Posts tagged autism
Posts tagged autism
This is what I love about writing. Even if you don’t agree with the writer, you’re not there yet or you can’t bring yourself to agree, I’ve made you think. Demanding compassion without being able to be compassionate yourself is the height of hypocrisy. THAT’s what I want you to take away from my last essay. Peace
I think maybe I was too hasty putting my two cents in about the whole 50 Cent issue on Twitter the other day. I didn’t see the whole story. All I saw was the headline, Holly Robinson Peete’s letter, her reaction to what he said. Context is important, it turns out, at least to me.
I don’t know the man, and I would as soon eat chocolate ants as buy something with rap music in it. But after taking some time to review this thing, and being the hopeless pacifist that I am, maybe there is a reason 50 Cent isn’t addressing all the autism pitchforks. Maybe he isn’t apologizing because he thinks nobody cares about HIS feelings. Compassion goes two ways.
After all, look at what prompted Mr. Jackson’s unfortunate comment in the first place. It’s probably a safe bet that nobody did so, myself included. It wasn’t a random comment. It was a response. A response to a suggestion that 50 Cent should LOSE HIS LIFE if he does not release a new song.
Maybe a rap star in particular should be hardened to such a statement. But I know that some of these rap artists are wounded people who have been given a lot of power & money. They aren’t supposed to show it but maybe they hurt, too. I know that when I actually looked at 50 Cent’s timeline I was genuinely shocked to see what set this whole firestorm off. It’s all too obvious that 50 Cent lashed back with a most inappropriate response about the autistic community. Make no mistake though - 50 Cent’s comment showed a lack of understanding, much like President Obama’s remark about the Special Olympics did in the early part of his presidency. But on the other hand, 50 Cent didn’t threaten anybody’s life.
I can’t speak to what I’d do if someone told me, “release a song or get shot”. But when I saw Holly’s tweet I myself made my disapproval known, even though I didn’t mention 50 Cent directly. I jumped on the bandwagon and took the comment at face value. That was wrong of me.
Now that I see what instigated it, I think that some understanding can be had by at least looking at what would prompt 50 Cent to say such a thing in the first place. The dude who started all this is probably having the laugh of his life at all this.
In fact, I think the sad part of this whole 50 Cent firestorm is that the one who instigated all this gets off virtually scot-free while 50 Cent deals with negative PR. That’s not fair. He wasn’t the only one at fault in all this.
Some people in the autism community are demanding an apology, and thus far 50 Cent is reluctant to do so. Can one really blame him? Has anyone really said to him, “Hey, I’m appalled that someone threatened you like that, I just wish you didn’t turn around and put down kids like ours just so you could get back at him. It must have hurt to have someone threaten you over a song, but don’t hurt kids like mine who enjoy your music.”
An approach like that acknowledges 50 Cent’s injury while at the same time telling him how he dealt with it doesn’t sit well. Holly’s letter to 50 Cent was sensitive to the fact that he was bright and gives back to his community, but even she saw the retort 50 Cent made only as a response to an “insult” and didn’t indicate that she appreciated that he might have actually been hurt by not just an insult but a threat. OK. She was civil & kept the claws retracted. So then what is the excuse for the rest of the people who reacted only to Holly’s letter and feel the only response to 50 Cent’s gaffe is to come in with their own pitchforks, ready to torch a bonfire with him in it?
Finally, which approach is more likely to engender a new understanding and generate a HEARTFELT apology, not one just uttered to placate people who probably don’t listen to his music anyway and make them go away? Do you tell him, “hey jerk, apologize?” Or do you say, “hey man, I appreciate that dude was not cool but you didn’t have to compare him to my kid.” Because you show compassion for HIM, maybe - MAYBE - he’ll perhaps be better prepared and able to show compassion for the people he unwittingly insulted.
You get love by giving love.
I hope that the people with their pitchforks out at least take the time to read the whole story rather than just the headlines.