Before I get started, here’s just a little background info. on the controversy surrounding Mr. Martin’s recent tweeting activity. This is what he said (tweeted):
“If a dude at your Super Bowl party is hyped about David Beckham’s H&M underweard ad, smack the ish out of him! #superbowl.”
“Ain’t no real bruhs going to H&M to buy some damn David Beckham underwear! #superbowl.”
Click here for a recap of Bill O’Reilly calling Mr. Martin a moron and to read the tweets for yourself. You can also read some of Mr. Martin’s responses to the criticism: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/10/bill-oreilly-roland-martin-suspension-karma_n_1267741.html?ref=mostpopular
Dear Rol Dogg (this is what I like to call him),
Hey! It’s your good friend, Mariah. I’m writing because I heard you were tied up in a little fiasco here recently, and I wanted to reach out to you. I read your tweets. So you showing out now huh? You’ve been at CNN for a few years, and you think you can say any ole’ thing you want now do you? Chile please. Didn’t I tell you that these folks would scrutinize your every move? Your every comment? Right down to the underwear you like.
They’ve been letting you slide here and there and you got comfortable didn’t you? You thought you could be frank? Frank?! That guy only shows up to drunken holiday office parties and gets people fired for the New Year. That guy gets you in trouble every time! You thought you could enjoy the Superbowl in the comfort of your own home, tweet from your personal Twitter account, respect other people’s opinions but politely disagree when you felt differently, and not get suspended from your job? Silly boy!
Rol Dogg, I just want you to know that I don’t think you’re homophobic. As a matter of fact, I’m pretty sure the whole nation knows you’re not homophobic. But, you do have a platform from which you are able to communicate to (and be listened to) the masses. So you understand that they (GLADD and CNN, among others) had to tag you for this one, right? They had to. And do you know why, Rol? Because it’s what we do in this country.
Of course we have the right to free speech (although many people misconstrue this right as an absolute right to say just what the heck we want, in any place we want, at any time of the day or night, however loud, obnoxious, hurtful, or just plain silly. Better check the case law on this one, folks. There are limitations.) Of course you were just expressing your right to practice such a privilege, and it felt good, didn’t it, Rol? But you couldn’t get away with this!!!!!!
Just imagine the cain Cornell West (or you) might raise if Pierce Morgan (whom you also referenced in a few tweets) were to say something like, “Any man who thinks Angela Davis’ afro is sexy should be slapped in the face.” Bam! Zip! Slap! We would tag Mr. Morgan so badly Beyonce might ban her interview with him from ever airing again. (That chick is getting more and more powerful isn’t she?) We would get him! And do we actually think Mr. Morgan is racist or anything of the sort? Nope. The man doesn’t have to like ‘fros. But white men can’t go around saying black women’s afros are ugly (when that man has such a wide-reaching platform). And you, Rol, can’t go around saying that men should be slapped if they look at the H&M commercial with David Beckham (btw, that thang so sexy).
You said you were just making some soccer reference. Mmmmm, I’m on your side, and I don’t even believe this one. In any event, I still love you. I hope you and CNN can work it out. They need your perspective. I hope that this was a learning lesson for you. I hope that you won’t look back on this time with feelings of anger but with humility, realizing that the critics were probably too harsh but had a (slight) point. I hope you now fully realize the influence you’ve garnered and take care to protect it.
Until then, tell your wife to be mad . . . in silence (or at least not on Twitter, geez) and keep ya head up!