J Cole Issues Apology to Autism Community and We Would Like to Thank our Readers
First off, you may have noticed our article yesterday in relation to a petition organised by Anna Kennedy OBE, whom we are working with at an event in September to raise awareness of those lives touched by Autism. The article and petition were related to a lyric in the Drake and J Cole track Jodeci Freestyle that contained an offensive lyric.
When we posted the article the petition had 3,700 signatures. When Anna closed the petition early we had helped the petition get to just shy of 4,600. However, the number of signatures wasn’t the objective. As with everything we do at Music Eyz, the numbers aren’t the be all and end all. With your help and the drive of Anna Kennedy OBE, a mass of awareness was raised to the cause. In turn this resulted in J Cole issuing what seems an extremely genuine and frank apology (extract below). This is a great achievement for Anna Kennedy OBE and fighters for Autism Awareness the world over.
Credit where credit is due as well. J Cole has come out and given a seemingly heartfelt apology, one that explores his own mind and heart in addition to outlining in no uncertain terms this is not a publicity stunt. It was a tough one to call for the team at Music Eyz, as we love and we know you love J Cole, however the issue was to big to ignore. J Cole has managed to turn the whole situation around and hopefully his awareness has reached new heights and he can help with the fight against prejudice.
Full apology on J Cole’s blog entitled Autism Speaks is below:
Recently there’s been a trend that includes rappers saying something offensive, only to be attacked for it in the media and pressured to apologize. I have to be completely honest and say there’s a part of me that resents that. I view rap similar to how I view comedy. It’s going to ruffle feathers at times. It’s going to go “too far”. I do not believe that an apology is needed every time someone is offended, especially when that apology is really only for the sake of saving an endorsement or cleaning up bad press.
With that said, this is not the case today. This letter is sincere. This apology IS necessary.
In a recent verse on the song “Jodeci Freestyle”, I said something highly offensive to people with Autism. Last week, 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. What makes the crime worse is that I should have known better.
To the entire Autism community who expressed outrage, I’m moved and inspired by your passion, and I’m amazed at how strong you are as a unit. I have now read stories online from parents about their struggles and triumphs with raising an Autistic child and I admire how incredibly strong you have to be to do so. It’s touching. It also makes what I said even more embarrassing for me. I feel real shame. You have every right to be angry.
To anyone suffering from Autism, either mildly or severely, I am sorry. I’m bound to make mistakes in my life, but in my heart I just want to spread Love.
I want to educate myself more on Autism, and I’ll gladly own my mistake and serve as an example to today’s generation that there’s nothing cool about mean-spirited comments about someone with Autism. 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. I understand.
To the parents who are fighting through the frustrations that must come with raising a child with severe autism, finding strength and patience that they never knew they had; to the college student with Asperger’s Syndrome; to all those overcoming Autism. You deserve medals, not disrespect. I hope you accept my sincere apology.