Autism Speaks chose not to stand up for the intellectually disabled members of the "àutism community" even though they were expressly maligned in the original lyrics:
Hip Hop Lyric Insults Autism Community
"Lyrics from the recently released song “Jodeci Freestyle” from hip hop artists Drake and J.Cole have many in the autism community up in arms. The song, which was released last month and is now getting airplay, contains the following lyric by J. Cole: “I’m artistic, you n----s is autistic, retarded."
These lyrics are offensive and perpetuate negative stereotypes. There are many inspiring individuals with autism and other disabilities who have achieved great success across a variety of artforms, including music. We encourage J. Cole to recognize their talents and learn from the positive example they have set for all of us."
This is not the first time Autism Speaks has chosen to ignore the intellectually disabled 40% while promoting the very, very, very high functioning elite members of the autism spectrum like J. E. Robison and Alex Plank. There is almost never any mention of the intellectually disabled in promotions and news releases by Autism Speaks or on their web site. I have previously noted that Autism Speaks has only reluctantly acknowledged the existence of intellectual disability on the About Autism section of its web site burying mention of 40% with ID in the middle of the page, book ended by references to those with high IQs and abilities.
In the "rapper incident" AS went further than just ignoring those with autism and intellectual disability. They implied that persons with autism, all persons with autism, are in fact talented, successful people. They were ashamed to mention and defend the 40% with autism and Intellectual Disability. The rappers have offered sincere apologies and taken steps to address the issue by changing the lyrics. Rapper J. Cole even acknowledged the existence of those with severe autism and their families. By their actions Drake and J. Cole have shown themselves to be ahead, light years ahead of Autism Speaks in caring about ALL persons on the autism spectrum including the 40% intellectually disabled.