shooting yourself in the foot

Roland S. Martin and the Gay-Bashing Tweet


I’ve been reading about the alleged tweet Roland S. Martin sent during the Super Bowl. I’ve read about it here, and here.

For those who don’t know, Roland S. Martin is a regular on CNN.
This is the tweet he sent out after David Beckham’s underwear ad:

“If a dude at your Super Bowl party is hyped about David Beckham’s H&M underwear ad, smack the ish out of him! #superbowl”

The hashtag, #superbowl, means this tweet went out to everyone else who tweeted with the same hashtag.

CNN issued this statement:

“Roland Martin’s tweets were regrettable and offensive. Language that demeans is inconsistent with the values and culture of our organization, and is not tolerated. We have been giving careful consideration to this matter, and Roland will not be appearing on our air for the time being.”

This is what GLAAD issued:

“CNN today took a strong stand against anti-LGBT violence and language that demeans any community,” said Rich Ferraro, GLAAD spokesperson. “Yesterday, Martin also spoke out against anti-LGBT violence. We look forward to hearing from CNN and Roland Martin to discuss how we can work together as allies and achieve our common goal of reducing anti-LGBT violence as well as the language that contributes to it.”

I read this in Queerty:

If this were a pro athlete we might expect such ignorance, but Martin makes his living with his words—he’s a regular on CNN, MSNBC, BET, BBC and Fox News, and is a commentator on TV One, an African-American network available in over 36 million homes. Making a crack at someone’s expense is fine, but when you’re a public figure, even jokingly advocating violence is just plain stupid.

No comment from me. What’s already been said speaks for itself.

I would, however, like to see how CNN is going to handle this. When Helen Thomas did something similar, her entire career was ruined. We all know what happened to Mel Gibson.

Of course Martin rushed to his web site to apologize. But this isn’t the first time something like this has come up with Roland S. Martin. Check this out:

Last year, Martin defended Tracy Morgan when Morgan said that if his son were gay, he would “pull out a knife and stab him.” After Morgan apologized by saying he does not “believe that anyone should be bullied or just made to feel bad about who they are,” Martin said he would not have chosen to do so. In 2006, when Reverend Al Sharpton urged for unity between the African American and LGBT communities, Martin used it as an opportunity to drive a wedge and advocate for the discredited and abusive practice of so-called “ex-gay” conversion “therapy.” In his most recent apology, Martin claimed to have always used his voice to “speak progressively.” Clearly that has not been the case; we hope in the future that it will be.