Yvette Carnell: Did Roland Martin Cross the Line on Twitter?

“If a dude at your Super Bowl party is hyped about David Beckham’s H&M underwear ad, smack the ish out of him!” tweeted CNN’s Roland Martin during the Superbowl.

Shit, meet fan, because next thing you know, GLAAD is tweeting back, ” @rolandsmartin Advocates of gay bashing have no place at @CNN #SuperBowl #LGBT”

It’s not that Martin’s comments were homophobic because, from where I stand, they were more boneheaded than anything. To say that the Superbowl is about football and not about seeing David Beckham in skin tight undies is a point that most impassioned football fans would make. For them, it’s all about the Bud Light and the end zone, and I’m fine with that.

Even though I know that the scourge of homophobia still runs thick in the African-American community, I really don’t get that from Martin’s comments. Problem is,  when a man tweets about how men shouldn’t be ogling over other men’s drawers during the Superbowl, he’s still tweeting about another man’s drawers during the Superbowl. And for a man who is a trusted CNN commentator, this sort of thing probably shouldn’t happen.

For the most part, I just feel that refraining from commenting on another man’s nakedness is probably a good idea. And I don’t feel, as do so many in the black community, that this is a nonissue, because professionalism is always at issue. It’s probably best for African-American men and women of stature to take the backyard barbecue one liners and yo’ mama jokes off Twitter.

Yvette Carnell is a former Capitol Hill and campaign staffer turned writer. She is currently an editor and contributor to Yourblackworld.

14 Comments

Filed under Black Men

14 responses to “Yvette Carnell: Did Roland Martin Cross the Line on Twitter?

  1. I haven’t made up my mind where I think he was going, as we’ll never really know. But I concur, for the sake of professionalism, please just chill. Plus, a dude wearing an ascot would want not go there.

  2. Renelda Moorehead

    I am annoyed that folks are considered AFRAID OF HOMOSEXUALS (HOMOPHOBIC) BECAUSE THEY AREN’T ON THAT BANDWAGON.
    I f I don’t like broccoli does that make me homophobic? No. I just don’t
    like that particular veggie. Roland Martin is an evocative professional.
    He’s not an uptight black intellectual. I didn’t think anything derogatory of his
    statement. The gays are WAY TOO SENSITIVE. Maybe they are not comfortable about their lifestyle choices. Not the public’s problem. And if RM’s agent lets CNN fire him because he made a casually funny statement,
    then his agent is incompetent and CNN is gay.

  3. I don’t always agree with Roland Martin’s political observations and opinions but in this instant he is entitled to his opinion. The Gay Community needs to back off and chill.

  4. Using Renelda’s post as an example of how things could be turned around:

    I am annoyed that folks are considered AFRAID OF BLACKS (RACIST) BECAUSE THEY AREN’T ON THAT BANDWAGON.
    I f I don’t like broccoli does that make me racist? No. I just don’t
    like that particular veggie. Roland Martin is an evocative professional.
    He’s not an uptight black intellectual. I didn’t think anything derogatory of his
    statement. The blacks are WAY TOO SENSITIVE.

    Trust, I’m not trying to change your mind about not liking homosexuals. That’s between you and your god — just wanted to show the similarity between your statement and something Archie Bunker-esque. One thing we can agree on though, Roland Martin is DEFINITELY not a Black intellectual.

  5. Allow me to upset everybody. If you’re HAVING a Super Bowl party during these dire economic and political times you should have the shit slapped out of you – if for no other reason than to wake you up.

  6. Renelda Moorehead

    @Verb–What convoluted, sophist drivel you posted. Oh well, at least you are trying to think.

  7. This strikes me as a stupid, non-controversy. What did the man say?!!! The article quoted Martin as saying, “If a dude at your Super Bowl party is hyped about David Beckham’s H&M underwear ad, smack the ish out of him!”

    “Hyped?” Hyped how, over the drawers, the commercial, what? And what does he mean by hyped, excited, angry, what? The man didn’t say anything – at least, anything with any clear meaning. And what in the hell is “ish,” anyway. if CNN wants to fire him, it shouldn’t be for homophobia, it should be for his inability to communicate.

  8. @ Renelda and anyone else:

    Insults are unnecessary in an adult forum. I posted that in hopes you might see things in a different light. I gotta say, it always amazes me how some Black people can be so mean-spirited after all we have been through as a people. OK, let’s try this… Some time ago, I frequented an online forum where there was a discussion about whether sports teams being named after Native American tribes were acceptable or not. I attended the University of Illinois (Champaign) and you couldn’t tell me anything. I was all about the blue and orange. So, to me, the thought of hailing Chief Illiniwek was a no-brainer. What could be the harm in showing team spirit? I posted my opinion in favor of sports teams keeping the tradition alive and received many polite, yet opposing views. One night while watching a Redskins game, I started thinking about the topic more in-depth. I put the shoe on my foot and stopped thinking about my beloved Fighting Illini for a change. I thought, gee, what if Mississippi State’s mascot was a slave. The Mississippi State Slaves, complete with tattered clothing and and shackles. Hmm, not so cool, I thought. Needless to say, it hit me like a flash that my thought process had been flawed. From that point on, I was in favor of sports teams dropping their Native American names. All of them — Braves, Redskins, Fighting Illini, Blackhawks, all of them. My point is, once we take the shoe off our own foot and really — I mean REALLY — look at the other person’s perspective, then maybe we can see the error in our thinking.

    You may never change your mind about the LGBTQ community or about civil rights for all, but for those open-minded enough to give actual thought to the issue, they’ll see that it’s not about them or their “own way” of thinking, but it’s about fairness and equality for all. (And yes, I did mention civil rights because it includes rights for ALL CIVILIANS — taken from the word ‘civil,” which includes rights for all workers, women, children, races, and sexual orientations.) We as a society need to be more mindful of what comes out of our mouths and remember there are other people with other experiences in the world, and they, too, are to be respected.

  9. Very well stated, Verb.

    You are an enlightened and independent thinker. I like that. And you’re right on target with your comments. One of the biggest problems that we have in this country is that we do much too much feeling, and much too little objective thinking.

    If you’re on Facebook, please send me a friend request. I like the way you think.

    Eric

  10. Renelda Moorehead

    @Verb–What makes you think others are not thinking clearly when they are oppositional? I certainly thought about and meant every word I stated. Your
    above sermonette is so defensive. Relax will you?

  11. @ Renelda… My words were in vain, I see. I was giving you the benefit of the doubt, but you say you are thinking clearly. LOL, oh well… BTW, I’m relaxed but you don’t seem to be. I just pointed out that your insult was jejune and unnecessary. Defensive? No, simply trying to illustrate a point. Be well.

    @ Eric… see you there!

  12. Salim Sukumaran

    Isn’t Beckham considered to be gayish, which means “Not completely gay / noticibly feminine, but not known to be homosexual”? Wasn’t Roland Martin joking that if the “ish” is smacked(removed) out of “gayish”, you get a gay? Not sure…

  13. @ Salim, nice try and kind of smart too. I just feel that if Roland offended someone then maybe he should just publically say to the LBG community” no harm intended.” I don’t think he made a mistake, I really think that he was just joking in the moment–something that we all do from time to time, but this is certainly no cause to vilify him…should we do this, we would be buying in to the childish games of political warfare i.e. “politics” and we can all see the progress that we are making with individuals that point the finger at one another like children!!! Roland is GREAT at his job, and even greatness is regarded as perfect.

  14. @ Salim, nice try and kind of smart too. I just feel that if Roland offended someone then maybe he should just publically say to the LBG community” no harm intended.” I don’t think he made a mistake, I really think that he was just joking in the moment–something that we all do from time to time, but this is certainly no cause to vilify him…should we do this, we would be buying in to the childish games of political warfare i.e. “politics” and we can all see the progress that we are making with individuals that point the finger at one another like children!!! Roland is GREAT at his job, and even greatness is NOT regarded as perfect.

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