Here lately I have found myself, well, disappointed and let down by many of the popular black men who champion for the advancement, equality and overall existence of the black community. If it’s not Jesse Williams’ arrogance and back peddling on his stance on “this invention called whiteness” (yes his dating a white girl does just that, but that’s a whole other article) then it’s men like Umar Johnson criticizing our black women, like Serena Williams, for her engagement to and pregnancy by a white man. Needless to say, the hoteps are in full bloom right now.
What is a hotep anyway? Well, the simple definition is this: A person who believes in and touts Afrocentricity or pro blackness but exhibits behaviors that don’t always align with what they speak. Or they are so “woke” that they are full of themselves to the point of deluded self-importance. There is literally a whole list that I can get into but won’t because that’s not what this piece is about. I will, however, say that too many hoteps either think that the Afrocentric, “black power rules” they say others should incorporate into their lives don’t apply to them, (again, Jesse Williams) or are very quick to criticize members of the black community about who and what they should or should not be doing. Hotep, essentially, in today’s black vernacular, is synonymous mostly with black men whose thoughts on blackness are very much sprinkled with misogyny, sexism and an affinity for telling black women what they “need.” Which brings me back to Umar Johnson.
The man is a fan favorite amongst a certain group of black folks. He fights the good fight against white supremacy and has recently made the rounds on mainstream media outlets defending his stance on a variety of issues; many times against black people and their “whitewashed” ideology. In one of his latest videos, he commented that Serena Williams marrying Alexis Ohanian, a co-founder of Reddit, is just a ploy of white supremacy on his part.
In Johnson’s view, Ohanian, whom he says is worth far less than Williams, is not marrying her for love or because he plans to be with her forever, but rather has courted and “impregnated” the world class tennis player to gain access to her money, which he will then strip from her in about ten years. The author and speaker referred to it as, “a military strategy to rob her of some of her wealth.” In Johnson’s view, Williams needs an “Unapologetically African alpha male to handle that” because Ohanaian “doesn’t even know what to do with all that.” “That” being her body, attitude, etc., I presume. In the video posted to his YouTube channel entitled “We the Gods,” he goes on to support his notion about Ohanaian and Williams’ by letting us know that his understanding of white supremacy and Serena’s lack of knowledge about the topic is what gives him the right to make his prediction.
I try my best to support the brothers who are on the front lines of the race war raging in this country. At the same time, it’s hard for me to do that when I see, in too many of them, an air of egotism, which ultimately dilutes their message. Serena Williams is everything, but a lot of black men failed to see that. Maybe it’s because she’s dark skinned, or has a muscular body that turned/turns them off. Far too many brothers do not realize how much their ideas about a woman are influenced by the mainstream society. As such, the kind of men that Johnson says “can handle” Williams aren’t attracted to her because of some fantastical expectation they have of what and who their woman should be. That’s not a reflection of Williams or any other woman but lies solely on the men who need to work through their own suppressed issues of self-hate. Plain and simple!
Furthermore, as a black woman, I am well aware of the existence of white supremacy in America, and I am not the only one. To say that Williams is oblivious to the mechanisms of white supremacy and thus is why she is in an interracial relationship with a white man is the epitome of hotep behavior. Johnson, and many hotep men like him, thinks he is the only one privy to this kind of knowledge and thus is “dropping some truth” on us based on his interpretation of a situation. No, this kind of talk only serves to further the notion of self- importance that Johnson feels.
There is a difference between being “woke” for the advancement of one’s people and being woke for the advancement of one’s self. Sadly, my faith in the men who claim to be vocal for the culture continues to wane.
Black men please, just stick to the commentary that moves us forward. All the other stuff you feel your opinion is relevant to is really none of your business.