cause right now. Instead, over the past few months I’ve seen pictures of him cheesin at celebrity parties and the like. I’d feel ashamed if I were Wyclef, where you have Sean Penn with no ties or association to Haiti actually pitching a tent and getting his hands dirty and you’re out there with Luda n dem.

So what are your plans for Haiti? Have you come up with a platform yet, your positions on the issues the Haitian people care about? You should publish a detailed plan for rebuilding Haiti to be better than it ever was before, and for bringing that nation out of poverty. Barack Obama published a detailed plan of what he would do if elected President, many pages long, and he has mostly stuck to it.

Am I the only one who finds it a bit off that one would choose to live his whole life in one nation, and never become a citizen, then go run for president in the country he hasnt lived in since he was a child?

As Lennon and McCartney said: "You say you've got a real solution; well, you know, we'd all love to see the plan."

What is your plan for rebuilding the country, how would you like to see it developing over the next few years? Hopefully your intentions are as true as they sound and your vision and abilities even better again. The people of Haiti have been betrayed so often, its time that cycle was broken.
Good luck.

Mr. Wyclef Jean, I wish you good luck on your campaign. Hopefully your campaign and election will inspire millions of others to give back to the originating nations of their ancestry and heritage just as you've done. Thank you for being a positive example..

Such sentiment. All this talk of his daughter. What to make of it?
Toys and backpacks... toys and backpacks... That bothers me. Books and backpacks would have been so much better. I really wish he would have said books and backpacks.
Poverty is one thing. Poverty of education is so much worse.
What good does a toy do a child when s/he is starving? Unhoused? This country is beyond turmoil, and yet he talks of toys and backpacks.
Call me cynical, but this open letter of concern for his daughter, tears and toys does little to impress me.

I believe you Wylclef Jean.

He saw our President do it and thought, "If he can do it. So can I."

Do, what, exactly? Run a country, or make a lot of nice speeches and promises he can't deliver on?
I'm sorry to say this, but this speech sounds like it could have been written by Mr. Obama. Mr. Jean, if you're going to run for office - especially for a country that's been through what Haiti has been through, and I don't just mean the earthquake - you have to follow through. What assurances can you give the people of Haiti that you WILL follow through?

Good luck Wyclef! I hope you can lead Haiti to a sustainable future, and help restore the land to be fruitful again, and educate the people.

This is probably one of the few chances Haiti will have to have a leader who is not motivated by greed or bribes. I have mixed feelings about this but if he is truly trying to do right by Haiti, I wish him all the luck in the world!

too early to say what is his motivation. But the political party he is running on is closely related to former president Aristide.....go figure.

I am curious about President Preval's statement quoted tonight on CNN, that you (Wyclef) do not fulfill the 5 yrs residency criterion in spite of him naming you an at-large ambassador. Are you expecting an exception to the law to be made for you or are you ready to ignore that fact and call it a rumor? The future will soon tell.

I want to believe this is a good thing, and for the right reasons. However, this is either a heartfelt missive, or a sentimentalist bit of schmaltzy propaganda. Let us hope that for the people of Haiti's sake, it is the former, and not the latter.

Congratulations Mr. Jean, here's hoping that you win in a landslide and can figure out how to make life better in that stricken nation. Best of luck to you!


  1. This topic makes me so mad. So on Gail King's show Wyclef responded to Sean Penn by saying something along the lines of "SP has been going to Haiti for 6 months and I've been going for 5 years." Pause. eyebrow raised. side eye. 5 fecking years and you couldn't do anything before? 5 years ago 2005- google Haiti 2005 and reports will come up of what was going on in Haiti in 2005. In 2005 he started Yele Haiti...can someone please tell me WHY it is that when the earthquake happened his charity which had been there for 5 years was not mentioned as one of the most noted charities to donate to. For days people didn't know who to donate to aside from Red Cross or contact the U.N. I too fell for Jean's celebrity only because he's the only Haitian I knew and told people to donate to Yele. However I now ask how Wyclef wants to be president and raise the profile of his country within the next 5 years when he couldn't raise the profile of Yele? Haiti in 5 years?

  2. Great Post! I'm not convince either. You summed it up really well. Wyclef is a joke. Haiti needs and deserves more.

  3. "SP has been going to Haiti for 6 months and I've been going for 5 years."

    That's the best that he could come up with???

    The more I read the more pissed I'm off I'm becoming by the whole thing. From him referring to himself in the third person to the family shots of him coming off the private jet with his family, it's evident that this man wants to emulate Obama. Nothing wrong to want to aspire to be better, but your heart has to be in it.

    Wyclef to me seems like a man who is (a) easily influenced and (b) cannot be trusted.

    2 reasons alone he should leave Haiti alone when it comes to being a President of the country I heard he's not even a citizen of...is this true???


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