Dr. Umar Johnson: The Message vs. The Messenger

Dr. Umar Johnson's message is bigger than Dr. Umar Johnson... period.

Dr. Umar: The Message vs. The Messenger
Dr. Umar Abdullah Johnson Ifatunde

No one said it better than one of my top 5 favorite comedians of all time, comedian Eddie Griffin. In his 2011 comedic stand-up, “You Can Tell ‘Em I Said It“, Griffin drops a gem during his assessment of Christians and Muslims. From the moment I first heard the punchline, my perspective and outlook on the world was forever changed. He poignantly drives his message home asking the audience “Did you get the message” after telling them to disregard the messenger.

I’ll pause right here so you can view the clip.

Did you get the message? Did you? How many truly can say the have received the message? This has been a growing problem in religious circles. Time and time again we hear stories of how a pastor of a church, in most cases a mega church, disgraces the call, his church, and the good Lord Jesus Christ himself. The members of his or her flock come to the defense of the minister using all kinds of excuses to explain away the “imperfect” behavior. It has come to the point where sheeple have become followers of the messenger rather than the message.

Did you get the message?

So what does this have to do with Dr. Umar Johnson? Everything. It has everything to do with our brother. I haven’t followed the doctor from the very beginning but when I did stumble across his message it resonated with me. His charismatic delivery, his fact sheets, and his work on the front lines working with school aged Black and Brown boys bolstered his message and added to his credibility. His hands-on experience with students credentialed Umar in the field of school psychology. By and far, and this was just my opinion, Umar would have been the next big thing after Malcolm X and Marcus Garvey.

Not to get off topic, have you ever wondered why America celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. and not Malcolm X or Marcus Garvey? Just let that marinate.

The Message

Dr. Umar: The Message vs. The Messenger
Discussing Religion with Dr. Umar

Dr. Umar’s message is clear and concise. His message is pan-Afrikan to the core. For those not familiar, Pan-Africanism is a worldwide intellectual movement that aims to encourage and strengthen bonds of solidarity between all people of African descent. It is based on the belief that unity is vital to economic, social, and political progress and aims to “unify and uplift” people of African descent.

While Umar’s message is Pan-Afrikan in nature, his primary focus is on the miseducation of the Black youth, in particular Black boys. Dr. Johnson rails against the abuses of special education and how the school system uses special ed as a crutch to the detriment of Black boys. He connects ADHD and special ed to the school-to-prison pipeline and instructs parents (for free) how to maneuver the bureaucracy of the American Education System (AES).

The message brought forth by Johnson is a message of self-sustainment and fulfillment. Although focusing primarily on AES, he also touches on geopolitical topics that the Global African Family should be aware of.

For example, prior to Barack Obama’s first election win, Umar Johnson predicted that Obama would be elected. Not only did he predict that he would be elected, he also predicted that Obama would do two terms and at the end of the second term, Blacks would find themselves back in Reconstruction. The Reconstruction period was a period after the Civil War, 1865 – 1877, where Blacks although freed, were still second class citizens.

Fast forward eight years and Johnson successfully predicts that Trump will win the White House. Trump enters the White House and makes it his mission to roll back ALL Obama-era policies. It’s uncanny. It’s unprecedented. A simple YouTube search will pull up a plethora of videos confirming the same.

The Messenger

Umar Johnson is a Doctor of Clinical Psychology and a certified school psychologist. As a former school administrator and school district psychologist, he’s worked with special education and disruptive behavior disordered student populations for more than a decade. Johnson has served as an expert witness in court hearings. He has done countless presentations around the world. The doctor is a Garveyite and calls himself the Prince of Pan-Afrikan.

Umar doesn’t fit the narrative of your average Negro. Although he speaks on White supremacy, his mindset comes from a different angle. Johnson is unapologetically African. He is committed to his point of view. His position on various topics remain steadfast in the face of critics. Dr. Johnson is also a  man. He is prone to the same deceptions men before him faced. Far from perfect Johnson has had his fair share of blunders.

The Conscious Stripper

Dr. Umar Johnson: The Message vs. The Messenger
Dr. Umar Johnson & ‘Conscious Stripper’ Khym Ringgold.

In 2015 a scandal of sorts rang through the conscious community claiming an “illicit affair” on behalf of the doctor. This affair involved a “blonde weave-wearing resident of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.”, Khym Ringgold. Going by the name “Conscious Stripper” (oxymoron) Ringgold outed Umar in a series of Instagram posts, tweets and YouTube videos, which layout personal SMS messages between the pair.

Johnson initially denied dating the exotic dancer contending it was a series of “after midnights”. According to Madame Noire he blamed “his ‘escapade’ with Ringgold for allegedly costing him a million-dollar donation for his boys academy, which would have come from an unnamed NBA player.”

The doctor could have handled the situation better BUT let us remember that he is unwed. In that respect, he has not cheated. He has not been unfaithful. Many leaders, Black and White, have strayed outside of their marriage, weathered the storm of scandal and still remain. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s accomplishments are not devalued over his act(s) of indiscretion.  Former President Bill Clinton completed his full terms in spite of impeachment hearings.

As a single Black man Johnson is free to sleep with whomever. That is his prerogative. Some say by sleeping with the stripper Umar isn’t living up to the ideals he speaks passionately about. On the contrary, Umar speaks out against homosexuality and interracial dating. He slept with a Black woman. Sounds like it was in line with his teachings. He’s not a Catholic priest or a monk. Umar Johnson did not make a vow to live a life of celibacy. Let the two consenting adults go at it. And let’s just say by some stretch of logic he’s not living in line with his message, what Christian, politician, or cop is? It detracts nothing from the message. The damage is to the messenger.

PA Board of Psychology

Dr. Umar Johnson: The Message vs. The MessengerDr. Umar Johnson: The Message vs. The MessengerLast month Umar shared on Instagram and Facebook that he was being called before the Board of Psychology in Pennsylvania. From his perspective a legal lynching was underway in an attempt to strip him of his certification. Reviewing the board’s website revealed the difference between a certification and a license for practicing psychology in the state. Going back over when Umar discussed his credentials, he was careful and wise to mention “certified”. Even in his book Umar mentions being certified, not licensed. Johnson lashed out at fellow Blacks for what he perceives to be attacks on his character. His GoFundMe campaign was halted… again. Facebook incarcerated the doctor. Instagram cut off his live stream capabilities. All of this in the name of discouraging the doctor from pursuing his goal.

What people of color should consider is the indoctrination of White society. According to their standards, unless given the stamp of approval by one of their institutions you are not credentialed regardless of how much experience you have in the field. Now take the revered Dr. John Henrik Clarke. Dr. Clarke studied the ins and outs of Afrikan culture and how it evolved in the United States. He didn’t require a White man to teach him about his ancestral DNA. Logically speaking, if a system is in place to the detriment of Black and Brown youth, the people who put it in place will not accept opinions that run contrary to their agenda.

For example, Big Pharma is not going to give the green light on medical marijuana because they will lose money. To protect their bottom line, Big Pharma has to remain staunchly opposed to cannabis used for medical purposes. They will lobby Congress with all the disposable income they’ve amassed to keep the money train going. The same could be said for the removal of Dr. Umar Johnson’s certification.

Final Verdict

In conclusion, whether you like the doctor not, you can’t ignore the facts. You also can’t ignore his work for his people and his track record. Even Ray Charles can see Umar’s dedication through all the free services he provides. What other Black leader do you know make themselves as accessible as Dr. Umar? He gives out his personal number and his email address at every lecture and event. Johnson responds on social media. He conducts a free Black parent conference call every Tuesday morning. Umar the messenger is almost as good as it gets but he is still human.

Personally, I don’t like how arrogant he’s become. Taking a page out of hip hop Umar frequently has to gas himself up as P.O.P.A. and referring to himself as the most requested scholar. Don’t get me wrong. Take pride in your accomplishments especially if they’re truly earned. But let’s not get pompous about the work that needs to be done.

Certification, no certification, my respect for Johnson remains. I don’t have to agree with how he delivers the message and presents himself but the message remains clear. Quite frankly, the Black community has bigger fish to fry than Johnson. There are ills in the community Blacks would rather sweep under the rug instead of clean out. Better to focus your energies on more pressing matters. One of the main problems in the community is that people would rather bicker and fight instead of roll up their sleeves and get to work.

Dr. Umar Johnson speaks truth. Whether he lives it or not doesn’t change the truth that’s spoken. Eddie Long molested little boys but does that change the Word of God he purportedly brought forth?