Here’s what the gay rights organization had to say via a statement:
*The suspension is over.
A&E just announced that it has reversed its decision to put “Duck Dynasty” patriarch Phil Robertson on an indefinite hiatus from the show for his remarks about gays.
In a statement Friday, A&E said it decided to bring Robertson back after discussions with the Robertson family and “numerous advocacy groups.”
*A&E has told “Duck Dynasty” patriarch Phil Robertson to go have a seat for a minute following anti-gay remarks he made in a recent profile in GQ.
“We are extremely disappointed to have read Phil Robertson’s comments in GQ, which are based on his own personal beliefs and are not reflected in the series Duck Dynasty,” A&E said in a statement. “His personal views in no way reflect those of A&E Networks, who have always been strong supporters and champions of the LGBT community. The network has placed Phil under hiatus from filming indefinitely.”
In the article, Robertson compared homosexuality to bestiality, and said that during his Louisiana childhood, he picked cotton with African-Americans before “entitlements” and “welfare” came along, and never saw “the mistreatment of any black person. Not once.”
“Where we lived was all farmers. The blacks worked for the farmers,” he told the magazine. “I hoed cotton with them. I’m with the blacks, because we’re white trash. We’re going across the field…. They’re singing and happy. I never heard one of them, one black person, say, ‘I tell you what: These doggone white people’—not a word!… Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues.”
*I’m not a self-described feminist, but even I have noticed over the past few weeks how the American feminism has been fired up and ready to go over attacks from the political left and right.
Rush Limbaugh got the ball rolling by calling Georgetown University Law School student Sandra Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute.” Liberal outposts like Media Matters were aided greatly by the National Organization of Women in targeting advertisers of Limbaugh, and to date, more than 100 have fled the show.
On the right, the conservative Concerned Women for America has been equally relentless in their criticism of Bill Maher, the liberal comedian and host of HBO’s Real Time, for calling Sarah Palin a “c—.”
So then why have these two female powerhouse organizations been missing in action on the two Los Angeles talk radio hosts who offended women, particularly Black women, when they called Whitney Houston a “crack ho” three days after her death?
The hosts of Clear Channel’s flagship Los Angeles Station, KFI/640 AM, were suspended, only I and other African- Americans denounced their actions. But those men are back on the air, and we continue our battle with Clear Channel over diversity efforts at the station—where out of 15 hosts, one is female, none are Black.
So what’s the deal NOW and CWA, because if white women are called out of their names and their character sullied by men, you’re quick to rally the masses. Yet when it involves Black women, you’re strangely silent. What gives?
Oh, I’m sure critics will be quick to say I’m playing the race card. But there is history here.
In 2007, when shock jock Don Imus called the Rutgers female basketball team “nappy-headed hoes,” it was the National Association of Black Journalists and Black civil rights organizations leading the charge.
NOW and CWA had to be dragged kicking and screaming into the debate. In fact, CWA didn’t issue a statement on Imus until a full week after the calls for his head were issued, and even that didn’t come down until after NBC took action against him.
Talk about late to the party!
The message these two groups, with their token representation of Black women on their boards, is clear: it’s not okay to refer to white women as sluts, prostitutes, or c—s, but it is however okay to call Black women crack hoes.
These attitudes prove once again that today’s feminist movement is no better than yesterdays, and even worse—share’s haunting similarities to the gay civil rights movement—a movement that also suffers from the same selective outrage.
Most women, regardless of race, will agree that Limbaugh’s comments were disgusting, distasteful, and insensitive. Similarly, the same can be said about Maher’s Palin comments.
Where I do agree with Maher is in his recent comments to ABC News’ Jake Tapper. In response to the ensuing controversy over his remarks Maher said, “I used a rude word about a public figure who gives as good as she gets.”
As a Black woman, I can relate to that.
Today’s feminist movement gets from Black women as good as it gives and the token Black on their boards, coupled with the Black children they adopt from Africa, and their support of the KONY 2012 on Facebook doesn’t represent diversity or their other favorite word–multiculturalism. Real talk.
The face of HIV/AIDS today is that of a Black woman. Do you see NOW and CWA rallying to our side and demanding attention be paid to this burgeoning epidemic? If so, let me know because clearly I’ve been watching the wrong cable news channels and reading the wrong publications and websites.
It is what it is, and Black women like myself, are sick and tired of white women dismissing, overlooking, and just flat out ignoring our concerns, while simultaneously and ever so self-righteously proclaiming to be the champions of diversity where women are concerned.
It’s clear through NOW’s and CWA’s deafening silence on the personal attack on Whitney Houston that when it comes to defending women, even multi-platinum, international pop icons, that groups like NOW and CWA are concerned only with sexist slurs hurled at white women.
So NOW and CWA, please, spare us all the sidestepping, double talking, excuses and after-the-fact statements. Please, just make a simple modification to your names and add the word “white” before “Women.” Yes, I’m serious. It’s perfectly clear that today’s feminist movement is led by, for the benefit of, and about middle-class white women only. Period. The end.
If they’d just keep it real, us nappy-headed crack hoes would have no need to ever even look in their direction for coalition building around similar issues or even expect that they’d be offended when a Black woman is being called out of her name by a radio shock jock.
If adding the word white to their names is not a practical option, then NOW and CWA need to start defending all women, and not just Georgetown law students and former vice-presidential candidates. It means putting the same energy and resources into defending Black women airport screeners who are repeatedly called fat and lazy by white shock jocks; calling out men who routinely degrade the First Lady of the United States and her body; and the other shameful antics we see directed at Black women.
Yes, I am Black, and I’m also a woman, and I’m also a lesbian. I stand tall in fighting for respect for African-Americans, for women and for LGBT folk. I shouldn’t have to check off a box when insulted.
If the Black in me is offended, I expect the NAACP to rise up and fight it. If the woman in me is offended, I expect NOW and CWA to care enough about me to say something. And if the lesbian in me is insulted, I expect the National Black Justice Coalition to be there but I also expect GLAAD, the Human Rights Campaign and other LGBT groups to stand strong with them.
But what is increasingly clear is that when the non-Black groups see me, all they see is my skin color. And all too often, when folks like me need them to stand up, they are missing in action.
Instead of paying Blacks lip service, its time for white feminists to really see us for whom we really are: women.
*Roland Martin is back in the good graces of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) following his on-air apology Sunday in the wake of Super Bowl tweets the group called homophobic.
The CNN commentator was suspended by the cable news outlet earlier this month for a pair of tweets that appeared to advocate violence against gays.
“If a dude at your Super Bowl party is hyped about David Beckham’s H&M underwear ad, smack the ish out of him!” Roland said in one of his tweets.
Another of Martin’s tweets read, “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.”
GLAAD had earlier called for Martin’s firing over the tweets.
During his “Perspectives” segment on his show “Washington Watch,” Martin recalled his February 14 meeting with GLAAD’s Herndon Graddick over the tweets. Martin characterized the meeting as helpful and said that he’s sympathetic to many of GLAAD’s stances.
“Ironically, I have historically supported many of the issues important to the GLAAD agenda, such as ending ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy; gay adoption; and including gays in hate crimes laws. Those, folks, are facts.”
He went on to note that he believes all people have a right to be heard.
“If you’re gay or straight, your voice matters. If you are a pastor or activist, your voice matters,” Martin said. “I have no plan to abandon my goal as a truth-teller on a variety of issues; and, yes, that includes those that may be on the LGBT agenda. I am confident that this table can serve as an example of Dr. King’s ‘table of brotherhood,’ and I and this excellent team will do all we can to advance the dialogue so we all can learn, grow and prosper together.”
GLAAD was quick to applaud Martin’s statements, calling Sunday’s “Perspectives” segment an “important step” in mending the hurt caused by his tweets.
“Martin today took another important step, acknowledging that his words had a negative impact, and making it clear that he understands how serious the issues of anti-LGBT bullying and violence are,” the organization said on Sunday. “This incident, along with recent incidents of violence directed at LGBT people, sparked a national dialogue centered around why the issue of anti-LGBT violence needs to be taken seriously.”
To fill you in, Martin posted on his Twitter over a week ago, “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”
As a result, he was suspended indefinitely and the gay community lashed out on the man, calling his remarks harmful.
However, his efforts were looked upon with favor.
Martin shared on a segment of his “Perspectives” his apology.
“This week in Los Angeles, I sat down with Herndon Graddick,” senior director of programs and communications at the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.
“And so we did…Over breakfast for over 90 minutes, Herndon shared his thoughts with regards to my tweets and why he deemed them offensive to the LGBT community, and I reiterated my apology that – that if anyone who construed my comment[s] as being anti-gay or homophobic, or advancing violence, that was not my intent, and for that I was truly sorry.
“It was a discussion that touched on many other areas, and as GLAAD expressed in a statement afterwards – and a sentiment with which I concur – ‘Both parties came away with a better understanding of one another and look forward to continuing this dialogue.’”
Read more on the topic here.