I’m a huge fan of the culture becoming more and more consciously aware. It seems that, as we’ve aged out of our teens and early 20s, our interest in social causes and personal improvement has increased substantially. I love attending functions and hearing people converse about financial independence, personal wellness, awareness of self, the environment we live in and self-improvement in all aspects. It seems that everyone is adopting The Talented 6 mantra of learning, growing and building together; whether it’s through young professional networking events, social media groups or personal relationships. This period of young, Black enlightenment is in full effect and shows no signs of slowing down and I can’t wait to see it how it shapes future generations.

And then there’s the other side of the Black enlightenment coin. They’ve been referred to as “Ashy Hoteps,” the “Ankh-Right,” and “Bougie Black People” (word to the good folks at VerySmartBrothas.) These are the folks who consider themselves “woke,” and the rest of us mindless sheep just wandering around the pasture, getting fleeced for our wool. They’ve convinced themselves that, by watching various YouTube videos and reciting half-facts from dot-blogspot-dot-net websites, they have somehow ascended to a level of consciousness that us crabs can’t even fathom. I guess that level is where the woke crowd has perched themselves, much like gargoyles on a rooftop, passing judgment on those they deem unworthy and beneath them. Don’t celebrate the Fourth of July too hard, or you might get a lecture on how you’re a coon for having the temerity and unmitigated gall to wear red, white and blue. While you’re at it, hide that cookout plate full of swine and bovine too.

While I appreciate the dedication to self-realization and re-edification my dashiki-clad brethren, I implore you all to give it a rest. PLEASE!!! Y’all are taking all the fun out of being Black. If we’re at the function turning up and enjoying life, that is not the place to start calling everyone “sheep-ple” because you did some research and found out the venue we’re at is in a gentrified neighborhood. Proclaiming how you’re more Malcolm than Martin has fallen on deaf ears bro, take that shit somewhere else. I always thought the purpose of feeding your mind with the fruit of education was to raise your level of self-awareness as well as those around you. I guess I was wrong then, because it seems like too many people are choosing to alienate those around them who either aren’t as woke, with zero interest in educating anyone else. Where did this type of rhetoric come from? Possibly from this new-age class of “Black leaders” pouring pestilence into the ears of woke folks everywhere.

Please understand that these men are not gold standard of Black leadership and their ideals should be taken with the smallest grain of salt imaginable. You can miss me with the “they may say some off-the-wall stuff but it doesn't take away from the message" argument. If your pastor is preaching a sermon about faith in God and then starts cussing out the whole congregation because the offering was low, I'm more than positive the message got thrown in the trash can at that point. Boyce Watkins' message of financial freedom through Black enterprise is inspiring but why doesn't that keep him from sounding like a bitter, washed-up hater on Twitter? Umar Johnson eloquently delivers all his passionate talking points with the best of them, but what's with the personal dig against women and gays and the unchecked Black financial numbers?

You know who these two remind me of?

Yup, that's right. Two con artists making a living and a name off of our thirst for knowledge of self. Bernie Madoff used his influence and privilege to con thousands of people out of billions of their hard-earned dollars. Trump conned 55% of the most developed nation on Earth into thinking he was qualified to be President. Umar and Dr. Watkins are trying to con us out of our common sense, attempting to drive a wedge between those who follow in their teachings and those who haven't let them or anyone else hi-jack their critical thinking skills. 

Don't let these con artists divide and conquer you while on your quest for enlightenment. Drill down and critically analyze the facts and information that you hear and read. And don't be an ashy hotep, Debbie Downer-type; go enjoy all of what life has to offer. Take more time to smell the roses and not the oils from that dude in the bow tie who sells them in the barbershop.

Stay woke.....niggas creepin'....they gon' find you....gon' catch you sleepin'.