Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Insight as to why Wyclef's charity was attacked.

Wyclef had a news conference defending his humanitarian efforts in his home country. I'm clear about why I believe he has been attacked: he raised one million dollars in a DAY, through $5 texts. ...doesn't that explain it to you?

Due to problems for people with the video, I took out the video,
and you can follow the link.

from poster zizi:

by zizi2:
Wyclef Jean just learned a big lesson about the hypocrisies entrenched in the big club of the lucrative world of American and global humanitarian industry. I know, my spouse works for the United Nations, and tells me I would not believe that the organization and the donors just see this new tragedy like all the previous ones - a business opportunity from which money is to be made and circulated, the usual suspects fat-salaried, missions extended over long-periods. The problems on the ground are not intended to be solved in ways that empower the indigenous people. "Aid" is intended to create a dependency syndrome that ensures the prolonged footprint of the humanitarian industry in the disaster zone. Cold and cynical, but that is what I learned.

The kneecapping being done on Wyclef is not so much because of the eye-popping amounts of money he is raising, although that too is a factor. It is because he is challenging the paradigm of the humanitarian industry. He is seeking to EMPOWER the victims. He wants to move the victims to safe locations where they can begin to rebuild communities with the assistance of global donors. He wants the victims taking charge. His face being front and center is jarring to the default image we usually see of outstretched black and brown hands during disasters around the world being handed charity from Western and European hands. The status quo cannot have anyone challenge their paradigm of creating permanent dependency. Can't. Have. That!

So here we are. Instead of Yele Haiti getting on with the work of saving lives and sowing the seeds to rebuild the lives of Wyclef Jean's Haitian compatriots, Wyclef now has to appear in the court of trumped up suspicions to answer questions about the technicalities of running a non-profit organization. I can assure you that these are technical problems that can be found with just about every single small-scale non-profit organizations. Heck the Red Cross itself ran into problems as well as a PR nightmare about excessive executive compensation barely a few years ago. But they don't get tarnished in one fell swoop.

To Wyclef Jean's accusers, it is not the FACTS of the issue that matter to them it is about sowing seeds of suspicion. Wyclef is Haitian? he must be corrupt? Can you trust him with your hard earned dollars? It was enough to get Yele Haiti knocked off the list that initially appeared in all the MSM about where people could send their money. This gotcha means the White House and State Department cannot be seen to work with Yele Haiti. Now we have only the Red Cross and Unicef being trumpeted. The fix is in. Sad to watch really. An old but good book on the humanitarian industry's shenanigans is Barbara Harrell-Bond's _Imposing Aid: Emergency Assistance to Refugees_ (1986), as well as her more recent _Rights in Exile: Janus-Faced Humanitarianism_ (2005, with Guglielmo Verdirame).

Remember Tiger donated 3 MILLION to Wyclef's charity; Wyclef raised ONE MILLION IN ONE DAY through $5 cellphone texts....

follow the dots, folks.

As Trumystique says, it's a "Development Industrial Complex", and Wyclef dared to challenge it in the name of Black self-determination.


Brian said...

Opinions on both sides seem reasonable. From Wyclef's point of view and from the point of view of the commenter, I can see how the raising of questions (and the timing) could be very annoying. Not surprising to me that there is an entrenched insider culture in the world of NGO's. And i'm aware of the dependency issues. This has been a problem going back decades.

I think critics and other NGO's may have been irked by the fact that his star power & his appearances on Television were bringing Yele a disproportionate amount of funds (as they may have seen it), at a crucial time when the bigger groups had more folks on the ground and when their organizations may have more experience with disaster relief...and felt that donations to Yele could be more effectively spent with more efficient, more experienced NGO's. For them, his star power shouldn't siphon off donations to less experienced, less efficient organizations.

I can also understand the points of view of the critics. I read the reports.... there were some legitimate questions about the management (the bean counting). These are organizations that have to have their affairs in order, because they could be placed under the spotlight at any time. It is Wyclef's fault for not understanding this...and for not having attorney's and accountants make sure that the paperwork for the organization was so solid that it could not be doubted or questioned. The organization should exceed the standard for similar organizations in terms of management practices. Wyclef should have anticipated scrutiny...and should have had all his ducks in a row.

And i'm not sure if Yele is a partner organization under the UN (it may be too small)...but he should have done more to establish partnerships with governments and larger NGO's....

He also needs to make sure he has a board of directors/trustees that is without question...where there are none of the peculiar conflicts of interests that were mentioned in one of the reports. He needs strong experienced board members (perhaps with folks who have a strong reputation within the NGO world) and he needs an experienced CEO who could navigate the organization and Wyclef through these kinds of situations.

Andre said...

Frankly, after reading the Smoking Gun report, the evidence against him is pretty compelling. With that, I certainly hope he's not trying to invoke the victim card (race, stardom, or the like). After all, I remember when organizations also took heat for exploiting resources and donations during 9/11 and Katrina as well. Yele getting scrutinized is not some novel idea.

What makes the Yele fact finding unnerving is that Wyclef is a Haitian himself. If it's true that he's somehow about transform Haiti's misfortunates into something from which he can personally benefit, that is NOT a good look. If that's somehow the case, Wyclef has officially become the Michael Moore of Haiti; benefiting that the expense of other people. Poor people.

Andre said...

"If it's true that he's somehow about TO transform Haiti's misfortunates into something from which he can personally benefit, that is NOT a good look.