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19 Feb 2012

Roland Martin update: NAACP speaks out and Tom Joyner’s open letter drama

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February 19, 2012 Category: Entertainment Posted by:


With all of the specifics still pending, NAACP Chairwoman Roslyn Brock’s official statement is that the organization hopes for a resolution between suspended CNN political commentator Roland Martin, CNN and GLAAD (The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation).


Brock’s comments are in response to Roland Martin’s Super Bowl Sunday twitter controversy when his tweets referred to smacking the ‘ish’ out of an arbitrary ‘dude’ if he became ‘hyped about David Beckham’s H&M underwear ad.’ Another tweet pointed out a New England Patriot in a ‘head to toe pink suit’ who should be paid a visit from ‘teamwhipdatass.’


Here are the now controversial Tweets in their entirety:


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.


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 is a credible commentator and an outspoken journalist, whom audiences have seen pontificate on a gamut of issues. His aforementioned statements on Twitter were not made in an official capacity on CNN, they were quite possibly made in jest and most certainly made in the highly scrutinized arena of social media.


Roslyn Brock found Roland Martin’s carefree use of the medium regrettable, but gave this optimistic statement to EURweb’s Lee Bailey about the status of the case at the time:


The NAACP wholeheartedly agrees that Roland Martin’s political views are an asset on the airwaves and that his presence on CNN promotes a diverse atmosphere on network television.


Besides CNN, Roland Martin can be seen weekly as the host of Washington Watch on TV-One.


Meanwhile, the Martin/GLAAD controversy continues to sizzle with news that the outspoken commentator’s radio boss, Tom Joyner, has written an open letter admonishing him among other things to do the right thing in regards to his meeting with GLAAD.


Well, EUR contributor Morris O’Kelly pointed out that Martin responded by “retweeting” the note below from Bishop T.D. Jakes. Its thinly-veiled connection to the Tom Joyner open letter can’t be disregarded:


There is no arguing, Roland Martin is on Tom Joyner’s speed dial. There is no arguing, Tom Joyner writing an open letter would qualify as a public forum. Roland Martin CLEARLY was making a point, co-signing the Jakes tweet and it shouldn’t be ignored or mitigated.


Tom Joyner’s open letter to Roland Martin:


A Letter to Roland: Make It Right


I think one of the things that makes the TJMS work is that, like a real family, we bring a variety of personalities, talents and flaws to the table, yet we accept our differences and roll with them. It only becomes a problem when one of our actions – or lack thereof – begins to detract from our overall goal, which is to entertain and empower black people.


As head of the family, I’ve sat back as long as I could, hoping I wouldn’t have to say anything. But now the time has come.


So, Roland, we love you and need you full force to be able to do what you do – represent us and our views on CNN and other arenas. In order to continue your role on that show, on the speaking circuit, etc., it’s time for you to make a sincere apology to GLAAD (The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation). When people are offended by something we say or do, it doesn’t matter what our intentions are. The job of the offender is simply to apologize and learn a lesson about what to say or do going forward.


Your mission is greater than your principal. It’s no longer about you. Now it’s grown into something bigger than you are, but only you can make right.


We love and appreciate what you do as a journalist, an analyst and commentator. You are a much -needed voice in the community and have the gift of being able to relate with everybody from the ‘hood to the White House.



We’ve gone through this with another family member who refused to turn around. I sure would hate to see pride silence another important voice.


Make it right, Roland, so we can move forward.

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