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Real Men Wear Ascots: Roland Martin, Homophobia, & Fighting Bigotry

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I don’t watch football; I will neither confirm nor deny whether my reasoning for disinterest is based on my capacity to understand that game. While many of you were enjoying the big sporting event of the year yesterday, I was working (and missing out on festivities that included alcohol and party food). I’m not disappointed, because I decided to peek in on twitter every now and again for the sexism, hetero- and all other forms, in the advertisements for my annual personal project. It turns out, unless you’re actually watching what is being live-tweeted, it isn’t as amusing; nor is my misogyny and homophobia watch as effective if I do not witness it with mine own eyes.

What I did witness, however, were Roland Martin’s tweets (complete with exchanges from a few of my very sharp followers) that were, in short, homophobic, heterosexist, and disgusting. Now, I wasn’t entirely surprised at Roland, given how he defended Tracey Morgan’s remarks that he would stab his son is he turned out gay, writing it off as mere comedy. Roland tweeted advocating violence toward men who engage in behavior that is not hetero-normative, quickly distinguishing the difference between a “real” bruh and all others.


 

Roland spent much of his evening and hours following the tweets attempting to clear up the confusing, stating that he was just joking on soccer in general and that claims of homophobia were reaching. I’ll just be one of many to say, Roland: you need more people.

I’d like to say, though, that this is not that uncommon a stance within the Black communities. Roland’s homophobia is dangerous and damaging particularly to the Black community; and I am in support of GLAAD’s position that language matters and that there should be no space on CNN for a pundit who puts the LGBTQQI community in fear of being assaulted for expressing themselves (or, in many instances, minding their business and not physically expressing themselves at all!).

In the past, I’ve discussed how oppressed people often become oppressors, even while still being oppressed. Roland Martin’s tweets are a perfect example of that. I am a firm believer of calling people on their shit when they are wrong. What I am not a firm believer of, however, is fighting bigotry with bigotry. For Roland’s hate-filled words, he was called a N-word, an ape, made fun of due to his weight (during which, I interjected because fat-shaming is wrong), and even told by a psuedo-celeb for effect that he hopes he is “assraped”. I get it — we’re hurt, outraged, and upset. I do not by any means support any of what Roland Martin said; I absolutely agree with my LGBTQQIA family that he has a history of inappropriate and quite disgusting homophobia. I feel very strongly, though, that you cannot fight ignorance with ignorance. That, instead of encouraging more bigotry and even more violence (yes, Perez, I am talking to you), we must combat that shit with intelligence. Otherwise, we’re just as small-minded as the promoters of bigotry.

I stand with GLAAD, and yet I think that this may be putting a band-aid on a larger problem. We absolutely have to address LGBTQQIA rights on a larger scale, and within the home. We absolutely must do so within the Black community. If you think that we have, I’d encourage you to check the comment section under the video of the young man who was recently attacked – by multiple with a tire, by multiple men – in Atlanta for being (presumably) gay*. It’s sad and beyond offensive; hate speech, especially that provoking violence, infringes on basic civil and human rights owned by any individual.

I’d like to see advocacy groups from the different corners of marginalization building better partnerships in addressing bigotry and working together in the best interest for each of our respective and collective groups.

*If anyone in the Atlanta area knows who the parties in the linked video are, please contact law enforcement.

 
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Written by:

Published on: February 7, 2012

Filled Under: Culture, Gender, Media, Race

Views: 1709

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  • HomoYouDont

    Damn…One of those dudes was Roland Martin..oh no wait, that was the tire.

     
  • http://twitter.com/thee_stupid the_stupid

    I have to disagree here. If I said if “no real sisters want to imitate Nicki Manji” would I be labeled homophobic? I totally support LGBT rights, don’t particularly care for Roland Martin, but I don’t see those tweets as homophobic. Saying ” smack the ish out of him” is akin to “I’m kill my my child if he don’t get good grades”, it’s not literal. What a stupid fight to pick.

     
    • Anonymous

      Language matters. It’s reinforcing heternormative standards and it is not the same as your example. The problem is, in reinforcing heternormative standards (and thereby continuing his HISTORY of homophobia), he illustrated why language is important. The LGBTQQI community worries daily about being attacked (as in the linked video) and it is important that no one is reinforcing that they should be if they are expressing themselves in such a way that reflects their same-sex/gender attraction. And THAT is why Roland is wrong.

       
      • http://twitter.com/thee_stupid the_stupid

         I didn’t see the video, but I do the oppressed can far better judge what language is offensive than an outsider. I support LGBT rights, but obviously I’m not educated in all their struggles. Thanks for teaching me. Great article.

         
    • Anonymous

       Exactly, and I’m a huge supporter of LGBT, but let us stop with the oversensitivity.

       
      • http://rippdemup.com/ RiPPa

        Are you saying that @GLAAD is being “oversensitive” with the @rolandsmartin backlash?

         
        • Anonymous

          Again, GLAAD is reaching with this one by displaying oversensitivity. I also find it rather interesting they want him fired from CNN and not NewsOne. they knew it would have really got “our” attention if they try to get him fired from both networks.  It is also speaks volumes when our black leaders have been silent, on his suspension as well. I guess Roland is now aware of who his real friends are and hopefully he takes this lesson learn. BTW he needs to tell his wife to pipe down, it is only making matters worse.

           
          • Anonymous

            Do you think Don Imus should have been fired for reinforcing colorism (and frankly, the common eurocentric standard of beauty that Black women have to combat daily) with his comments in 2007?

             
          • http://rippdemup.com/ RiPPa

            Good question!

             
          • http://rippdemup.com/ RiPPa

            This is an issue that doesn’t require a response from Black leadership. Furthermore, Roland is always front and center with said Black leadership rightfully calling for action against other public figures in the media with a platform when they have done similar. But I suppose we were all oversensitiveness when it was Don Imus and Michael Richards. Bottom line, Roland knows better. Hell, if he felt as you do, why then is he meeting with GLAAD after attempting to defend his tweets?

             
    • http://rippdemup.com/ RiPPa

      Well, for one, Nicki Minaj isn’t gay – or at least isn’t perceived to be – so that comparison doesn’t fly.What Roland essentially said was, “smack the shit out of him for wearing that gay-ass shit.” He implied that “real bruhs” or “real niggas” won’t wear such effeminate attire. He tried to make it out to be a dig on soccer, but clearly it didn’t work. Hell, ain’t too many “bruhs” play golf, but we sure do rock those Tiger Woods golf shirts on Casual Friday, don’t we? LOL

       
      • http://twitter.com/thee_stupid the_stupid

        Well David Beckham isn’t gay either, so the comparison “does fly”. You are the one attaching a sexual connotation to Roland’s comments, he doesn’t like the underwear and doesn’t think “real bruhs” would wear them. I think “real sisters” shouldn’t over sexualize their attire like Minaj and I do advocate “smacking the shit” out of these young ladies that emulate her, obviously figuratively.
           It obviously wasn’t a dig on soccer, but nothing in his language is homophobic unless the mere image of a man in underwear is inherently homosexual.

         
        • http://rippdemup.com/ RiPPa

          Beckham being gay isn’t the issue. The issue is the reinforcement of the stereotype that says “real black men” don’t wear effeminate clothing, because that’s something that not-so-real black men — otherwise referred to as gay — do on the regular. This mindset and attitude itself, permeates the black community, and though unacceptable, its often embraced. Roland should have known better. But I guess when you believe that you can pray the gay out of a person like him and his wife does, you’d have no problem letting your homophobia run rampant in a public forum. Hell, his ass was on Tom Joiner a few weeks ago on Tom Joyner crying because GOP folks was talking to him funky at a South Carolina Primary event because he was Black and unrecognized as a journalist. Bottom line: if he wants to be taken seriously, he needs to start by protecting his brand and being cautious of what you say publicly.

           
        • http://rippdemup.com/ RiPPa

          Also, Minaj’s attire is sexualized as you say, and real sisters shouldn’t wear it. But yet you have a problem making the same connection given Roland’s statement as it applies to what’s perceived to be homoerotic?

           
          • http://twitter.com/thee_stupid the_stupid

             The “issue” as you put it, is everything said negatively about a man by man isn’t related to sexuality. Example, I would say “real bruhs” don’t wear ascots, not implying a man wearing ascots are “gay” but out of fashion or tacky. Maybe Roland, like myself, don’t care for men’s briefs, prefer boxers?
              It’s only seen as a homoerotic issue if your looking at the ad that way. When I as a woman criticize Minaj’s attire as vulgar, no one assumes, well she must be a lesbian.

             
          • http://rippdemup.com/ RiPPa

            We’re talking men’s underwear, and not the Hanes Michael Jordan line… its that obvious.

             
          • http://twitter.com/thee_stupid the_stupid

             If you say so. I didn’t realize I was a homophobe but I agree with Roland’s comment on the underwear. Now him tweeting was just dumb.

             
          • http://rippdemup.com/ RiPPa

            No, im not saying you’re a homophobe. I am however stating the obvious that homophobia permeates the Black community to a fault. Enough so that Roland didn’t se what he said as wrong.

             
          • Anonymous

            Homophobia is very direct bigotry; however, the fact that Roland (and apparently you, since you agree with his comment) is reinforcing these heteronormative standards absolutely causes detriment and reinforces homophobia. The fact that he tweeted it isn’t nearly as bad as the fact that he lives each day believing that his idea of what straight men (“real bruhs”) should be doing doesn’t marginalize EVERYONE – men, women, people who identify as both or either, and the Black community. Black people in America have been marginalized and typified into certain tropes based on how people think we should behave. As such, we are still perceived to be this way. Internalizing these standards further marginalizes us and provides that we behave in very specific ways, and also forces queer erasure within our communities, ergo the backlash and petitions in support of Roland. Just saying.

             
  • dredpiraterob

    i am not surprised by roland martin either…i didnt see his homophobic tweets during the superbowl because i called that bigoted coward out years ago and got blocked on twitter and facebook…the more he talks the more people realize…as usual livication, beautifully written post

     
    • Anonymous

      Thank you :) 
      And yes, I remember, Roland blocked you on twitter. He’s such a coward.

       
      • http://rippdemup.com/ RiPPa

        Roland Martin has blocked me for the past two years. He frequently Googles himself and visits blogs. Just ask Danielle Belton aka @blacksnob.