ImageOne would pretty much have to be living under a rock to not know about GLAAD’s (Gay Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) outrage over CNN’s Roland Martin’s tweets during the Super Bowl yesterday.  He tweeted a couple opinions about David Beckham’s H&M underwear ad, and a pink suit wearing fan (which I believe free speech allows him to do), and now he’s a violent homophobe who needs to be fired for the tweets. 

This is what he said…

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

“Ain’t no real brush going to H&M to buy some damn David Beckham underwear!”

“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,”

As a Black Same Gender Loving (SGL) man, I am aware of how hate speech is detrimental to our society.  Hating and condoning violence against any person or group of people is indeed intolerable.  But come on GLAAD, REALLY?  Roland Martin’s tweets really aren’t as serious as you are making them.  Hell, I jokingly say people need to get their ass kicked for wearing unflattering clothes (like pimp suits and peach ascots).  Does that mean I condone violence against people?  NO!  I say people need to be slapped for letting their kids run wild.  Does that mean I am promoting violence? NO! 

My question is, would GLAAD be this outraged and calling for the termination of Roland’s employment if he was white?  My answer, HELL NAW!  These media hungry white boys would have seen the tweets, laughed it off, and kept it cutely moving forward.  So Roland Martin didn’t like the underwear ad or the pink suits, but prefers peach colored ascots.  WHO CARES?  It’s not that serious.  The thing we need to remember is, in this society, there will be people who don’t agree with us, and they have a right to disagree.  There will be people who don’t see things as we do, and they have a right to make that choice.  Does that make them bad people?  NO!  Does that mean they shouldn’t enjoy the same freedoms that we enjoy (like free speech)?  NO!  It simply means this person doesn’t agree with us.  It would have been a completely different thing if he’d said, “Every man who likes this David Beckham ad is a fag and needs to be slapped!”

I personally believe Mr. Martin was joking.  If one would just look at ALL his tweets during the game, one would be able to see from their context that he was not at all promoting violence against gays and lesbians.  I’d be one of the first to say so if he was.  I think the people who are making much ado about this nothing, are actually doing the same things fundamentalist Christians do all the time… take things out of context.  When interpreting a bible verse, it’s very important to read at least one chapter before and after said verse in order to get knowledge of the context.  That way, you can make an informed interpretation.  This is no different.  I could look at what GLAAD has or hasn’t done and call them a white gay elite organization that only welcomes “acceptable” minorities into their ranks.  Would I be correct, or would I be misjudging the entire organization based on one little tidbit of information? 

Ultimately, there are more important things that could use GLAAD’s attention, like campaigning against the use of words like faggot, sissy, punk, etc. within our own community.  WE use derogatory terms like these more than most heterosexual people.  What about trying to mend the divide between gay men and lesbians?  What about being more inclusive in our programs and campaigns?  As far as I can see, racism is STILL running rampant in the LGBT community. Making a mountain out of Roland Martin’s molehill opinions about who should or shouldn’t like David Beckham’s draws is not one of them.  To GLAAD I say, learn how to take a joke.  Don’t be so quick to take things out of context.  There are bigger fish to fry than ascot-wearing Roland Martin. 


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