As one of the many parents of a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder it saddens me to hear and read lyrics that are so insensitive to the struggles and discrimination that children and adults on the spectrum, as well as any other individuals with special needs face. The people who love and care for these individuals fight every day to educate others that they are human beings with feelings, and needs and just want to be allowed to blossom. These individuals along with those who care for them face discrimination in everyday life to be afforded the same opportunities as anyone else. Something as simple as housing or a job is a struggle for these people to find and obtain.
As the mother of an amazing four year old girl on the autism spectrum I fear that society will never accept her, will always try to push her aside and make fun of her. I fear that kids in school will bully her and that she will come home, defeated that no one accepts her.
The lyrics in this song, "Jodeci Freestyle" by Drake "I'm artistc, you niggas is autistic, retarded." is simply appalling. I wonder if the individuals who use these words really knows what they mean and how hurtful they are. I wonder if they have ever had to deal with a loved one who is so frusterated that they can not communicate their feelings that they completely melt down and scream and cry and yell and hit because there is no other way for them to express their emotions or frustrations or needs and wants. I wonder if they have ever been turned down by an insurance company trying to get therapy for a loved one who is on the spectrum. I wonder if they have ever had to deal with the judgmental eyes of others who stare at you when your loved one is having a melt down and you feel obligated to explain the issue.
Right now the CDC estimates 1 out of every 88 kids is diagnosed on the spectrum. Lyrics like this spread hate, discrimination, and encourage an atmosphere of bulling in our schools and society. I strongly encourage you all to reconsider these words and apologize to every parent and loved one of the individuals you specifically target with these words for your insensitivity.
Think about it. 1 in 88 kids on the spectrum. They have parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, caretakers who all make choices every day on how they spend their money. That adds up to a lot of people. Help them feel good about making the decision to buy the music Warner Bros. Records puts out my responding to this petition. If not, then like many times before, we will all come together and fight for our loved ones and stand up against this hate.
Tracy and Matthew Olson - PROUD parents of daughter in the spectrum.
Warner Bros. Records
3300 Warner Boulevard
Burbank, CA 91505-4632