Following the news that Haitan-American musician Wyclef Jean – known as much for his Grammy-winning work with The Fugees as for his solo career – announced his intention to run for presidency of Haiti, most of the world said, “Hmmmm, really?” It’s hardly out of left field, though.
The native-born Haitian artist has been deeply entrenched in the community for many years now, particularly with his establishment of the Yele Haiti Foundation which has provided humanitarian aid and thousands upon thousands of academic scholarships to students in the hurricane rocked region. He also became an image ambassador for Haiti in 2007, delivered Hurricane Ike victims food one year later, raised funds to provide basic resources to third world countries via multiple charity events and even teamed up with Timberland to raise environmental awareness in his home country.
One of the most outspoken, Wyclef-For-President detractors thinks that the musician has no business being the leader of that country. That person is none other than notorious hot-head Sean Penn, who (to his credit) has spent a great deal of his own personal time trying to rebuild the region as the head of an earthquake survivor camp. The Oscar winner has made no bones about his perspective, claiming that the newly minted presidential candidate “has been a non-presence” in post-earthquake Haiti and possesses a level of wealth that is potentially suspect in light of accusations that he misappropriated Yele Haiti relief funds. Furthermore, Penn says that his witness of Wyclef Jean’s “vulgar entourage of vehicles” offers food for thought in a country where people are struggling to survive and thinks that accusations “will come back to haunt him”.
Just today, the musician-turned-politician responded directly to Penn’s comments in perfect PC form, saying: “I just want Sean Penn to fully understand I am a Haitian, born in Haiti and I’ve been coming to my country ever since (I was) a child. He might just want to pick up the phone and meet, so he fully understands the man.” The video below captures a very level-headed Penn as he addresses his feelings far more comprehensively — certainly worth a look!
Via Contact Music