In Haiti, Little Can Be Found of a Hip-Hop Artist’s Charity

Deborah Sontag, New York Times, October 11, 2012

In a new memoir, Wyclef Jean, the Haitian-born hip-hop celebrity, claims he endured a “crucifixion” after the Jan. 12, 2010, earthquake when he faced questions about his charity’s financial record and ability to handle what eventually amounted to $16 million in donations.

Portraying himself as persecuted like Jesus and Martin Luther King Jr., Mr. Jean, 40, writes with indignation about insinuations that he had used his charity, Yéle, for personal gain. He says he did not need to—“I have a watch collection worth $500,000”—and that doubters will someday understand “Yéle is Haiti’s greatest asset and ally.”

But on his book tour for “Purpose: An Immigrant’s Story,” Mr. Jean, who made an aborted bid for the presidency of Haiti after the earthquake, neglects to mention two key facts: a continuing New York attorney general’s investigation has already found financial improprieties at Yéle, and the charity effectively went out of business last month, leaving a trail of debts, unfinished projects and broken promises.

“If I had depended on Yéle,” said Diaoly Estimé, whose orphanage features a wall painting of Mr. Jean and his wife, “these kids would all be dead by now.”

Even as Yéle is besieged by angry creditors, an examination of the charity indicates that millions in donations for earthquake victims went to its own offices, salaries, consultants’ fees and travel, to Mr. Jean’s brother-in-law for projects never realized, to materials for temporary houses never built and to accountants dealing with its legal troubles.

On the ground in Haiti, little lasting trace of Yéle’s presence can be discerned. The walled country estate leased for its headquarters, on which the charity lavished $600,000, is deserted. Yéle’s street cleaning crews have been disbanded. The Yéle-branded tents and tarps have mostly disintegrated; one camp leader said they had not seen Yéle, which is based in New York, since Mr. Jean was disqualified as a presidential candidate because he lives in Saddle River, N.J., not Haiti.

{snip}

At the end of August, Derek Q. Johnson, Yéle’s chief executive, announced his resignation to supporters.

“As the foundation’s sole remaining employee, my decision implies the closure of the organization as a whole,” wrote Mr. Johnson, a former Time Warner executive who replaced Mr. Jean at Yéle’s helm when the musician declared his candidacy in August 2010.

His resignation came after Mr. Jean declined to accept a settlement proposed by the attorney general covering the charity’s pre-earthquake activities, and he hired Avi Schick, a lawyer who had been a member of Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman’s transition team.

The settlement would have required Mr. Jean and the two other Yéle founders to pay $600,000 in restitution “to remedy the waste of the foundation’s assets.” It also would have required Yéle to pay for a forensic audit of its post-disaster expenses, as it had done for its pre-earthquake finances, and to start “winding down its affairs.”

On Thursday, Mr. Jean’s spokeswoman said he and his lawyers “are working assiduously to resolve any pending issues with respect to Yéle prior to its closing as Mr. Jean continues his tireless commitment to his beloved country.” {snip}

{snip}

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  • splitsing

    Couldn’t really care less one way or the other.

  • Puggg


    His resignation came after Mr. Jean declined to accept a settlement
    proposed by the attorney general covering the charity’s pre-earthquake
    activities, and he hired Avi Schick, a lawyer who had been a member of
    Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman’s transition team.

    I read somewhere that Schneiderman is buddy buddy with Al Sharpton, speaking of blacks who “came to do good and wound up doing very well indeed.”

    • When it comes to charity, I believe that Mr. Jean is behaving rather niggardly.

      • CoweringCoward

        Must feel nice to be able to use all of the English language and not have to apologize for the ignorance of your audience.

  • jedsrael

    Dear Merciful God, please let most of the donors to this BRA Diversity rapper’s “charity” be good Whiteys who “have hearts for mission and passions for outreach, service, and our universal obligation to do more for ‘the Other’ “.

    • dhs

       How could it be otherwise?  Few blacks are crazy enough to waste their resources on helping strangers. Blacks help family,  allies,  and friends, and  they may show some hospitality to others.  Making massive donations to Haitians is not in a sane black man’s range of behaviors.,  so your prayer had been fulfilled.

      • StillModerated

        From personal experience I’ve noticed bantus helping themselves first.

        • CoweringCoward

           I have seen a few “helping themselves” to my property more than once for sure.

  • Zqrxpad

    Compare the recovery rate of Haiti after the earthquake that happened on 1-10-10  with that of Japan that happened on 3-11-11. How anyone can think that all races are equal is beyond me! I sent a donation to the Japan recovery effort but not a dime to Haiti. The Japanese, IMO,  are good, honorable people and I didn’t worry that they would waste/steal the donations and was glad to do my little part to help them out. Haiti on the other hand, well – the “raciss” in me just  knew I’d be reading stories like the one above in short order, and I was right. Africans are so predictable to those that choose to see! 

    • Woody Woodpecker

      I did the same thing!
      I sent the Japanese a sizeable donation (over $100) due to a sense of camaraderie for fellow productive first worlders.
      But for Haiti, nothing. I view natural disasters in 3rd world countries as mother nature’s way
      of culling the herd.

      • IstvanIN

         The newsreels of the Japanese acting orderly and civilized as the world around them was in ruins, how they helped each other, returned money and possessions to their rightful owners, and were generally, well, Japanese!

        The tsunami is actually worse than an earthquake because tsunamis bring it tons of water, move building, cars, boats and what have you all over the place and generally create a bigger mess.  With earthquakes things basically just fall down in place.  Haiti would be easier to clean up.

        And look how they behaved at Fukushima.  Brave men going into the reactor, knowing they faced certain death.  Haitians/Africans just run away, unless they think there is something to steal.

        Haitians just act African.

        • Michael C. Scott

          We have a framed copy of the letter Sayaka’s great-grandfather sent to his superiors in 1944, in which he complained about the way in which the war was being conducted.  He died in a “Special Attack” less than a day later.  He was one of the first to do that, and his superior, Admiral Onishi made the policy official.  Blacks don’t do that.

          In unrelated news, Austrian-Australian Felix Baumgartner parachute jumped from 128,000 feet on Sunday, becoming the highest altitude jumper in history and first person to break the sound barrier outside a vehicle.  Black people don’t do that either.

          • rightrightright

            This (female) White person wouldn’t do that either.  Just watching the film turned the back of my knees to iced and wobblesome electricity.

            It occurred to me, though, that the marriage of Western technology in his kit to his outrageous courage said a lot about White people, individuality yet teamwork in what we can make and what we can do with it.

        • Up to my neck in CA

          I saw long lines of people waiting patiently for food and water in Japan. Blacks would never “wait their turn”, to them it’s much easier to cut in lines, push and shove and then eventually just take it and run. They have no sense of community or respect. looks like the community organizer in-charge failed.

    • Michael C. Scott

      In Hiroshima, the city transportation was running again in a week after the 1945 atom bombing.  In other words, people who had nothing left and sometimes didn’t know what had happened to their families went right to work.

      There’s a widowed city mayor in northeastern Japan who went right back to work after the recent tsunami because he was needed, though his wife was missing.  Her body was eventually found a few miles up a hillside in some debris that had been swept there by the water.  If Africans had shown anything like that sort of fortitude after Hurricane Katrina, instead of lotting, raping and setting buildings on fire, New Orleans would be a better place. 

      Household cash boxes were turned in to the police in Japan after the locals started to dig their homes out.  I doubt anyone can imagine Africans doing this.
         

  • Peter Lamoureux

    Did this surprise anyone?  Hip-Hop “artists” (not artists by the way) are pure narcissistic sociopaths.

    • Dole Office Clerk: Occupation?
      Comicus: Stand-up philosopher.
      Dole Office Clerk: What?
      Comicus: Stand-up philosopher. I coalesce the vapors of human experience into a viable and meaningful comprehension.
      Dole Office Clerk: Oh, a *bullshit* artist!
      Comicus: *Grumble*…
      Dole Office Clerk: Did you bullshit last week?
      Comicus: No.
      Dole Office Clerk: Did you *try* to bullshit last week?
      Comicus: Yes!

       — History of the World Part 1

  • I don’t know if I’ve ever read read anything that shouted TNB louder than this story. 

    In a new memoir, Wyclef Jean,
    the Haitian-born hip-hop celebrity, claims he endured a “crucifixion”
    after the Jan. 12, 2010, earthquake when he faced questions about his
    charity’s financial record

    Yep, he’s Jesus Christ the saviour, not some cheap POS who ripped off YT and his own people.

    Mr. Jean was disqualified as a presidential candidate because he lives in Saddle River, N.J., not Haiti.

    Because why bother checking out silly things like residency requirements when you are running for President of Haiti? 

    he’ll be OK, though he’s got a Jewish lawyer with political connections.  Oh wait, that’s just to deal with the problems his charity ran up before the earthquake – investigation on the post-earthquake activities is apparently just getting started.

  • Mark

    I gave Mr. Jean my entire life saving,
    because his charity is a good one, I trusted Mr. Jean with a substantial sum of
    money the first time I sent a donation, when Mr. Jean called back asking me to
    dig a little deeper I hesitated; Mr. Jean sensed my hesitation and asked me
    point blank. “Is it because I’m black?”

     

    I felt so guilty; I pride myself on
    not being racist, so at that point I decide to prove myself to Mr. Jean. I told
    him then and there that I would clean out my entire bank account and give him
    every last penny.

    Mr. Jean thanked me and assured me that my contribution would a
    long way in helping those poor people, frankly I’m shocked that this article
    passes for news, these allegations nothing short of slenderest.

     

    When I told my colleagues at work of my sacrifice they
    all laughed and callously called me a sucker for believing my money would reach
    the victims, I told them Mr. Jean was sincere. This only seemed to make them
    laugh that much harder; they’re so racist it disgusting.

    I do not blame Mr. Jean for my currently plight, in fact I actually owe him a
    great debt of gratitude, because of him I now have a better understanding how the
    people of Haiti live; allow me to explain, I lost my job a few months ago and now
    that I have become destitute, I currently reside down by the river, I’ve been
    living in a cardboard box. But at least I’m not a racist.

    I trust Mr. Jean I think this whole article must be racist. Mr. Jean is as
    honest man, and I’m not saying that just because Mr. Jean is a black man either.

    • gemjunior

      I understand completely and have a similar story – cos he raped me a couple of times before he was a successful artist.  It was pretty painful and violent, and he did cut my throat, but luckily for me a white guy saved me.  He was totally racist though – saying anti-black slurs in the ambulence.  I told him to stop and his eyes jusst boggled out of his head.  But back to Mr. Jean.   I don’t hold it against him and have moved on.  See, I understand his rage, The Righteous Black Man’s Rage.  After being oppressed for centuries, who wouldn’t be wound up a little tightly?  Anyway, I still gave to his charity,and I still listen to his music cos I consider him a musical genius.  At least I know one thing – I’m not racist.

    • Sloppo

      I gave the vast majority of my life savings to Mr. Jean’s charity, but I kept just enough to send to a man in Nigeria who promised to send me 32.5 million dollars after I send him $20,000.   🙂

  • Defiant White

    I bees cruzifried by de white man.  I only steal 14 of the 16 million.  I can’t get the last 2.  Dats raciss.

    • ZB

      That’s hilarious….

  • StillModerated

    Mr. Jean continues his tireless commitment to his beloved country.
    Which explains why the “hip-hop artist” prefers to live in Saddle River NJ. 

  • Somewhat related:

    http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2012/10/rapper-shyne-is-latest-entertainer-to-support-mitt-romney/

    What we have here is the black son of the black current Prime Minister of Belize, a rapper who recently converted to Judaism and changed his legal name to a Hebrew-sounding name, who may be “deported” soon because he’s an illegal alien, endorsing Romney because Obama isn’t tough enough on Syria.

    What does this have to do with America?  (Crickets)

    • StillModerated

       I wonder if he learned his grammar skills in Belize, or in the good ol’ US of A. Was Shyne one of the Old Testament prophets? Oh, never mind!

  • libertarian1234

    “Portraying himself as persecuted like Jesus and Martin Luther King Jr., Mr. Jean, 40, writes with indignation about insinuations that he had used his charity, Yéle, for personal gain.”

    Arrogance is probably the commonest trait among blacks.  Self-delusion wouldn’t be far behind either, since it’s vitally important to have a skewed image of themselves in order to support that arrogance.

    In contriving accomplishments they never, ever had, they refer to their historical people as being comprised of “kings and Queens,” claimed by no less than the brilliant Al Sharpton and supported by the great intellects in the Afro-Centrist community, obviously not understanding that it isn’t possible to have a population where everybody is a king and queen.  They also want people to believe they held such lofty status while “their ancestors (meaning whites) were living in caves.”

    To support their allegations of past brilliance,  they add that blacks built the pyramids and that the early Greeks “stole” all their many achievements and grand  advances in science and the arts.  They even declare Aristotle and Jesus were black men and that the Roman Senate consisted of mostly blacks.   Everything….all of…was stolen, then covered up by whites, throughout all of history so that the only thing left now are bits and traces of their greatness, which the Afro-Centrists have painstakingly pieced together in their struggle to expose the truth. 

    When the media’s messiah walked off stage after his dismal performance debating Romney…..which is the norm for him….he was flush with victory telling anyone who would listen that he had easily won the debate,  displaying the usual black arrogance,  based in a delusional self-image of himself.

    So if this Haitian incompetent views himself as an important, god-like figure he’s only giving us one more example of black arrogance.

  • “… whose orphanage features a wall painting of Mr. Jean and his wife …”
    Somehow or other, there’s always room in the budget for some things in third world countries like Haiti and the US.

  • Sloppo

    Is hip-hop music and rape music the same thing?

    • Michael C. Scott

      I think that is (c)rap music and not “rape” music, but the way the word “ho” is thrown around, it is difficult for me to tell.

  • anarchyst

    One could compare the katrina new orleans situation with that of Gulfport Mississippi.  Two nearly identical catastrophes with totally different outcomes. 
    While the “chocolate city” new orleans folks blamed Bush for not acting quickly enough to give them their government issued “credit cards”, the (white) people of Gulfport Mississippi rebuilt their city themselves with minimal government “assistance”.