The latest efforts of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) and its cohorts to single-handedly increase the percentage of unemployed Black males in America should be a wake-up call to Black America.
The controversy that has outraged the gay mafia this time is a series of tweets sent out from CNN’s Roland Martin on Super Bowl Sunday that resulted in a national campaign to fire him.
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, these probably weren’t the smartest tweets, if only because as with other high-profile tweeters there’s always someone waiting in the wings to celebrate their own “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 lesbian.
No, I have to say what I am more offended by is that once again that outsiders have come into our community and set the stage for the possible firing of yet another Black man from national television–almost, except for a few other groups, with our silent stamp of approval.
Now for the record, I don’t see Martin’s tweets as calling for violence against gay men. In fact, I think it’s really stretching to say they are. These were tweets in a series on that Sunday that were taken out of context. Martin 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 Martin being Martin, had something funny to say about them all. I know because I 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 Martin’s long history of publicly challenging Black America’s perceived homophobia, which he has been consistent on. In fact, Martin has been more consistent on gay issues in the Black community as a heterosexual man than his CNN anchor Anderson Cooper has, or even the 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 Martin’s tweet, then that’s an issue that we are perfectly capable of addressing among ourselves, as we do with every other issue. We don’t need GLAAD to speak for us. That’s what we have our own organizations.
So why doesn’t GLAAD give the same respect to Black organizations on Black issues that it gives to other gay groups like the Human Rights Campaign in not treading on their territory? But more important, why don’t we call GLAAD out about it?
Organizations like GLAAD with their lynch-mob tactics toward Blacks–Isaiah Washington, Isiah Thomas, Tracy Morgan, and now 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 Martin’s tweets, fine. Martin should meet with the Black gay community–not GLAAD–and discuss it. CNN or no CNN, at the end of the day, Martin’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 their cues from and doing the bidding of an organization that on any other issue related to Black people is either MIA or on the opposite side. The campaign against Roland Martin is not our bandwagon, we should not be 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 Martin’s tweeting and 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 Martin is suspended or fired by CNN, because GLAAD has already accomplished its goal by campaigning to raise oodles of funds from its mostly White middle-class donors using Martin as the latest example of its effectiveness.
These are dollars that will in no way benefit Black Americans–gay or straight–unlike what having a Martin on CNN does. The funds will, however, be used to stuff their coffers to aid in the taking out their next target.
Jasmyne A. Cannick writes about the intersection of race, sex, politics, and pop culture from an unapologetically Black point of view. Follow her on Twitter @jasmyne and on Facebook at /jasmyne.
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