‘Clef, CLIF and the Precipice

My instincts have never told me that Wyclef Jean is a trustworthy nigga. Needless to say, my eyebrow has been raised from the moment I observed the massive Twitter campaign to give Jean money to help the Haitian earthquake relief effort.

In my humblest opinion, folks should be charitable for its own sake. Gifts of this nature should come from the heart and be devoid of the ulterior motive that characterizes public displays of awesomeness. People with the ability and desire to help tend to be aware of reputable charities such as the Red Cross. While I’m sure there were plenty of genuinely concerned people tweeting and re-tweeting “Yele 501501,” the campaign also saw plenty of folks taking the opportunity to be fashionably awesome to an online audience. I was alarmed to see the campaign spiral out of control and hoped that the funds given in this Kafkan hunger artist frenzy would go to doing some actual and immediate good.

Put a pin in that one. We’ll come back to it.

Jean’s Yele Haiti Foundation has been mired in fiscal calamity for years now. They hadn’t paid taxes for three years until this past summer. They’ve spent more money than they have generated. Jean has also been shuffling funding around into personal music projects, which is absolutely unethical and unacceptable. These should have been red flags for anyone considering giving money. We know that funds donated to charities are not always allocated in their entirety to the disasters in question. Foundations have expenses and salaries. I understand that much. However, it is the giver’s responsibility to be informed about the organization receiving his endorsements, both financial and tweet-ual. Unfortunately, many people were swept up in sensationalism surrounding the disaster and failed to understand this and a few other important things.

For starters, Jean’s organization will not have the entirety of funds donated from SMS message charges at their disposal until the next wave of cell phone bills clear. This means Yele will not be able to put all of this money toward actual relief efforts for weeks in many cases. No aid is coming until next week at the earliest–several days after the fact. Meanwhile, Jean has used his celebrity and influence therein to take away from more immediate relief efforts. As previously stated, we know the Red Cross will not give 100% of your donations to the earthquake victims. However, we do know they will be on site immediately.

Knowing the importance of timely response in matters like these, I’m amazed that Jean has even gone through with this. There is no reason why in the meantime he could not have used his celebrity to defer donations to groups who could actually help and raised his Yele money after the initial response. I’m no celebrity. I’m not even an Internets Celebrity. But, if I were, say, Usain Bolt and the same earthquake ravaged Jamaica, I’d be directing attention somewhere effective—not toward my own hot fucking ghetto mess of a charity. That’s how you really show love. Build up your little side pot at a later date.

Instead, Jean found it more important to become the face of the relief effort and get positive press for Yele. This is not to say he doesn’t care at all. I’m sure he cares plenty, but his ignorance and selfishness will prove costly. For those millions of text dollars that could have been effectively directed, there will be lives lost. Every drop of that blood will be on Jean’s hands. This was not the time for a massive cross-promotion with CLIF bars. Fuck load of good those CLIF bars will do when mass misdirection of funds assures there will be even more people who won’t be alive to enjoy their crispy chocolate deliciousness.

[Blogger’s Note: Is that what you wanted, CLIF?]

I can’t help but think of Jean’s famous “Armageddon” tweet and how it contains all the sensationalism of a Feed the Children commercial in 160 characters or less. Meanwhile, the nigga is going to fix his company’s books on your dime. He could have cleaned up his ledger and gotten his little shine a month from now after the rescue stage of the relief effort. Instead, he became the concerned neighbor who gets in the way when the fire department is trying to work.

This makes Wyclef Jean the bonehead version of Bono. I don’t know if I could ever support a charity this clueless no matter how awesome its intentions.

Questions? Comments? Requests? Sak pase? ron@ronmexicocity.com

Note: [Edited] DN Tournament field will be revealed Sunday afternoon on Ron Mexico City

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  • http://www.bboycult.com $ykotic/Don McCaine

    “Instead, he became the concerned neighbor who gets in the way when the fire department is trying to work.”

    ^ Good way to word it Mexx.

    But he ain’t the only one. There’s plenty of opportunity with this situation…hell even the US will take advantage of certain situations…and I do think Clef didn’t even know about those deductions, that’s them lawyers and accountants, I can be wrong, he could have told them to do it.

    But this topic should not be headline status, it’s looking more and more like a diversion from what’s really going on.

  • Won1

    …Meanwhile USAID along with it’s CIA infiltrators are methodically setting up their ‘economic hit men’ in place.

  • http://fuckilooklike.blogspot.com chris

    “Bonehead version of Bono”

    Judging from public statements and Bono’s NYTimes editorials, that might be redundant. Haha

    • http://www.ronmexicocity.com Ron Mexico


  • geico lizard

    You served that nigga. Wyclef deserves all the heat he catches and George Clooney needs to take away Wyclefs hosting duties for the telethon or it will lose credibility by association.

  • hannibal

    What are you doing to help?

  • caino

    if it turns out he did cook the books for his own cause he deserves everthing he gets, but at the sam time we still have a country to try and help, we can come back to Wyclef once Haiti has been saved !! (or changed to what America wants it to be !!)

  • yeah man

    The CEO of the RED CROSS makes over half a million a year and no one bats an eye.
    The Red Cross is still trying to find over a million dollars in 9/11 donations
    Every NGO in the world has similar allocation and distribution issues
    Did you even research how NGOs work? or the norms/standards for the industry?
    Wyclef is down there right now digging up bodies while you are joining in the propaganda.
    Thesmokinggun.com has an obvious anti-hip-hop agenda and MTO.com is a level of coonery worthy of this very column.
    Ron Mexico me lose offa you king. You gone for the okey doke it seem like. And me did rate you too.

  • Apollo Moses

    I think dude’s heart is in the right place but there is an air of self-entitlement to these charitable donations…obviously they haven’t kept up with books proper and maybe overwhelmed responding to this tragic event that everyone is describing as a total mess…and “Clif bars” WTF is that about…Snickers gets rid of the hunger…he better enlist some help fast or face a brutal audit or grand jury.

  • Moving Sideways

    Haiti: Gone Till November


    fuck that ron ron you could talk all that shit you want but he was the first person down there when things were fucked up. my hood we doing a clothing/food drive from them. also let me tell you about organizations like the salvation army. i know for a fact them fuckers are crooked. check this out they get a whole bunch of things for free. now why should the homeless go cold if they have all these clothes just lying around. well they have to profit off what they get now tell me that is some bullshit. if they can’t sell the stuff or they get to much they just throw it away. yes they fucking throw it away now why wouldn’t they take that stuff to a shelter or some place like that. they have to profit off it that doesn’t make any sense at all. all organizations to me are crooked unless they are run by the amish fuck that rant over.

  • Brooklyn

    the problem isn’t whether wyclef used this money to help the earthquake victims, it’s that his charity is somewhat shady. every penny he got in the last week could have gone towards helping the haitians, but for the past however many years, his company hasn’t kept their shit in order. the red cross and salvation army aren’t saints, but their shit is in order, so ain’t nobody investigating them. where wyclef fucked up is that he allowed a charity that uses his name to be so careless about their finances. now whatever good his organization does will be overshadowed by their lack of fiscal responsibility.

  • http://www.jango.com/music/EmCDL EmCDL

    I’m not gonna lie, I tried texting that number last week to give a little donation, but the ish wouldn’t go thru….kinda glad it didn’t now. I’ma have to find somewhere else to donate my money to, brotha tryna help!


    GTFOH!!! If it wasn’t for wyclef people in hip hop wouldn’t even know about Haiti and for you and anybody else to judge this man philanthropy off of tax returns 5 to 6 years ago makes you look real stupid. Over the years since wyclef bbeen in the game all he talked about was help haiti this help haiti that even before yele was founded and on top of that after every hurricane season when people in america was just sweeping up dead leaves from a storm that man was out there digging bodies out the mud and giving these people food and water when the american red cross could give two flips of a d**** who or how somebody died in haiti. If you want to talk about trustworthiness and relief organizations the red cross should be the last people you bring up because during katrina (which i lived through in the iberville projects no less) they were damn near the last people you saw out there “helping” and to make things worse all the higher ups in the red cross got a raise in the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars. So think about this why did it take so long for the red cross to get its sms service rolling if there sh*t is so together compared to the damn near immediate response that yele had and why everytime someone downs yele they say red cross this and that? also who would you trust to donate more money, a person who is a native of a country and makes millions a year and receives millions worth of donations or someone half a world away making thousands a year receiving millions in donations? find me a video of the directors of the red cross feeding haitians and digging them out of collapsed buildings from anytime before or after this. sometimes i just dont understand your logic ron

  • http://dasteamwerkmusik.blogspot.com bollocks

    Why, clif?

    Seriously though…whether or not he’s actually putting in time/money/effort to help the country get back on its feet is completely irrelevant. His crass showboating (“I spend my days picking up dead bodies!”) bespeaks a deeper need for attention, and reminds me of the American housewives who, after 9/11, created an identity by co-opting other people’s misery. SMH.