This is my open letter to the author of that letter, Alma Morales Riojas.
Dear Alma Morales Riojas
You recently wrote a letter to the Federal Trade Commission suggesting they investigate Herbalife as exploitative of Latinas.
May I suggest you visit an Herbalife club (ask the company for the address of six or seven) and turn up unannounced in the morning 7.30 am and sit there till about 10 am.
The business model is exploitative (in that the people at the top do disproportionately well vis people at the bottom) but your letter is factually incorrect in several ways and patronizing to many of your constituents.
I am an Australian. I do not speak Spanish but I took a Spanish speaking Korean guy with me. We saw about 60 people drop by the club and mostly chat. This was a social community. They had before and after photos on the wall and most members had lost considerable weight.
The couple who owned the club were a husband-and-wife. They had both gone from morbidly obese to merely modestly overweight. The wife had gone from a three insulin shot a day diabetic to a half insulin shot a day diabetic. Herbalife had probably saved her life.
Moreover every single member of the club was also signed up as a distributor. They all earned precisely no income. They signed up as distributors so they could buy Herbalife product for home use at a discount - in the same way as a young woman might sign herself up as an Avon or Oriflame distributor to buy cheaper cosmetics. [This is the 88 percent of participants that receive no payment from the company that you disparagingly and ignorantly refer to in your letter.]
Your letter - well written as it is - is quite in contrast to what I saw when I visited the club. And I believe you have been played by a billionaire hedge fund manager. I guess getting cosy with billionaires is good for your funding...
The billionaire hedge fund manager playing white-man's burden to protect those poor, helpless Latinas is comical. But you - a Latina leader signing up to help him - that reminds me of little more than the countless Indian Princes and petty rulers who sided with British Rule in India. They, like you, took the white-mans' burden on themselves. They, like you, formed a sycophantic and patronizing elite.
Bluntly, in the case I saw Herbalife had probably saved the life of one owner of the club - and I find it hard to get too angry about that.
Your view may differ. [You may not value your constituent's life or you may have another explanation.]
Either way go to a club. Sit there for a few hours and listen to your constituents. Or sit in your Princess's Palace sucking up to the white billionaires. You too can share the white mans' burden.