Thursday, February 9, 2012

You Talk Too Much

"Everyday you are out fighting someone in the street. And you’re always fighting someone you know you can’t beat. Then you wonder how you got in this mess. Just think of what you said, then take a guess."- Run D.M.C.

Before I write this, I will put forth a disclaimer. I am not a Roland Martin fan. I have not liked him since he walked into my journalism class junior year acting like a pompous ass using put-downs as his form of “motivation.” None were directed personally towards me, but I could’ve lived without it.

Fast forward some nine years and one can see where put-downs has landed Roland Martin today. He was temporarily suspended from his correspondent position at CNN for tweeting the following: "If a dude at your Super Bowl party is hyped about David Beckham's H&M underwear ad, smack the ish out of him." The people over at GLAAD condemned him for it and the end result was him getting the boot from a major cable network.

Now some people are trying to say that the text was taken out of context and it was Roland further dissing the sport that he loathes known as soccer. Let’s dissect the tweet, shall we. Ok we already know that the target of the tweet are males because it says “dude.” Ok. Got that down. “Hyped about David Beckham’s H&M underwear ad” means someone who is excited about seeing a man in his underwear who happens to be a soccer player. Though, anyone who enjoys the ad can tell you soccer was the last thing on their mind. Finally, he says “smack the ish out of him” which means to direct violence towards. So let’s take the first two parts and put them together: Men who are excited about seeing a man in his underwear. Yep, that sounds like gay men to me. Let’s put it all together now: direct violence towards men who get excited about seeing a man in his underwear. Yep, hurt gay men is what that tweet says in so many words. That may not have been what he meant to say but that’s how he comes off, out of context of following Roland’s anti-soccer rants on the regular.

Many of my fellow black people are saying that this was just part of an effort to get a black man off TV. I don’t remember “The Man” sitting at Roland’s keyboard when he did it. In fact, he owned up to the fact that he did it and initially didn’t seem to get why people were upset. Funny this coming from a wordsmith.

In my past profession, I worked as a journalist and when you go into certain professions, it is understood that you should not do certain things as you are considered to represent the company you work for. The higher your profile, the more you represent. You are not supposed to publicly announce political beliefs, join voter registration drives, or campaign for candidates. Pretty much, you’re supposed to do a lot of things which indicate that you are fair when you are reporting. In this day and age, that includes maintaining a sensible public social media profile. Mr. Martin obviously didn’t get that memo or thought that he lived above it.

I said this on Twitter and I’ll say it here. Freedom of speech does not mean freedom from consequences. If you don’t believe me, you have the freedom to call your mom a bitch. I dare you to try it. Trust, you’ll really see what “smacking the ish” out of someone looks like.

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