Dr. Umar Johnson is the self-appointed “Prince of Pan-Africanism”. Yes, he actually refers to himself as such. He also calls himself a “scholar,” but sadly, there’s nothing scholarly about him. He talks about the work he’s doing in the black community, but yet, his scholarly work is non-existent. He wants to be somebody in the pantheon of African-centered intellectualism. However, unfortunately for him, he’s like Marcus Garvey without the Black Star Line asking black folks to swim to Africa. Because who needs a ship to get to Africa when melanin gives black folks the power to swim across the Atlantic Ocean.
Yes, because the Black man is God!!!
I recently tried watching the interview Dr. Umar Johnson did on The Breakfast Club. Unfortunately, my intelligence couldn’t stomach being insulted for more than a few minutes, so I decided to stop watching. The controversial interview sparked discussions in black spaces on social media, so I said to myself, “Look, you know Umar is full of shit, but give him a chance.” And with that, I started watching on YouTube, and said, “Fuck this.” There were a few things Umar said that had me like, “Nigga, what?”
Dr. Umar Johnson said that black people spent $2 billion on Nike Air Jordans last year. I’ve never bought a pair so I don’t know, and I must ask. When you buy a pair of Jordans, is there a box where you check off your race before you complete the transaction? I ned this explained to me, people.
He also said that black people can expect the same thing we got from President Obama from President Trump. Which, in his view, was absolutely nothing. How you out here still talking that “Obama didn’t do anything for Black people,” nonsense when you don’t even vote? Come on, man, that’s really dumb.
Last time I checked, Umar was still soliciting funds from black people to build a school for boys in Virginia. To date, he has raised somewhere around $700,000, and the property he was looking to purchase, was purchased by someone else several months ago.
But to hear him tell it as he did on The Breakfast Club, he’s taking a look at some land he saw in South Carolina recently. Conveniently, he told the show’s co-host that he couldn’t discuss the purchase of said land or his plans on the air. Mind you, to date, the public has yet to see his business plan for running the school for boys, that he originally attempted to start in Virginia.
Oh, and then Umar said that Buddha was black. I mean, Dr. Umar Johnson said he was. So, naturally, that means it’s true. Which, on this one, he might be right. But that’s the problem with Umar, the cones of ice cream cones he’s selling are topped with multi-colored sprinkles of bullshit.
It’s Afrocentric, but it’s bullshit nonetheless.
Yep, like when he said that the Chinese are taking over Africa and that Mandarin was the official language of South Africa. He said some other stuff about interracial marriage that ruffled a few feathers. Specifically, he said that he cannot respect any black man who doesn’t marry a black woman. Because, for a black man to marry anyone but a black woman shows his lack of “commitment to blackness,” or some shit like that. Yeah, like we test our blood for blackness like we do for diabetes.
As you can imagine, the interview wasn’t greeted well on the internet. As such, Black Twitter had a lot of negative things to say. So negative that Umar got in his feelings and took to his fortress of solitude and made yet another YouTube video to bash his critics, as every self-respecting “unapologetically African alpha-male,” would. Anything less would be European and gay, and Umar doesn’t like the gays.
So, Roland S. Martin interviewed him on TV One’s NewsOne Now to clear the air.
Watch the video below:
I often joke about Dr. Umar Johnson because in my mind he’s a clown. But the truth is that he’s very dangerous. While his opinions aren’t unique, what he does is use said opinions as a representation of “truth” and fact. In doing so he exploits the ignorance of the black people he claims to love. This is dangerous because he’s able to increase his following. This isn’t a bad thing if Umar was truly doing something for black people, but he isn’t. The scary thing is that you can get sucked in by Umar, and the next thing you know, you wind up in South America drinking Kool-Aid laced with cyanide.
Most interestingly noticeable in the interview with Roland S. Martin, was how he interacted with the black woman on the panel who challenged his position. From where I sit, if Umar truly loves black women, and said love is a manifestation of his commitment to blackness, as he says. Said love and commitment would be palpable, in his exchange with her.
Bottom line: Umar loves Africa to the extent that he’s “unapologetically African,” as he says. As such, he’s more than happy to beat his chest like a silverback gorilla all in the name of being “woke.” In doing so, he contributes little to the collective progress of black folks in America. I don’t doubt whether Umar loves black people. I truly believe that he does. However, Umar is about Umar, and and that’s clear. He may truly love black people. Unfortunately, however, he doesn’t love us as much as he loves himself.
Umar Johnson wants to be worshiped as the “Prince of Pan-Africanism” or whatever the fuck he calls himself. But, hero worship of nothingness in the context of blackness gets us nowhere. It may serve Umar Johnson’s ego and pockets well, but it doesn’t do shit for anyone other than him.
One last thing, folks. The notion that a black person’s “commitment to blackness,” is measured by their choice to date or marry a black person, is asinine. It’s bullshit of the highest degree of bullshitery.
First off, where do I go to sign a contract with blackness that validates said commitment? Does said commitment requires that I forego steak to eat nothing but chitlins and slave food to be down? Do I burn the clothes that I wear because they were not produced and sold by a black-owned company that exclusively employs nobody else but black people? What does a “commitment to blackness,” look like?
I need some answers, folks. Why? Because God forbid if the bouncer at the pearly gates of heaven turns me away because of my deeds. I mean, Jesus is black so my shit has to be correct, yes?
And this is coming from the guy who has children by two different black women. The same Dr. Umar Johnson who had a relationship with a black stripper on the low, who later degraded her for being a single-mother and a stripper, once everyone found out.
But seriously, if your blackness needs to be validated, maybe the problem is you. Maybe the problem is that you’ve bought into the lie that says your skin color makes you inferior. And maybe, you’re simply projecting your internalized racial oppression. Maybe, just maybe, it’s not that you love being black. But instead, you actually hate being black. As such, in an act of re-engineered coon-ism, this is your way of convincing yourself that you don’t. I don’t personally know Umar, but, this could be possible.