Friday, February 10, 2012

Roland Martin Suspended For Actin' Like A N*gga On Twitter.

I Tweet a lot.

Correction: I Tweet a whole lot.

I personally love the outlet, the ability to see what others are thinking about a subject at a given time, and the instantaneous feedback you get when you throw an idea out there. It's almost like a virtual barbershop, minus the $18 cuts, and barbers who disregard everything you ask them to do.

BTW, if you aren't following me, you can fix that problem now.

Anyways, I make no bones about the fact that I'm (virtually) anonymous online. I don't attach my gubb'ment name to anything I write, nor do I put my photo on anything. The reasons are many, but have a lot to do with my employment and position. Simply put, I'm not tryin' to endanger my Day Job, so I've adopted this "AverageBro" persona for the virtual world, so I can keep gettin' paper in the real world. There are a million and one examples of things being said online being used against people in their places of employment.[1]

Just ask poor Roland Martin.
CNN commentator Roland Martin has agreed to meet with GLAAD following his suspension Wednesday for tweets during the Super Bowl that the group and others denounced as homophobic.

Calling Martin's tweets "regrettable and offensive," CNN said Martin would "not be appearing on our air for the time being." Martin later said on Twitter that he would meet with GLAAD, as the group had requested, after he apologized Tuesday for the Super Bowl tweets.

The Twitter detente helped resolve a controversy that began with Martin's tweets days before. GLAAD said two of Martin's tweets on Sunday seemed to advocate violence against gays.

"If a dude at your Super Bowl party is hyped about David Beckham's H&M underwear ad, smack the ish out of him!" he said in one tweet. In the other, he said, "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."

Martin later apologized, saying he did not advocate violence against gays or bullying. He also said he himself had been bullied.

To signal that he took the issue seriously, Martin also reported on Wednesday about Brandon White, a 20-year-old gay man who was viciously beaten by a gang of men shouting anti-gay slurs in Atlanta.

Details of Martin's meeting with GLAAD are still being determined, the group said.
Poor Rolly Rolls.

I follow Martin on Twitter for reasons I can't totally explain. Actually, I can. I like Martin's on-air persona because even though I think he's an intellectual lightweight, he does typically say the sort of stuff I'd probably say if I had a similar stage, and is one of the few AverageBro's on the cable news circuit.[2]

Still, dude Tweets like he's sitting in the barbershop, or at a backyard BBQ at Man-Man-n'em's house. I mean, seriously, he talks like a guy who doesn't have a Day Job on a major cable news network. He talks like I talk when I'm offline. Not like a professional. At. All.

And that's really the issue here: Roland Martin tries to keep it a little too trill on Twitter, the perpetual attention grabbers at GLAAD (not unlike PETA) saw an easy mark, and they rolled this poor fella. I don't for one moment think Martin hates gay people. Dude (and his wife) is a baptist preacher. His Tweets obviously didn't advocate beating gay people because they might just happen to like David Beckham's package in that Super Bowl ad. He was basically saying the same sorta stuff your typical brotha would so to his friends if one of them had a comment about that ad. His response was probably not all that different from mine, when I saw the ad ("A guy in his drawls during the Super Bowl? Is this really necessary?"), I just didn't happen to Tweet it.

Martin, in an odd effort to "keep it real" spouted off something to millions of readers that was probably better left unsaid. And now, he's gonna get the fullblown "Tracy Morgan" treatment, complete with a tearful "come to Jesus" press conference, where he'll essentially apologize for an offense he didn't really even commit.

I seriously doubt this whole public spectacle will raise any awareness about legitimate hate crimes (like the despicable act in Atlanta that's all over the news right now). A month from now, Martin will quietly return to his usual spot on CNN, and nobody will even remember this happened. You know, sorta like when GLAAD similarly railroaded Morgan, Kobe Bryant, Isaiah Washington, and even President Obama. So there's that, for Mr. Martin.

Then again, he could always end up on Fox News.

Question: Were Martin's Tweets really all that offensive, or just classless and unprofessional? How long before he's making a tearful "some of my best friends are gay" press conference? Do organizations like GLAAD and PETA do things like this just for publicity or to actually raise awareness? Do you ever worry about having your online opinions held against you?

[1] To be clear: any employer or potential employer who wants to find out about your online activities can do so. Any. But why make it soooo easy for them?

[2] Marc-Lamont Hill would be another.

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