Cryptocurrency: Good investment or One World currency?(Part 1 of 2)

Bit2....jpg

As I’m pretty sure by now, most of you have heard in some form or fashion the word “cryptocurrency” being tossed around in the media & social media due to the most popular form of cryptocurrency by the name of Bitcoin (BTC) reaching a value level of as high as $7,380.56 per coin.  To some people, the mere fact that this form of currency is so valuable is enough to get most people excited as they sit around pondering the possibilities of transforming this currency into a fiat currency to where they can essentially ball out of control.  To other people, most honestly have no clue what cryptocurrency is, why it’s so valuable, why people are so excited about it, & why people are rushing to get involved in the cryptocurrency market.  Well, I’m about to give you the most elementary explanation that I can think of in order to help you understand what cryptocurrency is, why cryptocurrency WILL dominate the future & more importantly why you SHOULD get involved in this market, especially if you are black.

Everything from money to social media activities are centralized (controlled by some organization).  The stuff you post to Facebook is stored on Facebook servers all across the world that are owned & controlled by Facebook.  Every time you withdraw money from an ATM machine, send money via PayPal, pay for something using a debit/credit card, all of those transactions must go through a bank (centralized) to where the bank controls the actual process of sending/receiving, recording & verifying transactions before the disbursement of funds…for a fee of course.  These transactions themselves are stored on servers owned & controlled by these institutions as well.
These servers are very important for a reason.  These servers process & store the information they collect from you (in addition to data mining this information to be sold to third party companies who then send you a bunch of junk via email or snail mail to convince you to buy).  Another reason these servers are so important is because these servers are also extremely valuable to hackers roaming the internet looking to compromise a server to gain access to the information residing on the server to be later sold on the black market (think identity theft).  The problem with these servers is that in the grand scheme of things, they represent single point of failures that are constantly being attacked & exploited for nefarious purposes.  All of the information that you’ve posted to Facebook ONLY resides on Facebook’s servers spread out across the world.  This information does not reside on any of Google’s servers which means if someone managed to wreck havoc on Facebook’s system causing the site to crash or something catastrophic to where your information was compromised (as in recent issues involving Yahoo!), then you couldn’t turn to Google’s servers in an attempt to retrieve the information you had stored on Facebook’s servers, because they are not connected in that manner to allow for the free flow of data to be exchanged & stored.  I have a decade+ background in IT & I have a master degree in Information Assurance.  My master degree alone is basically a degree that focuses on protecting information floating around being stored on servers.  So the problem is a very real problem that most people are unaware of.

Cryptocurrencies function off of a technology called blockchain.  Blockchain essentially eliminates the single point of failure aspect by removing the storage of data on centralized servers owned by private/public entities.  The data on the blockchain whether it is financial transactions, social media activities etc are stored across a gigantic network of computers called nodes to where the information stored cannot be controlled by one entity or hacked causing severe problems due to single point of failure issues I described above.  The reason the data on the blockchain cannot be hacked is because the data resides on a distributed network is highly encrypted to where a hacker can’t just hack one single point on the blockchain, they would have to hack the entire blockchain essentially.  Also, the data residing in the blocks on the blockchain are constantly updated across the network to wherever you access the data on the network, the data will be the same.

Bit1...

Here’s an example of what I mean by the data being centralized & decentralized in addition to the data being “mirrored” across the network no matter where you are to access the data.

Back in the day on Microsoft Word a person would type a paper, save the paper, & then email the paper to somebody to make corrections.  The person whom the email was sent to would get the email, open MS Word, make corrections, email you the paper back, then you would make necessary changes to the paper.  This entire process was centralized to where only one party had control of the paper at a time and the other party couldn’t get access to the paper until the owning party relinquished control.

Now, we have Google Docs (basically cloud computing) to where multiple parties at the same time can access, view and/or edit the paper in real time without waiting for one party to relinquish control of the paper (decentralized).

Bit4...

How this ties into the data floating around on the blockchain is…you’re not inputting your data into just one entity and entrusting that one entity to do the right thing as far as processing and safeguarding your data (for a fee in most instances).  You are now putting your data across a distributed network to where copies of that data will exist in multiple places at once.  So, if I upload some data from my home computer on the blockchain, my data will be added to the blockchain which will then be replicated across the network and not just sitting on one server that I would need to gain access to (think…logging into Facebook, you’re essentially logging into a site that stores your updates on their servers).  In a decentralized scenario, in theory, I would be able to log into my gmail account and still be able to access my data on Facebook.

Now some of you are probably wondering how this data is protected if this data is “free floating” on the blockchain versus the data (supposedly) being protected on some entity’s servers.

Simple, the data is encrypted (it’s encrypted on these entity’s servers too by the way…or at least should be).  But the encryption on the blockchain isn’t CENTRALIZED, meaning you are not relying solely on that one entity to encrypt & protect your data.

So how the encryption works is fairly simple for the most part.  Blockchain works off of an encryption practice called asymmetric encryption.  Asymmetric encryption involves the use of a public & private key to gain access to data.  Any data you put on the blockchain is encrypted to where the data looks like a bunch of meaningless letters, numbers & symbols that would literally take decades (if not longer) to decipher.

A private & public key can be thought of this way…

You maintain a mailbox at a UPS store.  UPS gives you 2 keys:  one to access the UPS store and the other key to access your personal mailbox within the store.  The UPS store key that you possess is the same key that some random person with a mailbox at the UPS store would possess as well, but that random person does not have your private key (or shouldn’t) to access your personal mailbox.

So on the blockchain, what tends to happen is, people constantly give out their public key to pretty much anybody who wants it for the purpose of exchanging data (and/or “money”…cryptocurrency).  But to unlock or gain access to the item in the transaction, a person would need your private key to do so.  So basically what takes place is, Person A wants to send an item to Person B.  Person A sends an item to Person B using Person B’s PUBLIC KEY.  This item is encrypted within Person B’s PUBLIC KEY.  Person B receives the item from Person A.  Person B now uses his PRIVATE KEY to decrypt his PUBLIC KEY to get access to the item Person A sent him.  If anybody were to intercept Person B’s PUBLIC KEY, they would NOT be able to access the data encrypted on that public key without having access to Person B’s PRIVATE KEY.  Person A can’t even get access to the data he sent Person B because Person A used Person B’s PUBLIC KEY to encrypt the data and ONLY Person B’s PRIVATE KEY can decrypt Person B’s PUBLIC KEY.  Got it?  Good.

Now, all of these transactions are continually updated across the blockchain network in a matter of minutes to where each transaction is essentially “etched in stone” to where a new “block” is created in the overall network which is then duplicated everywhere on the network (think of my Google Docs analogy).  This is important because in order to hack the system, every other block that was created prior to the new block would have to be hacked as well which would require computing power that probably doesn’t exist to even make it worth somebody’s time & effort to attempt.  You can’t just hack one block, all the blocks are connected which mean you would have to hack ALL OF THE BLOCKS.  Also, you can’t delete data on the block once the data is recorded.  Now for the sake of this blog article, I’m choosing not get too technical beyond this point to prevent really confusing the hell out of people who have no idea how this works, but just want a basic general understanding of the technology behind it.

What I really want people to understand is why one Bitcoin is currently worth over $7K and why black people need to seriously get caught up on this technology to where you could benefit big from it in the coming years.  Crytocurrency (Bitcoin and other coins) is an intangible asset that rewards people for participating in the creation, maintenance & growth of the blockchain.  These people are called miners.  These people allow for their computers to be used as nodes for creating the actual blockchain which allows for you to engage in peer-to-peer transactions which also allows for you to remove the middleman & their fees out of the process.  They also allow for your data to be distributed without the need for a centralized distribution point that is owned by one entity.

People who are not miners invest in the cryptocurrencies that are being “mined” by these miners.  A miner is a person who basically uses their computer to solve complicated mathematical problems.  Each time they successfully solve a problem a coin is created.  These miners are paid in partials of coins that is based on a variety of factors.  The remaining partials are then placed on the market for non-miners to invest in or use as actual forms of currency to purchase items.  Matter of fact, Japan just recently recognized Bitcoin as a legit form of currency to purchase items.  There are even ATM machines in various countries (too include the US) that allow you to “withdraw” Bitcoin instead of dollars.

But here is what I really want black people to grasp & understand as this whole discussion relates to cryptocurrency and the blockchain technology…Black people need to think of this technology like it is the Internet 3.0.

When the internet first came out for general public use 20 something years ago, the internet was basically a place to visit websites and read stuff.  That was it.  The only people who were really making money off of the internet during that time were ISP’s (internet service providers) & people who registered domain names for the sole purpose of holding them and selling them to people later on (think if you bought Walmart_dot_com back then how much Walmart would have paid you to get that domain name).  You had a few other ways of making money here & there (the Dotcom Boom) but that was pretty much it.  Internet 2.0 ushered in the era of e-commerce & social media (where we presently are now).  As crazy as this may sound, a lot of people honestly didn’t think e-commerce or social media would take off.  A lot of people couldn’t fathom the idea of people buying products online or spending more time on a social media platform communicating to people than they did in real life.  But in the year 2017, look at how we communicate & engage in commerce now.  So now think of blockchain & cryptocurrency as internet 3.0 to where the internet will begin moving away from big companies like Google, Facebook, & banks controlling or having some influence on every aspect of everything that takes place on the internet.  The blockchain will not put these people out of business, but the blockchain will give people more power over how our data is being utilized on the internet.  This is all about ownership & control on the individual level versus relying on the big entities to do it for us.  Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin have proven that there is a real demand & shift taking place to where as this technology continues to grow & mature, a lot of potential money stands to be made.

Bit3....PNG

Cryptocurrencies function off of a technology called blockchain.  Blockchain essentially eliminates the single point of failure aspect by removing the storage of data on centralized servers owned by private/public entities.  The data on the blockchain whether it is financial transactions, social media activities etc are stored across a gigantic network of computers called nodes to where the information stored cannot be controlled by one entity or hacked causing severe problems due to single point of failure issues I described above.  The reason the data on the blockchain cannot be hacked is because the data resides on a distributed network is highly encrypted to where a hacker can’t just hack one single point on the blockchain, they would have to hack the entire blockchain essentially.  Also, the data residing in the blocks on the blockchain are constantly updated across the network to wherever you access the data on the network, the data will be the same.

Here’s an example of what I mean by the data being centralized & decentralized in addition to the data being “mirrored” across the network no matter where you are to access the data.

Back in the day on Microsoft Word a person would type a paper, save the paper, & then email the paper to somebody to make corrections.  The person whom the email was sent to would get the email, open MS Word, make corrections, email you the paper back, then you would make necessary changes to the paper.  This entire process was centralized to where only one party had control of the paper at a time and the other party couldn’t get access to the paper until the owning party relinquished control.

Now, we have Google Docs (basically cloud computing) to where multiple parties at the same time can access, view and/or edit the paper in real time without waiting for one party to relinquish control of the paper (decentralized).

How this ties into the data floating around on the blockchain is…you’re not inputting your data into just one entity and entrusting that one entity to do the right thing as far as processing and safeguarding your data (for a fee in most instances).  You are now putting your data across a distributed network to where copies of that data will exist in multiple places at once.  So, if I upload some data from my home computer on the blockchain, my data will be added to the blockchain which will then be replicated across the network and not just sitting on one server that I would need to gain access to (think…logging into Facebook, you’re essentially logging into a site that stores your updates on their servers).  In a decentralized scenario, in theory, I would be able to log into my gmail account and still be able to access my data on Facebook.

Now some of you are probably wondering how this data is protected if this data is “free floating” on the blockchain versus the data (supposedly) being protected on some entity’s servers.

Simple, the data is encrypted (it’s encrypted on these entity’s servers too by the way…or at least should be).  But the encryption on the blockchain isn’t CENTRALIZED, meaning you are not relying solely on that one entity to encrypt & protect your data.

So how the encryption works is fairly simple for the most part.  Blockchain works off of an encryption practice called asymmetric encryption.  Asymmetric encryption involves the use of a public & private key to gain access to data.  Any data you put on the blockchain is encrypted to where the data looks like a bunch of meaningless letters, numbers & symbols that would literally take decades (if not longer) to decipher.

A private & public key can be thought of this way…

You maintain a mailbox at a UPS store.  UPS gives you 2 keys:  one to access the UPS store and the other key to access your personal mailbox within the store.  The UPS store key that you possess is the same key that some random person with a mailbox at the UPS store would possess as well, but that random person does not have your private key (or shouldn’t) to access your personal mailbox.

So on the blockchain, what tends to happen is, people constantly give out their public key to pretty much anybody who wants it for the purpose of exchanging data (and/or “money”…cryptocurrency).  But to unlock or gain access to the item in the transaction, a person would need your private key to do so.  So basically what takes place is, Person A wants to send an item to Person B.  Person A sends an item to Person B using Person B’s PUBLIC KEY.  This item is encrypted within Person B’s PUBLIC KEY.  Person B receives the item from Person A.  Person B now uses his PRIVATE KEY to decrypt his PUBLIC KEY to get access to the item Person A sent him.  If anybody were to intercept Person B’s PUBLIC KEY, they would NOT be able to access the data encrypted on that public key without having access to Person B’s PRIVATE KEY.  Person A can’t even get access to the data he sent Person B because Person A used Person B’s PUBLIC KEY to encrypt the data and ONLY Person B’s PRIVATE KEY can decrypt Person B’s PUBLIC KEY.  Got it?  Good.

Now, all of these transactions are continually updated across the blockchain network in a matter of minutes to where each transaction is essentially “etched in stone” to where a new “block” is created in the overall network which is then duplicated everywhere on the network (think of my Google Docs analogy).  This is important because in order to hack the system, every other block that was created prior to the new block would have to be hacked as well which would require computing power that probably doesn’t exist to even make it worth somebody’s time & effort to attempt.  You can’t just hack one block, all the blocks are connected which mean you would have to hack ALL OF THE BLOCKS.  Also, you can’t delete data on the block once the data is recorded.  Now for the sake of this blog article, I’m choosing not get too technical beyond this point to prevent really confusing the hell out of people who have no idea how this works, but just want a basic general understanding of the technology behind it.

Cryptocurrency..

What I really want people to understand is why one Bitcoin is currently worth over $7K and why black people need to seriously get caught up on this technology to where you could benefit big from it in the coming years.  Crytocurrency (Bitcoin and other coins) is an intangible asset that rewards people for participating in the creation, maintenance & growth of the blockchain.  These people are called miners.  These people allow for their computers to be used as nodes for creating the actual blockchain which allows for you to engage in peer-to-peer transactions which also allows for you to remove the middleman & their fees out of the process.  They also allow for your data to be distributed without the need for a centralized distribution point that is owned by one entity.

People who are not miners invest in the cryptocurrencies that are being “mined” by these miners.  A miner is a person who basically uses their computer to solve complicated mathematical problems.  Each time they successfully solve a problem a coin is created.  These miners are paid in partials of coins that is based on a variety of factors.  The remaining partials are then placed on the market for non-miners to invest in or use as actual forms of currency to purchase items.  Matter of fact, Japan just recently recognized Bitcoin as a legit form of currency to purchase items.  There are even ATM machines in various countries (too include the US) that allow you to “withdraw” Bitcoin instead of dollars.

But here is what I really want black people to grasp & understand as this whole discussion relates to cryptocurrency and the blockchain technology…Black people need to think of this technology like it is the Internet 3.0.

When the internet first came out for general public use 20 something years ago, the internet was basically a place to visit websites and read stuff.  That was it.  The only people who were really making money off of the internet during that time were ISP’s (internet service providers) & people who registered domain names for the sole purpose of holding them and selling them to people later on (think if you bought Walmart_dot_com back then how much Walmart would have paid you to get that domain name).  You had a few other ways of making money here & there (the Dotcom Boom) but that was pretty much it.  Internet 2.0 ushered in the era of e-commerce & social media (where we presently are now).  As crazy as this may sound, a lot of people honestly didn’t think e-commerce or social media would take off.  A lot of people couldn’t fathom the idea of people buying products online or spending more time on a social media platform communicating to people than they did in real life.  But in the year 2017, look at how we communicate & engage in commerce now.  So now think of blockchain & cryptocurrency as internet 3.0 to where the internet will begin moving away from big companies like Google, Facebook, & banks controlling or having some influence on every aspect of everything that takes place on the internet.  The blockchain will not put these people out of business, but the blockchain will give people more power over how our data is being utilized on the internet.  This is all about ownership & control on the individual level versus relying on the big entities to do it for us.  Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin have proven that there is a real demand & shift taking place to where as this technology continues to grow & mature, a lot of potential money stands to be made.

Article by Gee Lowery

Umar Johnson: Pan African or Pro Black Pimp?

umar2

I have always supported Umar Johnson.  I always thought he was a dynamic speaker and spoke honestly.  I have told people many times that I met Umar back in 2011 at one of his lectures.  I agree with his ideas on being Pan- African,black unity and he’s also against interracial marriage.  So I can agree with at least 80% of what he says.  But he’s been trying to raise money for a school for black boys.  I think it’s a noble idea and it’s something black boys need.  However over the last few years there as been talk about him taking the donation money for himself.   Some say he’s not even a real doctor and that he has no credentials. And many black people in the conscious community are now saying he’s a fraud.  Many say he’s no different than the preacher pimps in the black church.  I was hoping that Umar would be different than the rest.  But no matter how much I may like a person they are not above being criticized.  There’s some things about his history that don’t seem to  add for me. But I want you to read this post that a subscriber sent me.  Check out the videos and read the article for yourself.  Then come to your own conclusion.  You be the judge. The article was written by Mukasa Afrika Ma’at and Chantell Beaty.

 

We are living in a new age where leaders are being made by social media. In this new age, Black leadership has degenerated from the pre-social media generation of great scholars such as Dr. John Henrik Clarke, Dr. John G. Jackson, Dr. Ivan Van Sertima, and others. Today, someone can take an idea of a school that never becomes a school and push that idea on social media and become more well-known than someone like Dr. Anyim Palmer who founded the Marcus Garvey School in Los Angeles in 1975 or more respected among sadly uninformed masses than someone like Marva Collins who founded the Westside Preparatory School in Chicago, also in 1975. A non-educator can become more respected as an educational leader than founders of the East in New York who founded their school in 1970 with a few thousand dollars and provided a national model of Afrikan-Centered excellence that helped guide a movement. Unfortunately, we live in these strange days of social media where the Council of Independent Black Institutions (CIBI) are becoming a fading memory due in part to a lack of financial support. Many of the CIBI schools began in the living rooms, basements, and front porches of great educators with little money and a lot of heart. The schools grew across the country before declining due to lack of support. A few still exists today but are under-funded. Dr. Uhuru Hotep of Duquesne University wrote a great analysis in his dissertation entitled Dedicated to excellence: An Afrocentric Oral History of the Council of Independent Black Institutions, 1970-2000. Another excellent work is that of Dr. Kefentse K. Chike entitled From Black Power to the New Millennium. Although he focuses on Detroit’s Afrikan-Centered school movement, Dr. Chike addresses the national movement. Dr. Hotep and Dr. Chike are the great scholars you never heard of in the non-cerebral social media world. They document a great history of real and some existing schools, many of which are closing due to funding, and they have been around for decades with some of the greatest educators and institution-builders we have produced as a people. Meanwhile while this is occurring, a charlatan calling himself the “Prince of Pan-Africanism” with only an idea that he is pawning off is given hundreds of thousands of dollars without any school while he makes a mockery and often profane caricature of a movement to which he defames. Let us consider some facts and evidence about Umar Johnson.

 

FACTS

Fact 1. Umar Johnson has become a professional fundraiser. He had a deadline of August 21, 2014 to purchase St. Paul’s College without a clear operational plan, staff, potential students, and other necessities for a school. The projected fundraising goal was five million dollars. The goal was not achieved. What most fundraisers do is to either go to a plan B of using the funds for another projected goal, extending the deadline, or returning the money at the option of donors. Umar chose to switch projects and expand the deadline, at least this is what he told supporters. He has mentioned purchasing other properties but not with the urgency of the original project. Essentially, fundraising has become his means of income. Umar Johnson is not an employed professional or business owner. His means of income is fundraising. This is fraudulent behavior. Fundraising is not for personal income. It is for the fundraising goal. If a percentage of funds goes towards other expenses or not, there should be full transparency. Umar Johnson does not provide his supporters with full transparency. The entire project is questionable because Umar is an individual without any significant educational or organizational leadership. Perhaps if the project was sincere, he would start with a much smaller and manageable school to gain experience. However, if money is the goal, then he would begin where he is now which is fundraising and only fundraising.

Various members of the Black community have made requests and demands that Umar provide records from PayPal of his community donations and withdrawals allegedly for his school. He has also been requested to provide records accounting for the monies through his GoFundMe allegedly for the school. The community has asked that Umar cease to collect money in the name of building or opening a school until he provides adequate and reliable financial information which has to date not occurred.

Fact 2. A lack of financial transparency leads to suspicion of fraud. This is basic business knowledge which Umar’s supporters either don’t know or don’t care to know. Umar Johnson has been questioned and has not provided public financial accounts of expenditures of monies collected and monies spent. He has become angry when questioned around collections, plans, and expenditures such as what had taken place on a radio show with a female caller, “Dr.” Umar Johnson Panics When Asked to Show His Accounting, who was silenced by him and the radio host who quickly went to a break while Umar called the sister a “reactionary” for the questions about a clear plan, transparency, and accountability of funds.

Further, there is no financial plan of sustainability to run the school which he allegedly intends to open. A five million dollar school would have significant budgetary expenditures in salaries and facilities, not to mention the start-up costs alone. Depending on student population, a five million dollar school may very well need more than five million dollars annually to run. Tuition costs would be driven in part by the population of the student body. With 35 buildings at St. Paul’s College having over 700 students at one point, tuition may be expected to be approximately $5K-$10K dollars or more to cover expenditures and salaries if Umar actually opened a school. The problem with Umar is that there is no financial plan or blueprint developed for his fundraising supporters or the public?  A lack of financial transparency could mean a few different conclusions, as anyone with basic business awareness would know. 1. There was never serious intent to purchase and run a school in the first place, only to raise money and reputation build. 2. The money is being used for personal living expenses. 3. This phase of professional fundraising was not carefully thought out and maybe he thinks it’s ok to figure it out along the way which is unsound fiscally. I believe it’s a combination of these and it all adds up to fraud. Education leaders who are successful do not operate by chance or without a clear plan.

Fact 3. There is and never have been a board of trustees, consultants, or advisors. Umar Johnson does not have any experience as a school administrator or educational leader. He is a professional speaker who makes a living from speaking. He has never balanced a school budget, does not understand leadership dynamics, and with this obvious lack of experience, he would need consultants and advisors if he were serious about the project. He would further need a board of trustees which he does not have. The board would provide governance and checks and balances. A board would have a president, vice president, treasurer, secretary, and members with expertise in various areas. Consultants and advisors would provide guidance, questions, and insight based on years of experience and accomplishments. Why not have these important people in your corner with such a project? Unless: 1.Umar only wanted to raise funds for personal gain or 2. He wanted popularity instead of achieving a goal.

Fact 4. DISCLAIMER and APOLOGY from Mukasa Afrika Ma’at: An apology is extended to our global readers. It was previously cited as fact that Jermaine Shoemaker (aka Umar Johnson) had without doubt earned his doctoral degree from our research team’s investigation. However, that information is not factual. There is no undeniable information to date that Jermaine Shoemaker (also known as Umar Johnson) earned a Doctor of Psychology (PsyD). There is evidence that an “Umar Johnson” earned this degree but evidence shows this was not Jermaine Shoemaker. The research team, led by the excellent Sister Chantell Beaty in this area, has turned up evidence that there is possibly two different people. There is verified evidence that someone named “Umar R. Abdullah-Johnson” earned a Doctor of Psychology in 2012. This individual is Arab and married, and Jermaine Shoemake is neither. To date, there is no evidence that Jermaine Shoemaker ( also known as Umar Johnson, the public speaker) earned this degree PsyD in 2012 or any other year. No degree or transcripts have been provided by him.
Umar Johnson (also known as Jermaine Shoemaker) has not provided proof to date that he is “Dr. Umar Johnson” or that he has a Doctor of Psychology. The only evidence of an Umar Johnson receiving the degree is from 2012, years after the Umar in question began calling himself “Dr. Umar Johnson”. As an important investigatory note, Jermaine Shoemaker had been calling himself “Dr.” Umar Johnson since at least 2006 which is evidenced in public records from the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Also, it should be noted that PCOM removed the citation of the dissertation after this essay went public, the 2012 dissertation which Umar claims belongs to him but is not found online, anywhere as of this date. Yet still, the dissertation may be associated with another Umar. Either way, he lied to his followers up to 2012 or he never earned the degree at all. Both are fraudulent acts. If Umar Johnson is THE Dr. Umar Rashad Abdullah-Johnson who earned the degree in 20012, why did he say he had it 6 years before it was awarded? He can easily provide evidence by posting his transcripts, diploma, dissertation, and proof of ID to these documents. To date, he has not provided any of this information. This fact stands as proof of fraud by Umar.

Fact 5. Umar is not as original as he claims. He states that he is the only Black Psychologist to conduct psychological research on Black children and racism. He claims that no leaders are doing what he does! He is in essence discrediting an entire movement for his own purpose of reputation building. Umar states that he is a certified school psychologist and certified school principal, and has a private practice in Philadelphia Pennsylvania where he evaluates children for special education disability determination. He allegedly works with charter schools, public schools, superintendents, principals, special education attorneys, and advocate groups. He states this although he was “canned” from speaking at a Philadelphia high school in 2016. He’s also been canned at universities and other events. Umar states that he has written the only book ever written by a black school psychologist. This claim is fraudulent. Black psychologist have produced a body of works for decades. Some are Dr. Amos Wilson, Dr. Bobby Wright, Dr. Nai’m Akbar, Dr. Wade Nobles, Dr. Frances Cress-Welsing, and many others, none of whom have ever cited or even mentioned Umar Johnson.

umar-and-tariq

Fact 6. Umar has not proven that he is related to Frederick Douglass. Before Umar became popular throughout the country, he became well-known locally in the city of Philadelphia as a “descendant” of Frederick Douglass. This is how he began to attract audiences who I heard personally excited to “go hear a descendant of Frederick Douglass!” That would be great, except while building his reputation as a Douglass descendant, no proof was ever provided. He has provided some fictitious relationship verbally while speaking. However, like so many things with this “leader,” you must believe him and take his words without evidence and facts. However, facts are not established by words but with evidence.

Ken Morris and his mother Nettie Washington Douglass are true and established descendants of Frederick Douglass and Booker T. Washington. Birth records, wedding certificates, family pictures, and a family tree in the Library of Congress exist that establishes their relationship to Frederick Douglass and to Booker T. Washington. The same types of records validate Tarence Bailey as a cousin of Ken Morris. Tarence is descendent from Perry Bailey, the elder brother of Frederick Douglass. No such records relate Umar to Ken and his mother Nettie, Tarence, or anyone else related to Frederick Douglass or Booker T. Washington. Ken and Nettie have co-founded the Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives (FDFI) of which is supported by Tarence. Their family and supporters are advocates against modern slavery and human trafficking around the world. They are continuing the work of their great ancestor. Neither Ken Morris, Nettie Washington Douglass, Tarence Bailey, nor any other proven descendant have spoken of any relationship to Umar Johnson and he is not a member of FDFI. What has occurred is that Ken Morris issued the Official Public Statement on Umar Johnson and Tarence Bailey issued the Declaration from Elders of the Bailey Family: Disowning Umar Johnson, an Unverified Disgrace to the Family Name. The Douglass Family Initiative is an organization making a real difference in the world by real descendants of Frederick Douglass and his family. They should have your support instead of an idea for a school that doesn’t exist, pawned off by a charlatan. By the way, there was another fake descendant known as Fake Fred IV who has been more successful and prosperous at perpetrating as a Douglass descendant than Umar. For details read Role of a Lifetime.

Fact 7. There is suspicious activity around Paypal and Gofundme which indicates fraudulent activity. Paypal froze Umar’s account permanently and Gofundme closed his account down temporarily. There are only a few reasons that Paypal will freeze accounts and Gofundme would close temporarily and they all revolve around fraud protection. They protects the integrity of their service. They have accounts in much greater amounts than Umar. There is no conspiracy against him. If donors have complained about making contributions to a fraud, Paypal and Gofundme will freeze your account. Considering that so much of Umar’s reputation is highly questionable, Paypal could have had any number of fraudulent reasons to freeze his account. On the other hand, Umar also has a GoFundMe account which is different from Paypal. With GoFundMe, you are giving money to the person for whatever reason they wish. With Paypal, there are more restrictions to protect against fraud. Umar’s Paypal was frozen for all reasons that Paypal freeze accounts, suspicion of fraud or actual fraud.

Fact 8. Umar has poor character. The fact that Umar and Khym Ringgold were involved with each other is their business. They were two consenting adults. His character comes into question because he blamed her for the loss of a large donation from an un-named NBA star when the internet became active around their involvement with each other. He didn’t give the identity of this NBA star leading many to believe this was simply a diversion tactic because Khym Ringgold is a stripper. It should also be noted that he called Khym Ringgold several very disrespectful names not worth mentioning. Regardless of Khym Ringgold being a stripper, as brothers we should try to uplift our sisters instead of putting them down. His actions were not those of leadership or a man.

Umar is extremely disrespectful. When complaining about how much money was not raised, he stated, “Trifling ass Black people” didn’t give him enough and if anyone didn’t like what he said, it could be “handled outside”! Educators and leaders of our people do not speak like this about our people being “trifling” because he didn’t get enough money and taking it “outside” to fight if you don’t like what he said. On another occasion, he told a brother who disagreed with him in Texas to “knuckle up bitch”! He has had problems with paying his own child support. Mostly recently he had a video rant meltdown with a fake tough guy phone call that was a viral embarrassment. This is not how great leaders behave and talk. This is how irresponsible and insecure men conduct themselves.

Fact 9. Umar gives selective information to his donors. He was supposedly the principal of a charter school but suddenly resigned. He didn’t give the name of the school or why he resigned. Why? Khym Ringgold supposedly prevented him from receiving a large NBA donation, but he didn’t give the NBA player’s identity. Why? He states that he is related to Frederick Douglass but didn’t provide any records. Why? He states that he has a financial plan but it’s not made available. Why? He claims to have several degrees to which he can easily prove through posting the transcripts or posting the degrees, but he does not. Why? He claims to have principal and psychology certifications, but does not provide these to his followers. Why? Umar has not explained why his Paypal was frozen or his Gofundme temporarily shut down. Why? He can give documented reason from Paypal and Gofundme by posting for his followers. Why hasn’t he? Considering the pattern of selective information, the pattern of suspicion and deceit, a very reasonable conclusion can be drawn that Umar is extremely dishonest, perhaps even pathologically and chronically dishonest beyond his own control. If he is pathologically dishonest, which I deduce from all of the above evidence, he is driven by an insecurity to fulfill illusions of grandeur from his un-questioning, uncritical loyal followers willing to defend him even in the face of logic.

Fact 10. From all of the available facts above, a reasonable conclusion, the only logical conclusion that can be made is that Umar Johnson is a fraud who is deceptive or even pathologically dishonest and fueled by illusions of grandeur partially encouraged by non-critical followers. He seems to suffer from Narcissistic Personality Disorder. The fact that he is articulate and has followers is not to his advantage.  He would not defraud people of money and possibly create legal problems for himself if he didn’t have an audience.

He is a professional fundraiser who has been able to raise money based on the desire of Blacks to support an Afrikan-Centered school. The cultural school movement is important for the Black community. We need schools that teach the identity or children, the purpose of education, and the history of our people. Supporting a fraud campaign will only deter people and divert resources from meaningful causes such as CIBI or other independent Afrikan-Centered schools. With Umar being taken with any depth of seriousness will make any and all cultural movements for Blacks look comical.

CONCLUSION

Umar has been able to platform himself into the national lecture circuit with false claims around his ancestry, fake credentials, and a fundraising mission that has failed. Umar’s reputation will become a shadow in the near future. However, other fraudulent leaders, culture pimps, and religious shysters will continue to take advantage of people with good intentions willing to support a righteous cause, but desperate for leadership. We have schools and businesses that need support from our people. Such fraudulent campaigns can be disheartening to many and even turn people away from supporting needed causes. Community support is much needed. Unfortunately, insincere campaigns can become distracting and wasteful of potential and resources that could truly benefit our community.

There are any number of informative critiques on Umar Johnson by informative and insightful Black authors, scholars, and activists. I would recommend for an initial read Deborrah Cooper’s Unaswered Questions About a Five Million Dollar School forBlack Boys and Agyei Tyehimba’s Open Letter to Brother UmarJohnson Concerning Your Plans for a New Boys Academy. Also, those seeking honesty should read Inside the Conscious Stripper, Umar Johnson Scandal: Leadership Roles and the Black Man by Khym Ringgold. There are interesting video critiques but two I would recommend for initial views are:  1. The Advise Show Radio video entitled “Dr. UmarJohnson Exposed Himself as a Hotep Hustler” and another on Boyce Watkin’s YouTube channel entitled “What Happened to Dr. Umar Johnson’s School” by Maria Lloyd. To not question leadership, particularly fraudulent leadership, is ignorance and betrayal. Since originally publishing this essay, I’ve done two other works on Umar Johnson, 1. Who Taught Umar Johnson How to Pimp Culture? Hidden Color’s Tariq Nasheed and His Greatest Hustle along with 2. A Brief Note to the Black Community: Umar Johnson is Neither a Leader nor a Scholar.

I’m reminded of Pastor Creflo Dollar and Pastor Leroy Thompson on the plushy carpeted stairs of their church in expensive suits, nice shoes, Bible in hand, and shouting incoherently as they ran through waves of money given by the congregation. As a people, we must place insight before involvement, education before indoctrination, and never ever suspend critical thought and analysis. I’ll end with this saying: As long as there are fools with money, they will lose it or someone else will take it.