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December 17th, 2012
06:10 PM ET

Opinion: Now is the time to talk guns, mental illness

Editor's note: Roland Martin is a syndicated columnist and author of "The First: President Barack Obama's Road to the White House." He is a commentator for the TV One cable network and host/managing editor of its Sunday morning news show, "Washington Watch with Roland Martin."

By Roland Martin, CNN Contributor

(CNN) – Enough!

Enough with putting off tomorrow what we should be talking about today. Enough with being afraid to step on someone's delicate sensibilities when it comes to the Second Amendment. Enough with elected leaders who are too cowardly to confront the National Rifle Association and their ardent supporters. Enough with moms and dads and brothers and sisters and aunts and uncles and pastors and deacons who are afraid to make public the private anguish of mental illness.

Enough! Enough! Enough!

Enough with just asking for thoughts and prayers. Enough with just hugging our children. Enough with leaving flowers and teddy bears at a makeshift memorial.

It's time for action. It's time for people of conscience to, in the words of the late civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer, be "sick and tired of being sick and tired."

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Opinion: Actually Mitt, it wasn't just minorities that voted for Obama
Roland Martin asks, why is Mitt Romney largely blaming minorities for his loss to President Obama?
November 15th, 2012
03:30 PM ET

Opinion: Actually Mitt, it wasn't just minorities that voted for Obama

Editor's note: Roland Martin is a syndicated columnist and author of "The First: President Barack Obama's Road to the White House." He is a commentator for the TV One cable network and host/managing editor of its Sunday morning news show, "Washington Watch with Roland Martin."

By Roland Martin, CNN Contributor

(CNN) - If you took a moment during the heat of the presidential race to drop by the Mitt Romney campaign office, you would have been shocked by the number of white people working to get him elected. About the only color you would have seen were the red and white in the Romney-Ryan posters.

If you met with Romney's senior campaign team - the decision makers - you would have said major corporations in America have more diversity on their boards of directors than these guys.

At a Romney campaign event, followers of mine on Twitter always played the "do-you-know-that-one-black-person-who-is-always-standing-behind-Mitt-with-a-sign" game. Seriously. Seeing someone black, Hispanic or Asian at a Romney campaign rally was always a sight to behold.

So why in the world is Mitt Romney now largely blaming minorities for the butt-kicking administered to him by President Obama?

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Filed under: 2012 Election • Politics • Race • What we think
Opinion: GOP voter suppression fueled black turnout
Voters wait at a makeshift polling place in the hurricane-devastated Rockaway neighborhood of Queens, New York.
November 9th, 2012
06:22 PM ET

Opinion: GOP voter suppression fueled black turnout

Editor's note: Roland Martin is a syndicated columnist and author of "The First: President Barack Obama's Road to the White House." He is a commentator for the TV One cable network and host/managing editor of its Sunday morning news show, "Washington Watch with Roland Martin."

By Roland Martin, CNN Contributor

(CNN) - As political pros, journalists and pundits pick over exit polls to study how and why President Obama beat Mitt Romney for the presidency, a lot of the attention has been showered on the Latino turnout, gender gap and voters under 30.

The African-American turnout has largely been overlooked, seen by prognosticators as a no-brainer for President Obama.

There was never any doubt he was going to receive the overwhelming majority of black support. In 2008, Obama won 95% of the black vote, with black women voting at a higher rate than any other group in the country.

But six to nine months ago, numerous Obama campaign workers were privately expressing concern about the enthusiasm level of black voters, and about whether the massive 2008 turnout could be equaled.

They hoped registration efforts and get-out-the-vote drives would kick in at the right time.

Re-electing the first black president was clearly a motivating factor for African-Americans, but what also should be noted is the Republican Party's efforts to enact voter suppression laws.

Not only were black folks angered and shocked at Republicans' blatant attempts at voter suppression in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, Virginia, Texas and other states, they exacted revenge at the ballot box.

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October 29th, 2012
01:34 PM ET

Opinion: Sununu's comment insults black Americans

Editor's note: Roland Martin is a syndicated columnist and author of "The First: President Barack Obama's Road to the White House." He is a commentator for the TV One cable network and host/managing editor of its Sunday morning news show, "Washington Watch with Roland Martin."

By Roland Martin, CNN Contributor

(CNN) - When was the last time you heard someone say it's important to hire a qualified white person for a job? No, seriously, I really want you to think about that question.

Whenever there is a discussion about diversity, inclusion or affirmative action, we always hear folks say, "We do a great job of trying to find qualified minorities."

That always tickles me, because when it comes to hiring whites, the assumption is that all are qualified, so there's no need for the qualifier "qualified."

That was the first thing that came to mind when former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu gave his opinion on "Piers Morgan Tonight" on Thursday regarding Gen. Colin Powell's endorsement of President Barack Obama.

Booker: Sununu's comment was 'unfortunate'

"Frankly, when you take a look at Colin Powell, you have to wonder whether that's an endorsement based on issues or whether he's got a slightly different reason for preferring President Obama," Sununu said.

When Morgan asked him what that reason is, Sununu said, "Well, I think when you have somebody of your own race that you're proud of being president of the United States, I applaud Colin for standing with him."

Oh, John, you're such a charmer to say you applaud Colin Powell for being a righteous brother and supporting his brother from another mother.

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Opinion: Dark skin is also a problem among African-Americans
Martin says issues of skin color are nothing new in the black community.
April 26th, 2012
05:00 PM ET

Opinion: Dark skin is also a problem among African-Americans

Editor's note: Roland S. Martin is a syndicated columnist and author of "The First: President Barack Obama's Road to the White House." He is a commentator for the TV One cable network and host/managing editor of its Sunday morning news show, "Washington Watch with Roland Martin."

By  Roland Martin, CNN Contributor

(CNN) – Acura found itself in a bit of hot water this week when it was revealed that a casting agency in Los Angeles only desired light-skinned African-American actors for the company's Super Bowl commercial featuring Jay Leno and Jerry Seinfeld.

The company apologized, but that hasn't stopped a lot of the chatter criticizing Acura for not doing more to keep the casting agency in check. This really isn't a new story considering how many times in the past we've heard similar stories, including that advertising agencies have non-urban dictates like refusing to buy advertising space on black-focused radio, TV, magazine and online properties.

Worldwide, nearly $500 million is spent on bleaching products, an effort for people with darker skin to lighten their skin. This is pretty laughable considering the lengths some whites go to darken their skin through tanning beds or even spray painting a bronze look in order to appear darker. (I'm still trying to figure out the skin tone of Speaker of the House John Boehner.)

But there is another critical discussion that must be had, and that is the belief that the lighter skinned you are, the better your life will be.

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