President Trump is drawing much-deserved criticism for reportedly referring to Haiti, El Salvador, and certain African nations as “shithole countries” when he met with lawmakers this week to discuss immigration protections.
The main thrust of the argument against the president’s remarks, which were reported first by the Washington Post and the New York Times, is not that he used naughty language, but that he suggested immigrants from poorer countries are somehow subpar to immigrants from wealthier, predominantly white countries.
There’s a lot that can be said against Trump’s tone. There's even more that can be said against his reported claim that people from poor, predominantly brown countries make for undesirable immigrants.
But let that criticism come from someone other than former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Considering the Clinton Foundation's shady-as-hell conduct in Haiti following the disastrous 2010 earthquake, she and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, would do well to spare us the righteous indignation.
“The anniversary of the devastating earthquake 8 years ago is a day to remember the tragedy, honor the resilient people of Haiti, & affirm America’s commitment to helping our neighbors,” Hillary Clinton’s Twitter account said Friday.
It added, “Instead, we‘re subjected to Trump’s ignorant, racist views of anyone who doesn’t look like him.”
This is rich coming from someone whose foundation did little to offer Haitian earthquake victims real, tangible aid, but a whole lot to assist donors with business interests in the country. Let's check the board:
Nearly five years after a 7.0 magnitude quake killed hundreds of thousands of its citizens, Haiti’s recovery efforts remain muddled and confused, with the whereabouts of the billions of dollars pledged by the international community an apparent mystery to the country’s leaders.
“We don’t know where the money has gone,” Raymond Joseph, former ambassador of Haiti to the U.S., said Friday in an interview on Bloomberg’s “Market Makers.” ...
Joseph then recalled an event in 2012 when former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former President Bill Clinton, the U.S. envoy to Haiti, personally attended the launch of an industrial park that promised to create hundreds of thousands of jobs for Haitians desperate for work. That industrial park today has created only a fraction of the jobs promised.
“For example: The former Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, went down to Haiti in October 2012. Her husband was there and he was the U.S. Envoy to Haiti. The president of Haiti was there, all of the dignitaries were there, and they inaugurated the Caracol industrial park,” Joseph said.
“That Caracol industrial park was supposed to bring in 20,000 jobs in five years and 65,000 eventually. Well, Caracol only has one big company there. It’s a Korean textile manufacturer and only 4,000 jobs. So, you know, I take Caracol as the real example of how bad things are,” he added.
Bill and Hillary Clinton have hailed the factory churning out Old Navy sweatshirts in an industrial park here as a shining achievement in their efforts to rebuild this island nation after a destructive earthquake in 2010.
But the garment factory has underdelivered on projected jobs. Haitian workers have accused managers of bullying and sexual harassment. And an ABC News investigation has found that after opening its factory in the Haitian industrial park — built with $400 million of global aid — the Korean firm became a Clinton Foundation donor and its owner invested in a startup company owned by Hillary Clinton’s former chief of staff. ...
The post-quake projects nurtured along with $10 billion in international relief and hefty support from the U.S. government and the Clinton Foundation have, at best, had mixed results, experts told ABC News. Several of those initiatives have benefited Clinton friends and foundation donors as much as Haitians, Johnston said.
That same ABC News article reported at the time that fewer than 1,500 homes had been built in the years after aid was initially pledged to Haiti. Interestingly enough, as housing relief for victims languished, the Clinton Foundation “facilitated” the construction of a “luxury hotel in Port-au-Prince, a Marriott owned by Denis O’Brien, who has given $10 million to $25 million to the Clinton Foundation.”
Because of course.
Fewer than half the jobs promised at the industrial park, built after 366 farmers were evicted from their lands, have materialized. Many millions of dollars earmarked for relief efforts have yet to be spent. Mrs. Clinton’s brother Tony Rodham has turned up in business ventures on the island, setting off speculation about insider deals.
It seems that the only Clinton who grasped the magnitude of the foundation’s screw-up in Haiti was Chelsea, whose visit to the country in 2010 had her privately sounding the alarm.
The Clinton Foundation fell far, far short of its promise to the Haitian people. In some reports, the foundation actually did more harm than good. Many Haitians certainly seem to blame the Clintons for the stifled relief efforts.
Considering the foundation appeared to care about its benefactors' business interests in Haiti more than actual Haitians, and the fact that many people in that country hold the Clintons responsible for the bungled earthquake assistance, the former secretary of state might want to sit this one out. In this particular instance with Trump's "shithole" remark, let's leave the critical response to people who can’t say they made life more difficult for Haitian earthquake victims.