Who’s really being bullied, kids with autism or 50 Cent?
An honest mistake leads to an extortion attempt
No one who doesn’t have a background in neurology can reasonably be expected to tell the difference between a millennial and someone with an extreme, autism-related social anxiety disorder.
In fact, I’d go so far as to argue that getting upset with someone for mistakenly assuming that a kid with a legit neurological condition was simply high out of his mind on “white people drugs” is its own form of discrimination.
50 Cent recently came under fire for harassing a kid pushing a janitor cart through an airport in Cincinnati. Fiddy thought the kid was high on drugs, but come to find out he’s got all kinds of not-drug-related things wrong with him, including autism, Asperger’s, social anxiety and some sort of hearing impairment.
In a video posted on the rapper’s Instagram, Fiddy mocks the kid for not responding to his various inquiries and accuses him of being high while on the job. The kid just kinda continues to push his cart through the eerily vacant airport, like one of the zombies from the Walking Dead.
The response was as swift as it was brutal, with vicious acts of concern trolling and virtue signaling. Many a middle-aged white woman who never bought a bottle of Effen vodka a day in their lives nevertheless threatened a boycott.
Three separate in-store appearances scheduled for this weekend here in St. Louis, in which Fiddy (theoretically) would have signed bottles of Effen, were canceled. That must be where Fiddy was headed after he left Cincinnati. Is that what he does now? I doubt he visited Cincinnati (birthplace of Slim Jesus) much back when he had a career.
It’s since been announced that Fiddy has donated $100,000 (probably paid for by Effen) to an autism charity and also personally apologized to the kid. Hopefully that’s enough to quiet any BS calls for a boycott. Otherwise I don’t know what he’s going to do. (Literally, I have no idea how he would spend his time.)
Arguably, he shouldn’t have had to apologize in the first place, for the following reasons:
1) The kid may have been racist?
For all we know, the kid may have been afraid to speak to Fiddy because Fiddy is black. Kids with autism have been known to be racist (just like their normal peers, but possibly even more so).
Years ago, I investigated claims that the kid who played Corky on Life Goes On was racist. The results were inconclusive, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true. The fact of the matter is that we don’t know much about the human brain. Much of what we do know we learned by lobotomizing people and trying to gauge the effect.
2) Why was he working at the airport in the first place?
You’d think that after 9/11 they would have implemented intelligence requirements for airport employees, if only because it would be too easy to trick someone who’s mentally deficient. You wouldn’t even have to come up with some elaborate plan. You could just tell them Spongebob Squarepants or someone is down at the other end of the terminal.
No but really, there’s probably any number of black guys of normal intelligence, including some with college degrees, who applied for that exact same job and didn’t get it. I spent much of my 20s getting turned down for work at places with “special” employees. I was later informed that businesses get some sort of tax break for hiring the intellectually incapable, but as was the case with the Corky rumor, I’ve never been able to confirm this.
3) The kid’s family is trying to extort 50 Cent.
Researching this, I skimmed a few articles on TMZ. The first one I read said that Fiddy had agreed to donate $100,000 to an autism charity, even though the kid’s family only requested that he donate $10,000. They may have been under the impression that he was donating his own money.
Another article said Martin Shkreli was donating $10,000. It said that he was especially touched by this story because he has several family members and business associates who have been afflicted by autism. Maybe that’s how he ended up buying the rights to obscure AIDS medicine so he could jack up the price: some of his employees lacked empathy, due to autism.
And then finally I clicked through to what may have been the very first article about a potential donation. It said that the kid’s family had hired a lawyer and were considering a lawsuit, because they felt that he’d been bullied. They said they would have already sued, if it weren’t for the cost, and that therefore they were starting a GoFundMe page.
The $10,000 that Shkreli donated was to said GoFundMe page, so who knows. They might still sue, if they can talk the lawyer into taking that ten grand. However, the kid’s stepfather said that they’d be willing to reconsider if Fiddy cut them a check for [Dr. Evil voice] a million dollars.
Fortunately, I’m pretty sure it’s not even illegal to bully someone, at least if it takes the form of asking if them if they’re high on drugs in an airport. As discussed in NaS Lost, airports themselves not only test their employees for drugs, they recommend you use cocaine rather than marijuana, because the former washes out of your system in a day or two.
I’m actually more concerned with the fact that this kid’s family is trying to benefit financially from the fact that there’s something wrong with his brain. Child Protective Services–or whatever the adult equivalent is–might need to investigate. Why does the kid even need a job, if he can probably get free money from the government because of his “condition?”
No wonder he didn’t want to talk. He’s been enslaved!
Take it easy on yourself,
Originally published at tinyletter.com.