*The latest efforts of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) and their cohorts to single handedly increase the percentage of unemployed Black males in America should be a wake up call to Black America.
The latest controversy that has outraged the gay mafia is a series of tweets sent out from CNN’s Roland Martin on Super Bowl Sunday that resulted in a national campaign for him to be fired.
At issue are the following tweets:
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.
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
Granted, this probably wasn’t the smartest tweets to send out if only because like with other high profile tweeters, there’s always someone waiting in the wings for their “gotcha!” moment so why give it to them.
Were the tweets offensive? Depends on whom you ask? For me, not so much. I’m more offended by the barely bleeped out lyrics that I hear on the radio calling Black men niggas and Black women bitches and hoes. But that’s just the opinion of this Black lesbian.
No, I have to say what I am more offended by is that once again we’ve let outsiders come into our community and set the stage for the possible firing of yet another Black man from national television—almost seemingly with our stamp of approval.
Now for the record, I don’t see Roland’s tweet as calling for violence against gay men. In fact, I think it’s really stretching to say that it is. These were tweets in a series of tweets from Roland on that Sunday that were taken out of context. Roland also tweeted about Nick Cannon’s pre-game show attire as well as the suits worn by Deion Sanders, Shannon Sharpe, and Herm Edwards. And Roland being Roland, he had something funny to say about them all. I should know, I actually follow him on Twitter.
But even if I did agree with those who say the tweets called for violence against gay men, I can’t overlook Roland’s long history of publicly challenging Black America’s perceived homophobia, which he has been consistent on. In fact, Roland’s been more consistent on gay issues in the Black community as a heterosexual man than his counterpart Anderson Cooper or the same organization orchestrating his removal from CNN.
Let me be clear, GLAAD doesn’t represent or speak for Black lesbians and gays and if the Black same-gender loving community is or was offended by Roland’s tweet then that’s an issue that we are perfectly capable of addressing amongst ourselves as we do with every other issue. We don’t need GLAAD to stand up and speak for us. That’s what we have our own organizations for.
So why doesn’t GLAAD give the same respect to Black organizations on Black issues that it gives to other gay groups like the HRC (Human Rights Campaign) in not treading on their territory? But more importantly, why don’t we call them out about it? Real talk.
Organizations like GLAAD and their lynch mob tactics towards Blacks—Isaiah Washington, Isiah Thomas, Tracy Morgan, and now Roland Martin to name a few, continue to fuel the disconnect between Blacks and gays that usually ends up at the ballot box with Blacks voting against gay marriage and with Black gays stuck in the middle.
If Black gay men were truly offended by Roland’s tweet, fine. Roland should meet with the Black gay community—not GLAAD—and discuss it. CNN or no CNN, at the end of the day, Roland’s audience is Black America. From the Chicago Defender to WVON it was Black America’s trust and support that brought him to the attention of CNN in the first place and the majority of his Twitter followers are Black people.
What Blacks—gay or straight—should not be doing is taking our cues from and doing the bidding for an organization that on any other issue related to Black people is either MIA or on the opposite side from the rest of us. The campaign against Roland Martin is not our bandwagon, we’re allowing ourselves to be used to move it along.
We all know that there are a lot of issues on MLK Street in Any Town, USA, but Roland Martin’s tweeting and David Beckham’s H&M underwear commercial isn’t one of them. It’s just this week’s distraction.
As for the bigger picture, it doesn’t really matter whether or not Roland is fired from CNN because GLAAD has already accomplished their goal by starting a campaign to raise thousands of dollars from their mostly white middle class donors using Roland Martin as their latest example of their effectiveness. Thousands of dollars that will in no way benefit Black Americans—gay or straight—not unlike having a Roland Martin on CNN does. But will however, be used to stuff their coffers to aide in the taking out their next target.
Jasmyne A. Cannick writes about the intersection race, sex, politics, and pop culture from an unapologetically Black point of view. Follow her on Twitter @jasmyne and on Facebook at /jasmyne.