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J. Cole wrote an apology letter to Autism Speaks for his “retarded” line.

Various groups and fans have been more vocal recently about being outraged and offended by offensive lyrics from rappers.  Most recently we have the Lil Wayne Emmett Till line, and the Rick Ross date-rap reference, and the most recent, J. Cole‘s line on his “Jodeci” freestyle with Drake about autistic people.  Now Cole has penned a heartfelt letter apologizing for the line.

There was a petition filed by the Anti-Bullying Alliance shortly after the track was released, but the NC native wanted to be clear that the letter had nothing to do with pressure, and it was just when he listened to the line again, “I’m artistic, you niggas is autistic, retarded,” and saw how it truly negatively affected some people he knew he had to apologize.

In the letter he insists this was not to appease anyone, but just make right something he felt was wrong.  He posted a link on Twitter and put up the letter which you can read 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.

Much Love