I have the utmost respect for artists who use their celebrity status for good deeds. I’m even more delighted when hip-hoppers lead the charge for social change. Enter Haitian-born Fugee co-founder Wyclef Jean.
While I believe that Clef has the best intentions at heart and genuinely wants to play a part in Haiti’s economic recovery, I think his presidential aspiration is misplaced. It’s a legitimate question to ask how Wyclef intends to manage a country’s financial burden when he can’t manage his own bank account. The guy owes IRS $2.1 million for fuck’s sake. I don’t even mind that dude is a political neophyte. With the right team around him, he can make progress. It’s that he flat out lied on CNN, with the world watching, when Wolf Blitzer raised questions about those $400,000 folks donated to the Yele Haiti fund. If you’re not ready to either be a straight shooter or lie convincingly, then you’re not ready for politics.
Fellow Haitian-American and ex-Fugee Pras has been tweeting a hellstorm since Clef announced his candidacy. While Pras is clearly biased (he’s a supporter of Clef’s opponent Michel Martelly), he’s right to suggest that he’s not fit for the job. Wyclef is not fit to take on the enormous burden of shepherding a country brought to its knees by decades of economic turmoil, corruption, and mismanagement. Frankly, I can’t tell if he’s desperate for attention or just plain delusional. His high-profile charm may be better served elsewhere, like fulfilling his duties in the position he already holds as roving ambassador.