There’s a controversy brewing in the music world, and it involves people who have autism, Asperger’s, or other intellectual disabilities. Last month, Drake released his latest song titled “Jodeci Freestyle.” Yes, it’s a rap song so there is some bad language in it. But one line from this song is making people angry. Here is the song, click play to listen.
In this song, these lyrics are wrong in my opinion.
Go check the numbers dummy, that’s just me gettin’ started
I’m artistic, you niggas is autistic, retarded
Started, hold your applause
Seriously, I know rap songs are going to contain some bad language, but this is going way over the top! Currently 4 million Americans have intellectual disabilities, including a disproportionate amount of individuals from lower socio-economic backgrounds and/or people of color. In addition, one in every 88 Americans has a diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder. For a person who has Asperger’s Syndrome, yes, I do have autism. I find this song as offensive to all people who has a intellectual disability.
Since I have a disability, I already know that there is a massive lack of awareness of neuro-developmental disabilities such as autism and other intellectual disabilities. Some people likes to focus on deficits and/or stereotypes. The strengths and positive qualities of those with intellectual disabilities is minimized or ignored altogether in favor of messages that create pity, stigma, and stereotypes. Yes, this stuff happens in America. I find these lyrics as hateful, ableist, and discriminatory. Using terms such as “autistic” and “retarded” as slurs is wrong and should not warrant hatred and insults.
Now, a petition on change.org from Morenike Giwa is asking Drake, J.Cole, and Warner Brothers Records to stop promoting hatred of autistics/people with autism, & people with intellectual disabilities. It’s pretty simple, there is already a high percentage of co-morbid anxiety, depression, PTSD, and suicidality among youth and adults with intellectual disabilities, at least in part because of how society treats them. People’s ignorance and cruelty can be far more disabling than the diagnoses themselves. And the petition is asking for the artists to apologize and to take the time to become better informed. To sign the petition, go to: https://www.change.org/petitions/stop-drake-j-cole-warner-brothers-records-from-promoting-hatred-of-autistics-people-with-autism-people-with-intellectual-disabilities
Now to promote something good! Artist Marqui, who is also a rapper, released this song titled “I Am #ABLED.” This song celebrates diversity and acceptance from all people with disabilities. And I thought this was a great song, click play below and listen!
Follow Marqui on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/marquiroyalt
- Where is the apology? (thismomsloft.wordpress.com)
- Autism Speaks Joins Drake And J.Cole In Insulting 40% With Autism AND Intellectual Disability (autisminnb.blogspot.com)
- Drake ft J.Cole – “Jodeci Freestyle” (goldenperspectives.com)