Roland Martin Tweets Homophobic Post; Suspended

(Original story at ABC News here.)

Maybe Mr. Martin really hates David Beckham. Or perhaps he really hates underwear advertisements. It is possible he thought the advertisement was terrible at doing its job — selling. Whatever it was, his remarks have definitely been interpreted to be homophobic.

Feb 8, 2012 6:02pm

Roland Martin Suspended by CNN Over ‘Offensive’ Tweets

CNN has smacked the “ish” out of Roland Martin.

The commentator has been suspended indefinitely for tweets he sent during Sunday’s Super Bowl that were criticized as anti-gay, according to a statement released Wednesday. One tweet said, “If a dude at your Super Bowl party is hyped about David Beckham’s H&M underwear ad, smack the ish out of him!”

“Roland Martin’s tweets were regrettable and offensive,” CNN’s statement reportedly said. “Language that demeans is inconsistent with the values and culture of our organization, and is not tolerated. We have been giving careful consideration to this matter, and Roland will not be appearing on our air for the time being.”

“CNN today took a strong stand against anti-LGBT violence and language that demeans any community,” said Rich Ferraro, a spokesperson for the gay rights organization GLAAD. “Yesterday, Martin also spoke out against anti-LGBT violence. We look forward to hearing from CNN and Roland Martin to discuss how we can work together as allies and achieve our common goal of reducing anti-LGBT violence as well as the language that contributes to it.”

This is the latest case of public figures tweeting themselves into trouble.

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Bank Staff Posts Company Dinner Photos Online; Public Relations Nightmare Ensues

(Original story at the Straits Times here.)

It was a company dinner which was Bollywood-themed. The ethnic Chinese staff joined in the fun by painting their faces in a darker color to look Indian. Racism probably wasn’t at the top of their minds when they did that, but because the photos were posted online, they raised eyebrows from the public.

Seeing red over UOB staff dinner ‘blackface’ photos

Published on Feb 12, 2012

By Jennani Durai

Several Chinese employees of United Overseas Bank have raised eyebrows online after posting pictures of themselves in ‘blackface’ at a Bollywood-themed staff dinner.

Pictures of last Friday’s event at the Fairmont Hotel were posted on social networking site Facebook on Sunday. At least three men are pictured with their faces painted black, presumably because the event was Indian-themed and Indians have darker skin.

‘Blackface’ is widely seen as racially charged, especially in the United States. It originated as a form of theatrical make-up for performers to act out caricatures of dark-skinned people.

Attempts to reach the staff involved were unsuccessful.

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Man Lies About Army Death; Arrested

(Original story at the Straits Times here.)

I have posted on this blog a few stories about the restriction of free speech in the military. In a paper that I wrote for graduate school regarding the lack of freedom of speech in the military, I argued that the restriction of free speech in such an organization is necessary and that servicemen should not expect to have the same rights as civilians; after all, the military has its own set of laws and judiciary. Servicemen even have their own military IDs.

The story is different from the rest that I’ve posted in that the person who started the hoax isn’t even in the military. I wonder how it would stand up in a court of law.

Teen arrested over blog hoax about ‘NSF gunshot death’

Published on Feb 17, 2012

A youth aged 19 has been arrested for allegedly lying in a blog post that a full-time national serviceman had died from a gunshot wound in a military live-firing exercise.

A police spokesman, responding to media queries, confirmed a police report about the hoax was made last Saturday.

The youth is now assisting the police in investigations into a suspected instance of ‘transmitting a false or fabricated message’, an offence under the Telecommunications Act, he added.

The post, made on Jan 27 on the blog called Temasek Revealed, claimed the incident took place that morning. It said a Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) serviceman aged 19 had been hit in his right eye by a stray bullet in Sembawang, and that he had died instantly.

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