The guy just can’t help himself, huh? Twitter chatter can easily reveal the inner bigot because it allows people to be spontaneous, in-the-moment about anything knocking around in the noggin. During Sunday’s Super Bowl, CNN commentator Roland Martin, not new to controversy related to anti-gay comments, sent out this Tweet to his nearly 95K followers in response to retailer H&M’s ad featuring soccer player David Beckham:
“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 Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), and many bloggers/Twitterverse folks leaped on this: Perez Hilton, Kenyon Farrow, Darian Aaron, @TheFireNexTime, @Markyapelli, @Anti_Intellect, @ChrisGeidner, Scott Wooledge, @RubinReport,@marcslove, @Blabbeando, @michaelajones, Andy Szekeres. M (MetroWeekly’s Chris Geidner had a post up just moments after Martin’s Twitter bloviating.
Clearly the statement reflects his insecurity as a man over any lingering attention on the male body as an object of gratification, and hey, I’m sure he wasn’t the only man out there who felt as he did. But in 2012, it’s pretty hard to backtrack on a statement like Martin’s and not look foolish. But his response did:
Sadly, Martin doesn’t realize that there is a digital trail of his that only strengthens the case that he’s the one who’s off base when it comes to gender norms. What other interpretation can one have for this?
“Who the hell was that New England Patriot they just showed in a head to toe pink suit? Oh, he needs a visit from #teamwhipdatass”
Pink as sissy? Beating someone up? Wow, not only is this juvenile, it’s deliciously transparent – and it’s hanging out there for all to see. Denying one’s homophobia is kind of useless; Martin just needs to own it and continue to celebrate it. But no, this was his response to being called out. GLAAD:
Since making the comments, Martin has suggested his tweet regarding David Beckham was intended as a slight toward soccer fans. He did not respond to a question from Metro Weekly about why, if the tweet was about soccer and not based in anti-gay sentiment, he only referenced his concern about “a dude … hyped” about the ad and not any soccer fan.
GLAAD has called for CNN to take him off of the payroll on its web page: http://www.glaad.org/rolandsmartin, noting that he has a documented history of homophobic commentary a lot longer than 140 characters.
Last year, Tracy Morgan said during a stand-up routine that if his son were gay he would ‘stab him.’ Morgan later apologized and worked with GLAAD to send positive messages to parents and LGBT youth.
Morgan understood how his words could influence his fans and put youth in danger, while Martin defended Tracy Morgan’s original remarks.
Wrote Martin: “If we are to demand an apology for every time a comedian is sexist against men or women, racist or homophobic, we might as well launch a website calledwww.comediansapologizedaily.com. Say I’m wrong. Fine. Say I’m insensitive to gays and lesbians. Fine.”
He continued: “Sorry, if I’m being honest here and not focusing on political correctness. I just believe that many of you would be shocked and amazed that you laughed hysterically at some of the most sexist, homophobic, racist stuff imaginable by comedians of all shapes, sizes, ethnic backgrounds, genders and sexual orientations.”
At a time when the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs found that violence against LGBT people was up 23%, we need people in the public eye to speak out against the dangers of anti-LGBT violence, not openly encourage it.
Martin also has used his platform to misrepresent religious views about LGBT people. Far from the church being uniformly anti-gay, as Martin has claimed, LGBT people are welcomed just as they are into the full life of the church, in congregations and entire denominations across the United States. Lutheran, Presbyterian, and Episcopal denominations welcome LGBT folks, as well as many congregations from a variety of denominations.
On Martin’s website he ignores the medical evidence about the ineffective nature and harms associated with so-called ex-gay programs and instead praises his wife who he says “has counseled many men and women to walk away from the gay lifestyle.”
My question to Martin, since he believes in his wife’s ex-gay therapy business, he must certainly agree with the views of anti-gay NC pastor Patrick Wooden, who said in an interview that I needed to find Jesus – and a man to breed with to “rock my world“. More from GLAAD:
As many of his peers in the news media have reported: The American Psychiatric Association states that “The potential risks of ‘reparative therapy’ are great, including depression, anxiety and self destructive behavior, since therapist alignment with societal prejudices against homosexuality may reinforce self-hatred already experienced by the patient” (from its position statement on Psychiatric Treatment and Sexual Orientation).
Martin’s tweets today advocating violence against gay people weren’t an accident — they are a part of a larger pattern for Martin.
Anti-gay violence in America is a serious problem facing millions of Americans. It’s no joke. CNN should fire Roland Martin.
CNN must respond to this. Here is the petition.
UPDATE: Sharon Lettman, executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition, the nation’s largest black LGBT civil rights organization, has weighed in…
“Even if he meant it in a jovial manner, Roland Martin’s words carry a real impact on the everyday lives of Black LGBT people, especially our youth. Given the number of rash murders, attacks and violent acts involving LGBT people of color, we cannot let statements such as this go unchecked. Silence is a form of acceptance and only perpetuates the problem.”