I am thrilled to learn that last night J Cole issued an apology regarding the lyrics to the song “Jodeci Freestyle”. You can read the whole thing here http://www.dreamvillain.net/autismspeaks/; but, it reads in part “This letter is sincere. This apology IS necessary. … when I first saw a comment from someone outraged about the lyric, I realized right away that what I said was wrong. I was instantly embarrassed that I would be ignorant enough say something so hurtful.”
He goes on to say that he wants to educate himself on Autism and “People with this disorder and their loved ones have to go through so much already, the last thing they need is to hear something as ignorant as what I said.” That is the truest statement I have probably heard all year. They are the ones who try to navigate the endless sea of social mannerisms and cues to varying degrees of success. We are the ones who endure the looks and whispered comments when our child is doing any manner of tics or meltdowns with no apparent reason to those who are watching. Not to mention the doctor appointments, the nights at home struggling to get them to eat or cleaned or a decent night’s sleep.
I guess all of this is to say thank you, J Cole, for your apology. I’d like to think that you will be changing the lyrics to the song and never perform the original version. I’ll also be interested to see what you learn about Autism on your journey and hope you are able to be the example you want to be.