Have you ever heard of Dr. Umar Johnson? If you have never heard the man speak its a great chance that you have heard countless people that look like you call him a “fraud,” “thief,” “liar,” and “misogynist” among numerous other character assassinating terms. Why is this? Because as usual, black people are much more likely and quicker to doubt and tear down one another before embracing and respecting someone attempting to offer something different than the typical whitewashing we all have grown accustomed to. The popular reluctance to respect a different narrative from fellow blacks is what keep’s the white man’s penis and white woman’s breast in our mouths and foots up our own asses.
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I’ve dragged my feet in writing this piece, because much like what happened to Dr. Johnson I am sure that I will be met with apprehension, defensiveness and shot down by black masses. Why will I be shot down? Well, mostly because what I have to speak does not fit within the rhetoric of my white oppressor, black pessimist or the mentality of the neutral and indifferent black person.
I am no black nationalist, Pan Africanist or hotep though your own attachment to labels may influence you to categorize me as such. There are four things I want address here. One being the Dr. Umar Johnson Doctorate degree controversy; two being the controversial Fredrick Douglas blood relative claims; three being the Dr. Umar Johnson receiving funds from the public for a school controversy; and lastly the interracial dating controversy.
First, lets get to the Doctorate degree controversy. For whatever reason unbeknownst to me, folks on #Blacktwitter and across social media seems to believe that Dr. Umar Johnson is not in fact a Doctor, as they claim that the brother never graduated with his Doctorate degree. Though he has used the prefix “Dr.” since he first gained popularity as the “Prince of Pan-Africanism” and he has said on numerous occasions what schools he attended, and what institutions he received his degrees from, for some strange reason the validity of his degrees has been questioned by the court of public opinion by nobody but who? Yep, you guessed it! BLACK AMERICA.
The invalid use of the honorific, “Dr.” is in fact a misdemeanor offense in many states and a person of Dr. Umar Johnson’s magnitude does not usually go around calling themselves something that they are actually not. With fact checking being a call or click a way, Dr. Umar would have much more to lose than gain by telling such lie.
The fact that we are skeptical of his accomplishments and degree reveals a rotten truth, much too prevalent in the black community. This doubt and mistrust that we have among each other is as stifling and harmful as the gun in the waist of a Darren Wilson or in the hands of a George Zimmerman. Often times, we as a people do not need others to poke holes at us or destroy us as, we routinely show that we are best suited for the job, just ask Nate Parker or better yet Colin Kaepernick.
It’s one thing for Donald Trump to question the validity of the first Black President’s place of birth but its an entire different thing for blacks to question the education credentials of a black man. I ask all those skeptical of his education a simple WHY? Did he strike a cord personally with you? Did you not like his stance on homosexuality? Christianity and the black church? Feminism? Interracial dating?
Did your disagreement and perhaps anger lead you to question his relevancy and education? How childish and resentful of you but if its that serious to you, instead of you believing what white entities posing as black, like ummm say theroot.com and BET tell you how about you do your own fact checking and pick up the phone and call the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine or the National Student Clearinghouse so they can verify or deny? Being that it is so unrealistic for a brother like Dr. Umar Johnson to have a Doctorate degree. Because of course, a BLACK man with his type of rhetoric just couldn’t have a Doctorate, especially from a PWI with his type of messaging correct?
Now since we are on OUR favorite thing to do as a people which is…you guessed it, poke holes at the legitimacy of a black person with a nonwhite washed mentality, how about we get to the second topic under question which is Dr. Umar Johnson’s claims of being a “blood relative” of the great Fredrick Douglas.
The noise garnered from OUR questioning of Johnson’s family ties to Douglas got so loud that “the family” (whoever they are and whoever fact checked their legitimacy) actually put out a statement disputing and alienating Dr. Umar Johnson and his claims of any blood relation to Fredrick Douglas. Well sort of, kind of that is. They claimed that Dr. Johnson is telling a half truth and not correcting people on what’s not true but their statement failed to bring clarity to anything at all.
The fact that many dispelled Dr. Johnson’s accounts of who his family is, reflects again of the poor mentality of US as a people. The constant reach to discredit, diminish and sabotage the reputation and character of a black person with what could be a meaningful message is what helps keeps us mentally enslaved not to nonblacks but to ourselves. True to Willie Lynch, we have become our OWN worse enemies by constantly inflicting unreasonable doubt, unnecessary ridicule and strife onto each other. How can we fight white supremacy when we are too busy bickering and quarreling among each other? Why must it be a myth and fable that Dr. Umar researched his history and found lineage to Fredrick Douglas? Could it be because you didn’t bother to research your own history so, you find yourself being skeptical of his?
Now to this interracial dating thing. Before you popped off on the defensive did you bother to listen to what Dr. Umar Johnson said or did you shut down because it wasn’t a message that you are accustomed to hearing? Have you ever asked yourself is marriage a political statement or decision or did society’s urge to make you believe that you live in a post racial society, spark you indifference and neutrality to who you make your significant other?
This may be news to many black folks but love is absolutely a political statement. If it’s not that serious to you, perhaps you ought to check your priorities and get real about whats real. It is a reason why Jewish men, usually marry jewish women, Asian often marry Asian, African usually dibble and dabble in “other” but marry African. Everyone seems to get the concept of maintaining a bloodline, except the African American. It could be because many of our bloodlines were compromised and broken dating back to slavery and many of us, find no reason to ever restore what’s already been broken since before birth.
For many people it unfathomable to find love in the arms of the descendants of our oppressors, while in contrast for others its just not that serious and “race doesn’t matter.” (except of course when you get pulled over by the police or applying for a job in a white space/industry). I mean, there were white abolitionist back in the day so that shows us all that not all white people are devils and racists. I mean, so we think.
Love who you want to but understand that this indifference and neutrality mindset is most prevalent among US. Marriage and that attitude is a political statement rather or not you would like to admit it or not and arguably it shows a lack or regard for your own personal involvement to the progression of your race and hue. Therefore, this “love sees no color” mentality is popular among US, as we clearly have a very low if any commitment to one another which is considerably problematic. Rather it be self hate; lack of self identity; search for refuge and social elevation or whichever the reason the fact remains the same. Blacks truly do not care one way or the other about the black next to him/her and thats REAL.
So now the question of course is what about all the black folks marrying black folks and doing nothing to advance black people? In contrast are you going to knock a black person who marries nonblack and still puts in work to advance black people? Well, to answer that I will say that I can respect the contributions and actions without too much caring for the actor. I am aware that Sidney Poitier, Harry Belafonte, Quincy Jones are all married to Caucasian women, (just to name a few), as I cannot answer why but the fact remains. Sure, no one can tell you who to love, but the same can be said, that no one can tell you who to criticize and who to not. We are all open to ridicule and criticism, just ask Christ, or anyone you believe in. (The same that will tell me not to criticize interracial marriage are likely the same that will criticize Dr. Umar Johnson in a heartbeat). Criticism is fine, just make sense of it.
Lastly, about this private school for boys that Dr. Umar Johnson began collecting donations from the public for in 2015. As a nonprofit organization and 501(c)(3) holder, yes he is mandated to make internal numbers visible and accessible to the public. In terms of when that must happen there is no such law that dictates when a school that does not yet exist have to report those numbers. As much as it may suck to hear and may be difficult to accept from a black person, Dr. Umar Johnson does not have to move to the beat of your drum, your momma’s drum or your daddy’s (your black one or white one). He does not have to move by your standards, your church standard’s, charter school standards or anything else you want to draw comparisons to.
But if you rather make yourself useful instead of being an ordinary, pessimistic sheep feel free to email the brother and get in contact with him to see how you can be of assistance to help his cause. If you are not a part of the solution you are a part of the problem and your knocking his legitimacy may provide you some weird self satisfaction but its not going to move the bar for US one bit. Maybe it’s time for you to change things up and become a part of the positive 1%. If Dr. Umar Johnson is this “fraud” and “phony” that you claim him to be, then what is done in the dark will illuminate in the light in due time with or without your loud commentary.
At the end of the day, what do you stand from knocking him? Ask yourself how productive is your criticism and character assassination of this black man? Well if you ask Bill O’reilly, Fox news and The Blaze, you’re being VERY productive, so from them to you, I will tell you, THANK YOU! Just another flame they won’t have to put out. You Uncle Ruckus you!
By the way if you don’t want to do the work yourself, here you go. Maybe now you can shut up!