Dr. Umar Johnson is a black scholar that speaks for the two parent household family model. He bases his theories in psychological defects caused by the absence of the father. One of his frequently used theories is that black people that do not have a father in the house will search for their father’s love elsewhere. In women, this will lead to promiscuity. In men, it will result in homosexuality. He also says that the black church derives its power from black women looking for a surrogate husband. In Johnson’s philosophy issues in the black community stem from promiscuity and a breakdown of traditional families.
There are many problems with his philosophy that I have heard repeated by numerous people in the black community. Johnson’s philosophies divided and ultimately weaken the black community. One, it excludes gay people that could be helpful in the overall movement. Two, it leads black people that are in traditional families shaming black people that are not in traditional families. Third, encourages hypermasculinity that is not conducive to today’s society.
DSM removed Homosexuality in 1973. Dr. Johnson as a psychologist should not still be treating homosexuality as a disease. Homosexuality, according to Johnson, is a problem in the black community and is a result and leading to single family households. He acts as if the goal of the black community should be procreation. Many people of all races decide not to have families. Many people of all races have gay people in them. If we as a community continue to promote homophobia we are only going to ostracize numerous black people and we will ostracize ourselves from the rest of the country.
Dr. Johnson does not hold his views on homosexuality due to psychiatric research. His views are solely based cultural biases. The idea that absence of the father causes homosexuality can be easily tested. Dr.Johnson presents no polls conducted by himself or others showing a statistics on homosexuality and single parent households.
In America in 2016, people are beginning to experiment with various types of relationships. Women and men are in open relationships or having non-traditional families. The shaming of these people only weakens the community. As the amount of people in traditional relationships decreases the “strong family” model will be less and less viable as a basis of black liberation.
All the women that are in non-traditional relationships are not there because they could not find a man. Dr. Umar Johnson does not make any concessions for a woman that is a single parent or just single due to a conscious decision. Everyone is not looking for the same type of relationship anymore. People evaluate all types of relationships and which ones best fit her personality. A woman can logically decide that she wants many lovers throughout her life.
It would be difficult to prove scientifically that a single parent household causes psychological damage. Other factors such as income, mental health of the parent, neighborhood, etc. would need to be controlled. Also, each case must be analyzed to see what options the mother has available to her. If he father is emotionally under developed, then a single parent situation could be better. All these issues need to be addressed and accounted for in Dr. Johnson’s methodologies.
Dr. Umar Johnson calls for black men to step up and control the household. He wants the “old school” model of the family. The “old school” model calls for a man to be dominant and a woman to be passive. Much of Dr. Johnson’s rhetoric sounds like advice from the 1950’s. These old models of relationships were discarded long ago. Attempting to artificially force them on people that know relationships are far more complex than this will not work. If anything it will lead to a form of hyper-masculinity that is juvenile and sexist.
This juvenile form of masculinity was on full display with Dr. Boyce Watkins challenged Dr. Umar Johnson credentials. Also, a person on Dr. Watkin’s youtube challenged Dr. Johnson on his plans to create a school. Dr. Watkins who has a Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky asked Dr. Johnson where he received his doctorate from and if he could get a copy of his thesis. The social media battle is well documented and can be googled if the reader has not already heard about it. It ultimately resulted in Dr. Johnson making a ton of negative memes on Dr. Watkins.