Hotep’n Without A Clue

(Do The Right Thing
dir. Spike Lee. 1989, USA)

By: Zach Fulwood

Over the past few decades, the word “Hotep” has been circulating throughout the Black community and has been made more popular in recent years thanks to social media. The word “Hotep” originated from the Egyptian language and means “at peace.” Ironically however, this term, when used in the Black community, means anything but peace.

When you hear the word “Hotep” being used in the Black community, it’s usually in reference to a Black man who identifies themselves as a Pan-African whose sole mission is to “liberate” Black people by arming them with knowledge of their history, perpetuating the idea that the White man is the enemy and claiming that the only way we will rise as a people is to overthrow our White oppressors. Basically, the ideology of a “Hotep” is the Black version of White supremacy.

As counterproductive as that rhetoric is, the philosophy of a “Hotep” individual goes much deeper than that. They believe that in order to save the Black community, you must remain a Black community and the only way to do that is to reject interracial marriage. They believe Black people are the superior “sun people” and White people are the inferior “ice people” and that somehow, genetics back up the notion that Black people are more human than White people. Maybe it’s me but, this sounds an awful lot like racism, the remix.

Look, I understand how these types of people gain a following. If you’re Black and you want to appeal to other Black people, the best thing you can probably do is throw out words like racism, black empowerment, and they. Black people love hearing this type of language because it triggers the negative emotions we still have for what’s been done to us both past and present. A “Hotep” knows how to appeal to the emotions of Black people and feeds off of we don’t know.

The term “Hotep” being an Egyptian term is no coincidence either. “Hotep” individuals love to run with the idea that Black people ruled the ancient civilization of Egypt even though most research shows that we originated from West Africa. This isn’t to say that Black people weren’t in Egypt or that they didn’t hold real power. There’s just no definitive proof that supports that belief. While we can understand the allure of telling other Black people that they were in sole power of one of the world’s most mythological civilization, there’s really no need to go to these lengths when you consider the amount of African history that does exist throughout the rest of the entire continent of Africa.

There’s truly so much wrong with the “Hotep” line of thinking. When you have individuals like Dr. Umar Johnson going on nation television admonishing and flat-out negating the works of both Frederick Douglas and Harry Belafonte have done for the uplifting of and empowerment of other Black people because of their marriage to White women, there’s a problem. This is the same man who believes that homosexuality was planted into the Black community to stop them from populating. Maybe he knows something that the rest of us don’t but, there’s literally no factual information that exists that would support this idea.

The “Hotep” philosophy is misogynistic, hateful, and full of a bunch of flaming hot fecal matter. I’m all for empowering Black people and discovering who you are in this world but trying to combat White supremacy with Black supremacy is woefully ignorant and futile. These individuals have mastered the art of saying a lot without saying anything at all. I may not have the antidote to cure this country of it’s racism problem but, I’m sure that these “Hoteps” don’t either.

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