Target: Kanye West
Goal: Condemn Kanye West for his distasteful, ignorant, and insensitive use of Parkinson’s disease in his music lyrics
Kanye West is an American celebrity who is a rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer, music video director, film director, and a fashion designer. His new album has largely received praise from critics, but has greatly offended the American Parkinson Disease Association (APDA) for a lyric in his song “On Sight.” The lyric under fire is “A monster about to come alive again / Soon as I pull up and park the Benz / We get this bitch shaking like Parkinson’s.”
The APDA, founded in 1961, is the largest organization devoted to finding a cure for Parkinson’s disease. According to the APDA’s website, “the organization focuses its energies on research, patient services, education and raising public awareness about the disease.” Kanye’s lyric proves that he lacks awareness about Parkinson’s. In fact, the APDA described Kanye’s lyric as “distasteful and the product of obvious ignorance.” Tom Palizzi, the Chair of the People of Parkinson’s Advisory Council, wrote in the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation blog post that “Kanye West is without question a richly talented and multifaceted artist. With utmost respect for freedom of expression and the inherent controversial nature of art in general, there is, however, a fine line between expression and insensitivity.”
Alluding to the the involuntary shaking symptom of Parkinson’s disease in his lyric is inappropriate. Parkinson’s disease symptoms worsen as the disease progresses over time. People with Parkinson’s faces may not show any expression. Their arms may not swing when they walk, Their speech may become soft or slurred. They will also experience uncontrollable shaking. Currently, there is also no cure for the disease. These patients suffer greatly. Sign the petition to condemn Kanye for insensitively singing about a symptom that around four million people around the world suffer from daily.
Dear Kanye West,
A song in your new album, entitled “On Sight” contains a very insensitive lyric. The line “A monster about to come alive again / Soon as I pull up and park the Benz / We get this bitch shaking like Parkinson’s” is offensive. It is not appropriate to use an uncontrollable symptom of a disease that afflicts over four million people worldwide to serve a creative purpose for your own benefit.
Your lyric offended the American Parkinson Disease Association, which is working very hard every day to find a cure for this disease. The organization focuses on research, patient services, education and raising public awareness about the disease. Clearly, you do not know enough about Parkinson’s disease before using one of its symptoms as a description in your new song. People who suffer from Parkinson’s gradually lose motor skills. They cannot control when they tremor. The lyric is extremely distasteful. Please find a way to address this issue. At the very least, offer an official apology to the APDA for your lyric.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: dpwolf via Flickr