In case you haven’t heard, CNN suspended Roland Martin, a political contributor, for a pretty tasteless–to put it mildly–tweet about a David Beckham’s Super Bowl commercial.
Most people I’ve talked to have said that the gay community is too sensitive. Others say that he shouldn’t have been suspended, that only a foolish person would take his comments literally. But this isn’t about gay or straight or whether slapping the “ish” out of someone is appropriate vernacular for a prominent journalist.
This is, simply, an issue of human rights.
If he had changed just one word–“person” instead of “man”–his tweet would have taken on a far less offensive flavor. We’re not talking about animals here. We’re talking about living, breathing people with feelings. Martin has every right to his opinion, but he should have known his tweet wouldn’t sit well with some people.
Yes, the reasonable person would assume that Martin was only speaking figuratively. But whether he was speaking in jest or truly meant to start a slap-fest ’round the world, he’s a public figure. There are some things you just can’t say when you’re a talking head on a national news channel.
I hope Martin gets some much-needed sensitivity training during his involuntary vacation, plus a heavy dose of common sense. No matter who you are, public recognition plus public foolery always equals public shame.