Wendy Williams has offended many in her fan base with remarks made on the subject of Jesse Williams speech at the BET awards. On her celebrity gossip show, Wendy brought up Historically Black Colleges and also mentioned the NAACP in a less than favorable light as excluding whites. Williams may have also lost her huge Chevrolet sponsorship, according to Love B. Scott.
Roland Martin, who is an activist and commentator, was also angered and frustrated with Ms. Williams’ comments on the subject of Jesse Williams. Here is what Ms. Williams said to get everyone so upset, as reported by The Wrap.
“His speech was very poignant. On the other hand, I would be really offended if there was a school that was known as a historically white college. We have historically Black colleges. What if there was the National Organization for White People, only? There’s the NAACP.”
The fan in the video below considers Wendy a role model but is struggling with the impact of these comments.
Wendy Williams started a firestorm of controversy on social media with her statements. There were talks of boycotts, and some were calling Wendy a racist against her own people. In less volatile times, perhaps her comments would have gone unnoticed, but in the light of the current climate, her remarks have sparked anger. The gossip shows host’s perhaps misinformed views were met with vicious attacks. Her more loyal fan base felt torn between loving Wendy and disliking what she said. Ms. Williams commented on the situation on Monday’s show according to BET.
“Over the past few days, if you don’t know, I’ve been facing some really harsh criticism from our viewers and other people in the media because of my comments regarding racism. One of my biggest critics was a journalist and activist Roland Martin who I’ve known for several years, but he did what he thought he had to do.”
Roland Martin was quick to explain the issues that Wendy had gotten confused, but first, he offered her some advice. Mr. Martin took on the beautiful gossip expert, essentially telling Wendy Williams to stay within her field of knowledge. His remarks were cutting, as quoted by The Wrap, but perhaps they will save Ms. Williams more pain in the future if she heeds his suggestions, which are somewhat reminiscent of Frank Zappa’s album titled, “Shut Up and Play Your Guitar.” Zappa’s title was based on advice from a few of his own critics long ago. Roland Martin suggested the same idea. Stick to what you know.
“If you actually bothered to read a book, and not gossip magazines, you might know some of these things. Wendy let me help you out. When you are on TV, and you have no idea what you are talking about, Shut the H*ll up. Don’t open your mouth. Don’t embarrass yourself, because you sound silly.”
Wendy Williams, perhaps still stinging from Mr. Martin’s comments, announced on Monday, she has invited the famous commentator to be on her show as a guest this Thursday, according to BET. Roland has graciously accepted, and the two will discuss the situation. This will no doubt be educational both for the audience and for Ms. Williams, who is finding it tough to be a journalist these days, as are many people in her shoes.
— BET (@BET) July 11, 2016
Roland Martin is very knowledgeable about black history, the history of black colleges, and of the NAACP, as well as a host of other topics. More importantly, perhaps he will have tips on how to keep one’s foot out of one’s mouth during these difficult times.
Wendy Williams apparently doesn’t mind discussing her unfortunate public faux pas on national television.
Roland Martin may be of help, not only to Wendy, but also to journalists and anyone who wants to comment publicly about current events, or historical issues. Already Roland has clarified the two issues Wendy commented on. Ms. Williams may not be alone in her misconceptions about the NAACP and historically black colleges. What Roland says has the potential to educate and inform the public.
“You do realize that the NAACP was founded by a mix of folks that were black and white. Do you realize that the first president of the NAACP, Wendy, was white? If you actually bothered to read something, you would realize that. It’s also called the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. White folks have always been members of the NAACP. Always.”
Wendy Williams had inferred that the NAACP was only for blacks and that blacks were the only members. She also wondered about the use of the term, “colored people,” which is no longer in use. Times have changed since the group was formed, but it is very difficult for non-profits to change their names. The United Negro College Fund or UNCF faces the same issue. These are historic institutions, with well-known names.
Roland Martin explained to Wendy Williams why black universities are referred to as historically black colleges while white colleges are not called white colleges.
“One of the reasons you don’t have historically white universities is because we just simply call them universities,” he said. “The fact of the matter is you can go around the country and you will see universities, Wendy, that are 70, 80, 90, 95 percent white.”
Roland Martin went on to say that many historically black colleges today have an average of 25 percent non-black students. They have become a haven for not only black students but also for people of other nationalities and poor whites because of their advantageous funding that helps all races. These facts may serve to clear up a lot of common misconceptions.
Wendy Williams and her viewers are set to learn a lot from Roland Martin on Thursday.
[Photo by Jamie McCarthy and Monica Schipper/Getty Images]