“Dr.” Umar Johnson?
The self proclaimed, “Prince of Pan Africanism,” Umar Johnson, has been under intense scrutiny for several months now. It seems that someone is determined to bring his authenticity and credibility into question, thus ruining his mission. He solicited donations from the black community to purchase the property of a defunct HBCU and turn it into an Afrocentric school for young people. Now, it seems, everybody wants to know what he has done with the money. (Did he raise 20 million or something?) They want to see business plans, records and every document to prove he doesn’t have a Swiss bank account!
I recall Nation of Islam leader, Louis Farrakhan doing a similar thing as he was rebuilding Mosque Miriam in Chicago. He simply stated, and I paraphrase, “If I’m found doing something with the money I raise other than what I said I would do, you can kill me!” In other words, his word and deeds are/were his bond to his people. He announced his plans and people gave accordingly! Meanwhile, preachers and pastors all over the world solicit money for their “building funds” and who knows what else! I haven’t heard a public outcry or demand for their business plans! If somebody can show bro. Johnson has been shady with the money he has raised, okay! If not, why not allow his word to be his bond?
Recently, brother Umar’s Doctorate degree was being called into question, as well as whether he is really a distant relative of the great activist and freedom fighter, Frederick Douglas. Why such scrutiny for a brother who for the past decade or more, has been traveling the world lecturing on our taking action to heal ourselves from the pains of enslavement and oppression? I have seen the brother on more than one occasion, and I didn’t get the feeling that he was taking his positions, (no matter how controversial) lightly. He was/is always prepared to defend his position with passion and oh yes, facts as well…or at least facts as he interprets them! (See his presentation right here at Africognize.com)
Seems like the intense scrutiny came shortly after he made his desires to affect the minds of young African people with that school public! Perhaps somebody in a high place doesn’t want him to do it! The enemy doesn’t necessarily assassinate the person anymore: They simply assassinate the person’s “character!” Don’t be surprised if Dr. Umar is vindicated (It was verified that he actually received a doctorate: https://www.theroot.com/i-was-wrong-his-name-is-doctor-umar-johnson-1797016800) that he doesn’t opt to stay out of community service for the rest of his earth walk! Why would someone lie about being the distant relative of a famous person? (Easily verifiable…I think!!!). Why does he have to tell us his exact plans with his donated funds, if he’s not ready to announce them yet? Would I have handled that differently? YES! Especially after he was recorded expressing his total frustration with the lack of black community donations he received to complete the project! However, the names I have seen this brother called on Face Book and other social media, you’d think he was accused of being a serial rapist! (Naw: they didn’t even call bro Cosby this stuff!)
Come on brothers! With men falling like dominoes from past misdeeds regarding sexual harassment of women in the workplace, I KNOW you’ve sat alone and tried to replay in your mind if any of this stuff can be applied to you 20-40 years later? My answer was “no.” I only held one position in my career where I actually had subordinates that I had the power to affect. They were all male and all very good friends! It just goes to show how times have changed as we enter the age of information and truth! The fact that there was or is a time that a woman can be harassed and exploited for sex in the work-place, or at home for that matter, just because she is a woman, shows how far down the rabbit hole this society is! There is total empathy (and there should be) for women (most of whom are white because they were allowed into the corporate world before any other group of women) who have suffered through this type of treatment for decades. Some of the men who perpetuate this behavior are now paying the price. (And they should be.)
My only question is, “Where is our total empathy for enslavement and its effect on generations, even at the present?” How about the multitude of black women forced to have sex with their white slave masters while their husbands’ had to sit and wait until the master was through? Or die if he stood up to defend his wife’s honor? (We wonder why it’s so easy for many black women to believe that black men aren’t strong enough to defend and care for them.) We are not far removed from a time when Africans were in an even worse predicament: Harassed even to the point of death, for just having melanin! Not only that! We were KEPT OUT of pursuing happiness just like any other citizen! We often hear, “That’s an excuse! That was a long time ago! You are equal in every way!” Yet, if I responded the same way to the calls of women’s treatment in the workplace, and the “Me Too” movement, I would have to resign whatever post I held. We need to eliminate all forms of sexual assault and harassment in our homes and at work! We also need to educate everyone about the real affects on a people who were enslaved and kept back in every aspect of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for almost 400 years in this society. It has had a lasting psychological and even physiological affect. See Dr Joy Degruy right here on this site for more info about this generational pathology.
‘Tis the season
What do Santa and trees and Yule tide, mistletoe and bright colored decorations and presents have to do with Christmas? Some personal research into these questions will likely reveal that Jesus “ain’t necessarily the reason” for the season! (I’ll leave that right there!)
As we end the year 2017, we might consider reflecting on our personal direction, and how we might improve our relationships within our families, communities, and with the world at large. It’s the only thing we are in absolute control over: not what’s happened or happening to us, but how we handle it as individuals and how we seek to heal ourselves. I wish you healing and positive life-giving energy as we approach the end of 2017. Hoping you apply the principles of Kwanzaa to your everyday life my African brothers and sisters.
Bro Eric Clemons