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Roland Martin to Meet with GLAAD

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CNN political analyst Roland Martin posted an apology on his website following calls from GLAAD, the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), bloggers, advocates and thousands of Americans.

February 14, 2012

Update: Today, Herndon Graddick, the Senior Director of Programs at GLAAD, and Roland Martin met in Los Angeles. The introduction is the beginning of an open and honest dialogue. Both parties came away with a better understanding of one another and look forward to continuing this dialogue.

February 10, 2012

Update: GLAAD is aware that several members of the LGBT community have used racial epithets and race-based insults toward Roland Martin, his family and broader African American community. We unequivocally condemn the use of racial slurs when addressing issues of homophobia and strongly discourage the use of hate speech in any context. We look forward to a healthy and productive dialogue with Roland Martin and members of the community. Mike Thompson, Acting President GLAAD

February 9, 2012

Roland Martin will be meeting with GLAAD.

 

The timing and participants are to be determined. We'll keep you updated here. Our goal is to ensure better coverage that works toward ending anti-LGBT violence.

Yesterday, CNN spoke out against anti-LGBT violence. GLAAD and  Martin also reported on Brandon White, a 20 year-old victim of an anti-gay attack in Atlanta.  Read more about GLAAD's work with the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Projects around this brutal crime. This comes at a time when the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs found that violence against LGBT people was up 13% and that 70% were people of color.

Some have insulted Martin's personal character and race when discussing this issue. GLAAD strongly condemns these attacks. There is no excuse for race based attacks or hate speech. 


February 8, 2012

CNN issues a statement about Roland Martin via the Washington Post:

"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."

GLAAD responds:

"CNN today took a strong stand against anti-LGBT violence and language that demeans any community," said Rich Ferraro, GLAAD spokesperson. "Yesterday, Martin also spoke out against anti-LGBT violence. We look forward to hearing from CNN and Roland Martin to discuss how we can work together as allies and achieve our common goal of reducing anti-LGBT violence as well as the language that contributes to it."

The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs found that violence against LGBT people was up 13 percent last year. 70 percent of the victims murdered were people of color, and 44 percent were transgender women.

Some have insulted Martin's personal character and race when discussing this issue. GLAAD strongly condemns these attacks. There is no excuse for race based attacks or hate speech. 

Read GLAAD's full press release.

Statement from NBJC: 

"While we are encouraged by CNN's stance against language that incites anti-gay violence, we hope they also will make a commitment to shine more visibility on the hardships LGBT people of color face when trying to participate fully in their communities," said Sharon Lettman-Hicks, Executive Director of the National Black Justice Coalition. "With the recent attack on Brandon White in Atlanta and the murder of Deoni Jones in Washington, DC, awareness of the challenges of our community and the urgency for more fair and accurate representations of LGBT people of color are greater now than ever."

Follow this story in the news:

Advocate - SUSPENDED: CNN Says Roland Martin's Words Are Intolerable
The Associated Press - CNN suspends Martin for 'offensive' comments
Broadcasting & Cable - CNN Suspends Roland Martin: GLAAD called for commentator's removal after anti-gay tweet
Entertainment Weekly - Roland S. Martin suspended by CNN for 'offensive' tweets
The Grio - GLAAD: Why CNN's Roland Martin shouldn't get a pass for homophobic  tweets
The Hollywood Reporter - CNN suspends commentator Roland Martin over Beckham ad tweets
Media Bistro - After Calls to Have Him Removed, Roland Martin is Back on CNN. UPDATE: Martin Suspended from CNN
New York Magazine - CNN Suspends Roland Martin for Gay-Bashing Super Bowl Tweets
The New York Times - CNN Suspends Roland Martin for Remarks on Twitter
News One - Roland Martin Suspended From CNN for “Homophobic” Tweets
NPR - CNN Suspends Roland Martin Over Super Bowl Tweets
Philadelphia Inquirer – CNN suspends Roland Martin
Politico - CNN suspends Martin; not Loesch, Erickson
Reuters - CNN Suspends Roland Martin Over Super Bowl Tweets
Towleroad – CNN’s Roland Martin suspended over homophobic tweets
Wall Street Journal - Roland Martin Suspended By CNN for Super Bowl Tweets
Washington Post - CNN’s Roland Martin suspended for homophobic tweets
Yahoo! News - CNN suspends Roland Martin over ‘offensive’ Super Bowl tweets
Advocate - SUSPENDED: CNN Says Roland Martin's Words Are Intolerable
The Associated Press - CNN suspends Martin for 'offensive' comments
BBC - CNN's Roland Martin off air after 'homophobic' tweets
BET - CNN Suspends Roland Martin for Homophobic Comments
The Boston Globe - CNN suspends Martin for ‘offensive’ comments
Broadcasting & Cable - CNN Suspends Roland Martin: GLAAD called for commentator's removal after anti-gay tweet
Daily Mail (UK) - CNN anchor suspended for homophobic Tweets about David Beckham's underwear ad
Entertainment Weekly - Roland S. Martin suspended by CNN for 'offensive' tweets
The Grio - GLAAD: Why CNN was right to remove Roland Martin for homophobic tweets
The Grio - CNN had no choice but to suspend Roland Martin
The Hollywood Reporter - CNN suspends commentator Roland Martin over Beckham ad tweets
Media Bistro - After Calls to Have Him Removed, Roland Martin is Back on CNN. UPDATE: Martin Suspended from CNN
Mirror (UK) - Not everyone enjoys David's pants - CNN's Roland Martin suspended over 'anti-gay' tweets
New York Daily News - Roland Martin suspended from CNN after homophobic tweets
New York Magazine - CNN Suspends Roland Martin for Gay-Bashing Super Bowl Tweets
The New York Times - CNN Suspends Roland Martin for Remarks on Twitter
News One - Roland Martin Suspended From CNN for “Homophobic” Tweets
NPR - CNN Suspends Roland Martin Over Super Bowl Tweets
Philadelphia Inquirer – CNN suspends Roland Martin
Politico - CNN suspends Martin; not Loesch, Erickson
Politico – Roland Martin to meet with GLAAD
Queerty - CNN Suspends Roland “#TeamWhipDatAss” Martin For Homophobic Tweets
Reuters - CNN Suspends Roland Martin Over Super Bowl Tweets
Reuters – Roland Martin to meet with GLAAD over Super Bowl tweets
TIME - Twimmolation Alert: Roland Martin Gets His Ascot in Hot Water at CNN
Towleroad – CNN’s Roland Martin suspended over homophobic tweets
TV Guide - CNN's Roland Martin Suspended Over Tweets Seen as Homophobic
Vibe - Rowland Martin Suspended From CNN for Tweet Deemed Homophobic
Wall Street Journal - Roland Martin Suspended By CNN for Super Bowl Tweets
Washington Post - CNN’s Roland Martin suspended for homophobic tweets
Washington Post – Roland Martin to meet with gay advocacy group
Yahoo! News - CNN suspends Roland Martin over ‘offensive’ Super Bowl tweets


 


 

CNN Remains Silent after Calls for a Statement

February 7, 2012

CNN political analyst Roland Martin posted an apology on his website following calls from GLAAD, the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), bloggers, advocates and thousands of Americans. Wrote Martin:

"To those who construed my comment as being anti-gay or homophobic or advancing violence, I'm truly sorry. I can certainly understand how someone could come to a different conclusion than the one I meant. I'm disheartened that my words would embolden prejudice. While public debate over social issues is healthy, no matter which side someone takes, there is no room for debate as to whether we need to be respectful of others."  

Violence against gay people or against any other minority isn't a political opinion. At a time when anti-gay violence afflicts countless LGBT and LGBT-perceived people in this country every day, prominent figures like Martin should condemn, not promote, such violence.

Yesterday afternoon, a video of a young man being brutally assaulted after exiting a grocery store was posted on LGBT news sites. As the  perpetrators beat and kicked their victim, the attackers screamed "Fa**ot" as well as other anti-gay slurs.

This is what 'smacking the ish' out of someone for being gay can look like.

Last year, Martin defended Tracy Morgan when Morgan said that if his son were gay, he would "pull out a knife and stab him." After Morgan apologized by saying he does not "believe that anyone should be bullied or just made to feel bad about who they are," Martin said he would not have chosen to do so. In 2006, when Reverend Al Sharpton urged for unity between the African American and LGBT communities, Martin used it as an opportunity to drive a wedge and advocate for the discredited and abusive practice of so-called "ex-gay" conversion "therapy."  In his most recent apology, Martin claimed to have always used his voice to "speak progressively." Clearly that has not been the case; we hope in the future that it will be.

Speaking out on his website against anti-LGBT violence and sharing his personal story about bullying is a start, but Martin must use other platforms to fight against the very torments he says he himself experienced. Media and industry professionals are very powerful forces in this country.  GLAAD takes that influence very seriously and we hope that in the future Roland Martin will do the same, whether it's on CNN, TV One or in any other outlet. 

Ultimately, it's up to CNN, its audience, and those affected by Martin's remarks to judge the veracity of, and Martin's commitment to, his statement.  CNN has thus far remained silent.   The network should not continue to do so.

GLAAD continues to believe that CNN can find responsible, diverse voices who do not have a history of advocating or making excuses for violence toward anyone. The network now has to decide.  

The time has come for Roland Martin to put actions behind his words.   GLAAD calls on him to meet with us and our partners to discuss how we can work together to address the staggering rates of anti-LGBT violence that continues to face our community today.


February 6, 2012 UPDATE:

Roland Martin attempted to diffuse one of his two tweets with a statement, in which he claims that he was joking about violence against soccer fans, not violence against gay men.

But Martin’s record tells a very different story.

Roland Martin has never compared being a soccer fan to being an alcoholic, the way he has compared being gay to being an alcoholic.  Roland Martin has never bragged that his wife has led men and women away from the “soccer lifestyle,” the way he claims she has with gay people. Roland Martin has never defended jokes about parents stabbing soccer-playing children, the way he defended jokes about parents stabbing gay children.  

Based on this history, this doesn’t seem like a playful jab at what Martin considers an inferior sport.

It seems like a jab at what Martin considers an inferior community of people.

Consider this related post from earlier in the day, which had nothing to do with soccer: "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"

Twice on Sunday, Martin joked about violence against men who could be perceived as gay – once for wearing pink clothing, once for being interested in an ad showing a scantily-clad man. And we know how he feels about the LGBT community.  

“This isn’t a mistake made on twitter. It’s part of a pattern of anti-LGBT rhetoric that culminated in two tweets yesterday promoting violence towards gay people,” said GLAAD Director of Communications Rich Ferraro. “The time has come when CNN and Time Warner have to decide whether they want to continue to use their platforms to elevate those who use such language.”

“Even if he meant it in a jovial manner, Roland Martin’s words carry a real impact on the everyday lives of Black LGBT people, especially our youth,” said Sharon Lettman, executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition, the nation’s largest black LGBT civil rights organization. “Given the number of rash murders, attacks and violent acts involving LGBT people of color, we cannot let statements such as this go unchecked. Silence is a form of acceptance and only perpetuates the problem.”


February 5, 2012

Following retailer H&M's Super Bowl commercial featuring soccer player David Beckham, CNN's Roland Martin tweeted to almost 95,000 followers:
"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"

 

Roland Martin is a regular guest on CNN and a commentator on the Tom Joyner Morning Show as well as TV One, a news network available in over 36 million homes.

GLAAD and many LGBT advocates on Twitter including Perez Hilton, Kenyon Farrow, Darian Aaron, @TheFireNexTime, @Markyapelli, @Anti_Intellect, @ChrisGeidner, Scott Wooledge, @RubinReport, @marcslove, @Blabbeando, @michaelajones, Andy Szekeres, and many others immediately took Martin to task (see Chris Geidner's MetroWeekly post).

In response, GLAAD wrote: ".@rolandsmartin Advocates of gay bashing have no place at @CNN #SuperBowl #LGBT"

 Martin replied:
"@glaad @CNN well you're clearly out of touch and clueless with what I tweeted. Way to assume, but you're way off base"

Earlier today, Martin posted to his Facebook fan page: "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"

Since making the comments, Martin has suggested his tweet regarding David Beckham was intended as a slight toward soccer fans. He did not respond to a question from Metro Weekly about why, if the tweet was about soccer and not based in anti-gay sentiment, he only referenced his concern about "a dude ... hyped" about the ad and not any soccer fan.

A closer look at his record gives a window into Martin's anti-gay views.

Last year, Tracy Morgan said during a stand-up routine that if his son were gay he would 'stab him.' Morgan later apologized and worked with GLAAD to send positive messages to parents and LGBT youth.

Morgan understood how his words could influence his fans and put youth in danger, while Martin defended Tracy Morgan's original remarks.

Wrote Martin: "If we are to demand an apology for every time a comedian is sexist against men or women, racist or homophobic, we might as well launch a website called www.comediansapologizedaily.com. Say I'm wrong. Fine. Say I'm insensitive to gays and lesbians. Fine."
He continued: "Sorry, if I'm being honest here and not focusing on political correctness. I just believe that many of you would be shocked and amazed that you laughed hysterically at some of the most sexist, homophobic, racist stuff imaginable by comedians of all shapes, sizes, ethnic backgrounds, genders and sexual orientations."

At a time when the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs found that violence against LGBT people was up 23%, we need people in the public eye to speak out against the dangers of anti-LGBT violence, not openly encourage it.

Martin also has used his platform to misrepresent religious views about LGBT people. Far from the church being uniformly anti-gay, as Martin has claimed, LGBT people are welcomed just as they are into the full life of the church, in congregations and entire denominations across the United States. Lutheran, Presbyterian, and Episcopal denominations welcome LGBT folks, as well as many congregations from a variety of denominations.

On Martin's website he ignores the medical evidence about the ineffectiveness and harms associated with so-called ex-gay programs and instead praises his wife who he says "has counseled many men and women to walk away from the gay lifestyle."

As many of his peers in the news media have reported, The American Psychiatric Association states that: "The potential risks of 'reparative therapy' are great, including depression, anxiety and self destructive behavior, since therapist alignment with societal prejudices against homosexuality may reinforce self-hatred already experienced by the patient" (from its position statement on Psychiatric Treatment and Sexual Orientation).

Martin's tweets today advocating violence against gay people weren't an accident -- they are a part of a larger pattern for Martin.

Anti-gay violence in America is a serious problem facing millions of Americans. It's no joke. CNN should fire Roland Martin.

READ MORE:

Roland Martin’s Tweet About David Beckham Ad Angers GLAAD (Wall Street Journal)

Super Bowl: CNN’s Roland Martin tweets jokes seen as anti-gay (Washington Post)

CNN's Roland Martin Under Fire From GLAAD For David Beckham Super Bowl Tweets (Huffington Post)

CNN's Roland Martin Urges Violence Against Men Who Liked David Beckham's H&M Ad (Hollywood Repoter)

CNN commentator accused of 'gay bashing' for Beckham ad tweet (MSNBC)

CNN Pundit Roland Martin Sends Gay-Bashing Tweet During Super Bowl (Queerty)

Roland Martin on GLAAD ‘Ish’ List Following David Beckham Super Bowl Tweet (Media Bistro)

 

GLAAD Mad at CNN’s Roland Martin for Tweet on Beckhman Super Bowl Ad-Watch (LGBTPOV)

Action: Sign petition to have CNN fire Roland Martin (Gay Persons of Color)

Roland Martin’s Super Bowl Comments Advocating Violence Against Gays Spark Outrage (The New Civil Rights Movement)

Is CNN’s Roland Martin Anti-Gay, Anti-Soccer, or Just a Moron? (Gay4Soccer)

Joe. My. God.: GLAAD To CNN: Fire Roland Martin