“In 2009, while Bill Clinton was setting up one of the family’s shell companies in New York, in that same year Hillary Clinton was at the State Department working with U.S. corporations to pressure Haiti not to raise the minimum wage to $0.61 an hour from $0.24,” progressive comedian Lee Camp said on his “RT America” program back in April.
Are his words true?
“Memos from 2008 and 2009 obtained by Wikileaks strongly suggest, but don’t prove without a doubt, that the State Department helped block the proposed minimum wage increase,” PolitiFact’s Linda Qiu wrote shortly after the broadcast. “The memos show that U.S. Embassy officials in Haiti clearly opposed the wage hike and met multiple times with factory owners who directly lobbied against it to the Haitian president.
“The Clinton campaign refuted the claim, and the State Department didn’t comment.”
In her presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton has emphasized themes of “justice,” “fairness” and by far the mother of them all “equality.”
It is easy to wax poetic about such things from a pulpit — especially when this pulpit is surrounded by enthusiastic supporters who will vote your way even if you call each and every single one of them the worst name in the book on live television.
Such blind adherence — something so crude it must honestly be called “tribalism” — is going nowhere, irrespective of the good reasons why it should make a beeline for the ash heap of history.
American society has grown so divided that scores of our fellow citizens are more engaged by what they stand against, as opposed to what they stand for. When any society reaches this low, rational discourse has long since become a relic. Identity politics and the groupthink it breeds reign supreme.
One need not be a Donald Trump supporter or even hold vaguely right-of-center views to see that Clinton is bad news for America. The tell-tale sign of this cannot be found on cable news programs, in the blogosphere, or even across the pages of your favorite newspaper.
Rather, it is revealed in the actions of Clinton herself.
Few people have been more impacted by these actions than Haiti’s long-impoverished populace. What Clinton did to it has inspired demonstrations — not in Port-au-Prince, but Manhattan.
One man famously appeared in the background of a Fox News broadcast this spring.
“President DONALD TRUMP thank you in advance for STOPPING the, CLINTONS from re-entering the White House,” his sign read. “They pretended to assist Haiti after earthquake, but instead RAPED the country, of billions of dollars!!!”
After 2010’s earthquake, which claimed over 200,000 lives, nearly $11 billion in aid found its way to Haiti. What happened once it got there is the real story.
In a National Review piece, Dinesh D’Souza told that Haitians “noticed an interesting pattern involving the Clintons and the designation of how aid funds were used. They observed that a number of companies that received contracts in Haiti happened to be entities that made large donations to the Clinton Foundation. The Haitian contracts appeared less tailored to the needs of Haiti than to the needs of the companies that were performing the services.”
Apparently Hillary had no qualms keeping the minimum wage low so desperate people could work for peanuts to please men with deep pockets who subsidized her lifestyle. Given the power of the Oval Office, how many ways might she discover to enrich herself at your direct expense?
Whether you call yourself a “liberal,” “conservative,” “libertarian,” “progressive,” “socialist,” “centrist” or whatever does not matter. What does matter is that Hillary has a shady past; one she habitually denies in spite of mounting proof which contradicts her assertions.
What sort of future is this primed to create for the United States?
Should Clinton pull out a victory this November, we all may very well endure the Haitian experience; coming to understand injustice, unfairness, and patent inequality at an entirely new level.
Say what you will about Trump, Jill Stein or Gary Johnson, but none of them compare to Clinton.
Joseph Cotto is a historical and social journalist, and writes about politics, economics and social issues. Email him at [email protected]