black women

Roland Martin under fire for telling black women to cover their stomachs

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by Afiya J. Watkins

Roland Martin is a man who tells it like is it is. Outspoken and sometimes controversial, he has been known to make inflammatory statements from time to time, and no one has been off limits. If you follow him on twitter, you will likely see a barrage of unsolicited musings that many feel he should keep to himself. Recently, as he arrived in New Orleans for the Essence Festival, and based on what he saw, thought it an opportune occasion to inform black women that they should keep their stomachs covered. The remarks were made as a part of his #Rolandsrules hashtagging.

Here’s what he said on Twitter:

“Another @essencefest #rolandsrules: ladies & gents, ain’t nothing cute about your gut. Flat stomach? Yes. Gut? No. Cover. It. Up. Now”

Apparently, the larger among them took issue with this advice and felt that Martin was taking shots at them. Many fired back quickly pointing out that Martin himself is large and therefore shouldn’t be casting aspersions towards heavy women. In true Roland Martin flair, he set them straight again on his Twitter page.

“So the big people are mad because I said to cover up your gut at @essencefest. Duh! Then the nutty ones say, “You’re big.” Yep. And covered!”

It will be interesting to see who or what he’ll target next.

This is not the first time that Martin has been caught in the midst of controversial remarks.  Last year, he was under fire for making comments that many considered to be homophobic.  The backlash from gay rights organizations is believed to be connected to the reason that CNN did not renew Martin’s contract.   Martin got his start in Chicago as a host at the radio station WVON, but has since moved on to be a part of the team at

On the issue of obesity, some say that black women have a problem with overeating.  According to the Office of Minority Health, four out of every five black women is obese.  This leads to problems with heart disease, stroke and other obesity-related ailments.  But is Martin talking about all black women covering their stomachs, or just those who are overweight?

Give us your take on the matter.