Challenging Stigma

awarenessThere was a happy ending to the campaign against the lyrics in the song ‘Jodeci Freestyle’. People in the Autistic community had felt very hurt by the lyrics. People with Autism can be stigmatised and this can have many consequences. People with Autism had felt that there was more stigma coming from people with a lot of influence when the song came out.

Anna Kennedy (OBE) together with the Anti-Bullying Alliance launched a campaign asking Hip Hop artists J.Cole and Drake to apologise to the autistic community and change the lyrics. J.Cole responded with an apology on his site and Drake also apologised and agreed to rewrite the lyrics.

On this issue Drake and J.Cole showed that they had the responsibility that is needed with influence. Their apologies were sincere and demonstrated character. In their apologies they drew attention to the difficulties that people with Autism experience and in so doing influenced other people to connect with these issues.

In turn Anna Kennedy also demonstrated tremendous strength of character with the support of the Anti Bullying Alliance and many other supporters in addressing this issue with two of the most influential people in Hip Hop.

A struggle has taken place which resulted in an apology and a change to the lyrics in a song. Each day there are many words spoken and many actions which contribute to stigma and which may pass without comment.

The events here show that the struggle can be worth it not just for those who are stigmatised but for those who stigmatise. Challenging stigma isn’t about competing narratives – it’s about dialogue.

An index of the TAWOP site can be found here and here. The page contains links to all of the articles in the blog in chronological order. Twitter: You can follow ‘The Amazing World of Psychiatry’ Twitter by clicking on this link. Podcast: You can listen to this post on Odiogo by clicking on this link (there may be a small delay between publishing of the blog article and the availability of the podcast). It is available for a limited period. TAWOP Channel: You can follow the TAWOP Channel on YouTube by clicking on this link. Responses: If you have any comments, you can leave them below or alternatively e-mail Disclaimer: The comments made here represent the opinions of the author and do not represent the profession or any body/organisation. The comments made here are not meant as a source of medical advice and those seeking medical advice are advised to consult with their own doctor. The author is not responsible for the contents of any external sites that are linked to in this blog.

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