I usually have a strong sense of discernment. So what many have defined as "stand off-ish" or incorrectly as "shy" is in truth a process of observing people and things around me. This week's "wanna be" scandal with Wyclef and his foundation, Yele, provided a great opportunity for us to put our discernment to the test.
Though the Fugees are no longer, its spirit of being more relevant to the world than supplying hit records, still exists. Wyclef from day one has been CONSISTENT in his support of not only his native country of Haiti but also of the world community as a whole. But right now his focus is on his country and its people in it's time of need through Yele and other organizations.
That said, DON'T LET WHAT YOU'VE HEARD LATELY DECEIVE YOU. DISCERN between what is the REAL issue and when HATERS create one because someone is raising more money than them through an organization THEY'VE never heard of on a grassroot level.
"How could this rapper raise so much damn money without a publicist written press release, no major ties to an A-list celebrity that we know of? All we keep hearing about is YELE? What the hell is a "yele"? Call some people, we're gonna investigate!"
What they don't know is that Wyclef was being prepared for his role in Haiti long before this recent devastation. And what he thought would be used in music is being used to help his homeland and its people. I sat next to him last year and listened to his vision of changing the music game from the bottom up through a "warrior" movement via the internet. See my 2009 wrap up for more details on that. But even before that he was setting the foundation of his movement through social media. Listen to this interview I did with Wyclef two years ago.
If you missed Oprah and Wyclef's press conference, visit his website then discern for yourself what's real. Once the quake hit--Wyclef was one of, if not the first celebrity figures--to go to Haiti and see the devastation for himself. He used mostly Twitter and his blog to inform people what was happening there and to support Yele. His message went viral and spread from Twitter, to Facebook, to YouTube, and to blogs seemingly BEFORE the Red Cross and other organizations' online Haiti campaigns were being talked about on the net.
Perceptions become reality, so again DISCERN for yourself what's truth. And on that point, this "200 years of poverty" that's existed in Haiti is becoming a media catch phrase. That kind of wording is dangerous and may lead people not to donate because they think Haitians accept poverty as the norm and are too lazy or ignorant to do better. DO YOUR RESEARCH PEOPLE! Haiti's FIRST distinction is that it is the FIRST BLACK colonized country to FIGHT AND WIN its independence. Remember the name Toussaint L'ouverture? No? Google it!
Haiti's independence from French colonization cost the country dearly as Le Francais waged economic revenge on the small country by way of reparations. And yes, in the early 1900s the US played a role in keeping Haiti in debt too by invading the country. Again do some research then add to that generations of inner turmoil and corruption and you'll get the present day poverty that exists in the small country.
Still, what's done is done. We must now focus on the present situation to ensure a better future. Last night many celebs including Wyclef combined their influence to raise money for Haiti. Let's continue supporting their effort now that the cameras and celebrity presence is gone. Donate what you can not only to Yele and Red Cross, but any of the relief efforts you trust. Discern for yourself what's real and what's bullshit. In chaotic times like these, truly there's no room for bullshit.