Roland Martin is leaving CNN, joining a cast of characters defecting and shifting spots under new leadership at the network. He emailed Politico.com to offer his take on the
firing departure, and offered this gem of hubris worthy of enshrinement in the black arrogance hall of fame.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my little over six years there. There are many folks I will miss dearly, especially wonderful colleagues like Josanne Lopez, Soledad O’Brien, Ali Velshi, and so many bookers and producers.
But I also miss the folks I tried to speak for and represent the most when I was on the air: the men and the women who worked on the crew; the security guards; and even the janitorial workers. Those were the people I most spoke for; those were the people who would cheer me on as I walked down the streets, in the grocery store; and at airports.
I have had the likes of Harry Belafonte, Sidney Poitier, Spike Lee, Halle Berry, and others in sports and entertainment thank me for being an unwavering and unapologetic voice of truth, and unwilling to back down when someone needed to stand up.
Before I signed with CNN, I sat in the lobby of 1 Time Warner Center and said, “God, if it’s your will to be here, then so be it.’ I said the same these last two months.
I’ve worked hard to ensure that my voice wasn’t heard in one place. I will continue with my show on TV One, a network I was with before CNN; will continue my daily segment on the Tom Joyner Morning Show; and will continue my nationally syndicated column.
In my final days at CNN when I’m on the air, I will to do as the Tuskegee Airmen did, fight to the last hour, last minute, last second, for what is right. And I will do that as long as there is breath in my body.
Let’s run down the checklist of self-promoting, hot air that is classic Roland. Shout-out to the little folks who get no love in media from anywhere other than me, and run me down in public to tell me so – check. Name check black celebs whom, while not in the streets with the security guards and janitors, also run me down to tell me how great I am and how real I keeps it – check. Invoke the name of God, without whom my hiring or firing would not be possible – check. Name check the black outlets on which I’ll still be found, with far less of an opportunity to yell at white folks and be the voice of sanity for blacks – check.
Compare myself to an iconic aspect of black history, the Tuskegee Airmen – check.
The sad part is that Martin does bring unique introspection to discussion of national issues. But he’s so wrapped up in him, so enchanted with the fact that his voice is heard and has the capacity to create emotion and division on issues, that he often misses the mark on making real change through his opinions. He’s a news celebrity – a resource to blacks who are largely uninformed on issues, or those too busy or too rich to truly pay attention to his lack of insight or reporting on most matters.
But he’ll still be on Tom Joyner, ascot and all.