Shut Up About Your Perfect Kid!

Ordinary moms (and imperfect sisters) on raising children with disabilities

Hey 50 Cent! Rap On This...

The look of autism rapper 50 Cent really needs to see

Why 50?

That’s all I wanna know.

Was the fame not enough? 

The fortune too little?

Was it a need to steal headlines away from your rapping rival, Kanye, who is Keeping Kompany with Kim Kardashian?

Or jealousy because that other "Fifty" of Fifty Shades of Grey is now the fancy of your female fans?

Why else would you use your incredible platform — all six million plus of them — to spread a message of ignorance? To make the lives of millions of adults and children around the world who fight every day for acceptance and understanding so much harder?

Why oh why, 50?

Why would you add darkness to the light that autism organizations around the globe work so hard to cast?

Yet that's what you did. On Twitter. For the whole world to see. Yes, there in your limit of just 140 characters, you showed the limit of your character.

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You responded to a fan with a tweet that said, "Yeah just saw your picture fool you look autistic. I dont want no special ed kids on my time line follow some body else."

Why would you tweet that? Especially when it's clear that autism is a subject you know nothing about.

If you did, you would know that people don't "look autistic."  Autism doesn't have a look; it's an invisible disability. That means, you can't tell someone has autism just by looking at them.

Unless, in addition to writing rap music, you have the superpower to see autism.

Your hurtful tweet didn't just harm children with autism and all who spend their lives loving, fighting for, and educating them; it insulted all people with disabilities. I wonder if  you know that some famous celebrities — just like you — have learning disabilities. Did you know that Whoopi Goldberg, Tom Cruise,  Henry Winkler, and funnyman Dan Ackroyd, to name a few, admitted to having learning disabilities? Did you know that many of your celebrity counterparts have children with autism? Like the lovely actress Holly Robinson Peete (who hung out with Mr. Cooper). I'd hang with her and her husband, Rodney Peete, who use their platforms to help spread understanding and acceptance of autism.

Do you even realize that someone looking at your grammar might assume you have a learning disability, too?

I'll be honest and admit that I really don't know much about you or about rap. My 17-year-old daughter with autism, however, does. She was a fan of yours until she saw your comments, and said, "Mom, why would he do that? He must really hate himself!"

Pretty intuitive for someone with autism or special needs, don't you think? 

But you didn't just let her down, you let down so many others who have made so much forward progress in breaking down stigma. Yes, in less than 140 characters, you could have set back decades of hard work and sacrifice.

I won't lie. Many people in the special needs community are not happy with you. They are hurt and angry and want to have everyone who knows you boycott you.

I on the other, hand, have bigger dreams for you, Mr. Cent. I dream of you spending some time with children and adults with autism. Perhaps if you did, you'd see that they are refreshingly honest, loving, creative, smart, and interesting. Who knows? You might even be inspired by them or even rap their praises.

Now that would be music to all our ears.

 

 

Gina Gallagher is an imperfect award-winning freelance copywriter, speaker and co-author of Shut Up About Your Perfect Kid: A Survival Guide for Ordinary Parents of Special Children. more...

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