Roland Martin is not GLAAD

Roland Martin is not GLAAD


Originally, I had absolutely no intention of writing about the recent flap surrounding TV personality Roland Martin. But, because of the unfair treatment he has received – and his apparent inability to defend himself – I feel compelled to speak out.

Martin is a syndicated newspaper columnist, a political analyst for CNN, and host of his own TV show on TV One.  During last Sunday’s Super Bowl, he tweeted:  “Ain’t no real bruhs going to H&M to buy some damn David Beckham underwear! … If a dude at your Super Bowl party is hyped about David Beckham’s H&M underwear ad, smack the sh@t  out of him!” and: “I bet soccer fan Piers Morgan will be in line at H&M in the morning to get his hands on David Beckham’s underwear line! LOL.”

This was in reference to a TV ad with soccer star David Beckham shown wearing nothing but his underwear.

But, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (better known as GLAAD) had to rear its ugly head and do what they do best: defame others.  According to GLAAD’s website, their mission, in part, “… promotes understanding, increases acceptance and advances equality.”

Allow me to interpret what they mean.  They want to promote understanding as long as they agree with your viewpoint; increase acceptance of their lifestyle; and advance equality that provides them a “special” legal status before the law.

GLAAD’s knee-jerk response to anyone who is a public figure that says anything that they disagree with is to call on that person to be fired; and then request that person meet with them.  Why would anyone that you made lose their job be interested in meeting with you?

But doesn’t that go against their very mission—“to promote understanding?”  Isn’t it more logical to call for a meeting with a person before you demand that their employer fire them?  Shouldn’t you dialogue with a person before you start questioning their motives and intensions if your true goal is to “advance understanding?

In the immortal words of semanticist S.I. Hayakawa: “meanings are in people, not in words.”  In short, words have no intrinsic meaning other than meanings that are internalized by each individual.  For example, if I walked up to a female and told her that her dress was “stupid,” she would be either flattered or insulted.  If she was immersed in the language of hip hop, she might be flattered; if she didn’t, then she would be insulted.  “Meanings are in people, not in words.”

Just as disturbing as GLAAD’s demand for Martin’s firing was CNN’s suspension of Martin indefinitely.  According to CNN: “Roland Martin’s tweets were regrettable and offensive. Language that demeans is inconsistent with the values and culture of our organization, and is not tolerated. We have been giving careful consideration to this matter, and Roland will not be appearing on our air for the time being.”

But, most disturbing is the loud silence from within the Black community,  I know first-hand that many of the so-called Black “leadership” were quick to call Roland to get on his TV show or to get him to write a supportive newspaper column about one of their causes.  But, now that he is in trouble not one voice is overheard supporting him.  Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Ben Jealous, Marc Morial, the Congressional Black Caucus—your silence is so loud!

They have allowed a few vociferous people to tar and feather one of their own.  This is the real tragedy of this whole incident.  I am totally embarrassed by the lack of courage from these Black “leaders.”

Roland, you are now learning who your real friends are and they are not as many as you thought.  I am totally disappointed that you even issued an apology (but we all know that CNN forced your hand on that).  Do you really need the money from CNN that bad that you are willing to back away from your own innocent words?  If you do, I understand.  I don’t like it, but I understand.

Just a side note here: why is it that GLAAD called on CNN to fire Martin, but did not make the same request from TV One, the network he has his own show on?  Could it be that since TV One is a Black owned network, that somehow it is not viewed as having any value?  Just a question …

Roland, remember these are the same Blacks who said absolutely nothing when Jim Clyburn was forced out of the House leadership to make room for Steny Hoyer.  Again, the people he and you helped the most, said the least when you needed support.

Gays don’t deserve special protection because of their sexual preference, but they do deserve equal protection because of their humanity.

GLAAD talks about promoting understanding and equality and at the same time set out to destroy any public figure who disagrees with them.  Roland has never done this!

I have sometimes criticized Roland for some of his liberal positions on issues, but he is a very decent person and has worked for years to bring equality to those whose voices many times go unnoticed.   There are two things that I know for sure: I am not happy and Roland Martin is not GLAAD.

RAYNARD JACKSON is president & CEO of Raynard Jackson & Associates, LLC., a D.C.-public relations/government affairs firm.  He is also a contributing editor for ExcellStyle Magazine (, Freedom’s Journal Magazine (, and U.S. Africa Magazine (


  1. Sorry Raynard, but Roland should have known better than to Tweet something like that. If Matt Lauer had tweeted jokingly about black people, you can best believe Marc Morial, Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson would be calling for his resignation. They are being silent because they know he made a mistake. Sorryboutcha.

    Roland did not use common sense when he tweeted those possibly homophobic remarks. If you want to "joke" around with your boys then you should do it on a private twitter feed or in the comfort of your own home, not for the world to see and for you to risk ridicule.

  2. Yes Roland may not have used the best judgement in this case knowing as he does better than anyone what sharks fill the waters he is in in the journalist world. In my opinion CNN was redy for ANYTHING…the FIRST thing they could use to get Roland Martin off their airways. He's too much of a firebrand and though maintains the face of journalistic objectivity is obviously PRO BLACK. Black men like he are feared by the establishment. It was only a matter of time in my opininon.

  3. Agree to all of the above. Well put both parties. To Mr. Raynard directly, I must say, your perspective is compelling, and even made me sway a bit. But my conviction lies with the fact that the media (mainstream), that is, will not, and is not your friend. You sir, happen to be doing well with your own venue, but “we” must remember where we are and what “we” are doing at all times. There are no free passes, ever. Just when you think you have one, reality will set you free, and smack you dead in the face. I respect people such as yourself who obviously are vocal and reflect that in your publishing, but always, always, be ready for “the man” to try to tare you down, especially, when in “their” house. Sorry bro, twitter “ain’t” the place to start slangin jokes. Its social media, not a backyard bar-b-que. Next time, he will think twice. As you referred to them, as “Gays”, they come in all colors, shapes and sizes. So, to be so blanketly insensative, I think, was just…well, stupid. Can we say, target? (My opinion only)

  4. Roland Martin's suspension is just and legitimate. Calling himself a preacher, Martin's homophobia comes from a perversion inside the Black church that accepts hatred and discrimination towards the LGBT community. This isn't an issue of a Black man not being persecuted by the "man". We need to get off of that bullshit and confront bigotry, hatred, and intolerance in our own community. We go ballistic when white people call the president a monkey and show other forms of racism towards him, so it is imperative to always fight against these neurotic prejudices in ALL forms.

  5. It’s a two fold issue. One of a Black man who is Black in mainstream media, and one of a “man” who had a major case of laspse of judgement. Do you watch Fox news? They say whatever they want to. “We” can not tweet without losing our jobs..double standard. Raynard and you are correct, where is the “community” on this one. That was a blanket statement that did not need to be “posted” on such a public medium. It did perpetuate hate, and straight ignorance. But, he thought he had a pass, to say what he wanted to say…CNN taught him, he did not. I guess TV ONE is alright with it. Perhaps, the debate should shift.

  6. Roland, Roland, Roland! I am a Activist, Author, Ambassador for Equality within the gay community. I am also the mother of a African American gay young man, belonging to the black community I understand Roland so called humor but considering Roland position and where he decided to express his message (social media ) he should have known better.

  7. Am I missing some of Roland's tweet? What I saw, he didn't mention anything about gays or being gay. If this is the case, then this has been blown way out of proportion. First, David Beckham is not gay, so where does the homophobic part come in? If I don't have the whole tweet correct, can someone please show me what it is?