Why Dr. Umar & General Seti’s Beef is a Problem
Dr. Umar Johnson has become a major figure in the “conscious community” and has given many knowledgeable viewpoints on the issues that Blacks face. His views on systematic oppression, the Black church, and investing in and uplifting the young Black male have personally made me voluntarily watch his videos and interviews.
But a few days ago, I was let down by this Black man who has consistently done and said questionable things for quite some time now. This man, who I viewed as a breath of fresh air for our community, revealed the main problem with our community in his latest scandal.
What is being mocked and referred to as a “Conscious Beef” between Dr. Umar and General Seti, another well-known influencer, reveals just how contradictory and problematic these types of leaders are. The increase of individuals that are becoming “Conscious Pimps,” i.e. those who make a profit from the desires of Black people is a huge issue.
Over the last few years, conscious pimping, otherwise known as the misuse of power and influence on the Black community, has tainted the push for those of us who really wish to unite and build. The conscious community that once was has become more gimmicky, and the rise of self-proclaimed leaders like Dr. Umar are pushing our people into segregated directions during a time when we need unity.
Growing up, I was exposed to the “woke folk” through my mom who took us to many Kwanzaa celebrations, Pan-African cultural events, and who blasted Erykah Badu (my Auntie in my head) every morning as she prepared us for school. But recently, as I sat and chewed my peppermint flavor stick as I watched both General Seti and Dr. Umar Johnson’s videos and I thought to myself, “Dr. Frances Welsing is turning in her grave.”
There are so many pioneers who have dedicated their lives to educating Black people and who genuinely wanted us to unite and build. I am clueless as to how the new era of the conscious community can even attack one another if they have the same fight. Egotistical thinking is stripping the foundation of our people’s unity and we have allowed YouTube personalities who are more about their personal interests instead of the interests of our people to lead us.
Dr. Umar Johnson has a platform that is filled with many that are looking to find truth, since society has continued to feed us lies through the media. He has created a following of people who are looking to him to lead the way as they seek to find their sense of purpose in this world. Dr. Umar has taken that need and used it to seduce each of us into infatuation. However, he is quick to attack anyone that “wakes up” from the spell of his false hope.
This issue is why many people who were his followers or enjoyed his talks have turned away from him. His latest attack on General Seti has become the cherry on top for not only his platform, but the conscious community as a whole due to the rise of self-interested conscious folk who uses the knowledge they discover for their personal gain. Dr. Umar has become lost in this journey to consciousness and proved this by naming himself the “Prince of Pan-Africanism,” which he yelled in his video as he proceeded to defame Genral Seti.
The beef videos posted by General Seti and Dr. Umar Johnson contradict everything I learned about the conscious community. I always viewed the elders as ones who possessed wisdom that strengthen others, even when they were being attacked. I viewed them as individuals that united no matter the issue. The disappointment and sad part of this entire ordeal is that two Black men used their platforms to attack one another after a year where we seen two Black men literally get murdered on Facebook.
The time is now for us to really hold our self-proclaimed Black leaders accountable for their actions, because our people are hurting and need all the positivity in this very moment. It is now time for those of us with platforms to step up and become the change we wish to see in this world. Dr. Umar and General Seti are both human, but when you have positioned yourself as the voice for oppressed people, you have to think of them in all your actions. Conscious pimping needs to die and this beef should serve as the beginning of the end.
Ariel Rainey is a creative consultant, mommy activist and a millennial voice that focuses on creating and impacting the world. Nicknamed the Mogul by her clients, she is known for being the bridge that connects brands with audiences through innovation. She is also the Founder of the non-profit Hustle Mommies for Moms on the hustle for their communities and families. She can be found on Twitter and Instagram at @ArieltheMogul.