Oh the power of parents, caregivers, and decent people of conscience! Like 50Cent before him, MSNBC personality Joe Scarborough has issued an apology of sorts to the Autism community. I was personally offended by his comment effectively linking autism to violence, and sent an email yesterday to MSNBC President Phil Griffin asking for network action. Not that I feel I had any real impact on this outcome, but it feels good to take action on behalf of our children have the desired outcome result. I know that little blogs like this one, various news services and social media like Facebook and Twitter have made their contributions toward uniting and promoting the Autism community, and this Scarborough affair is a testament to the that unity. It is clear that MSNBC and Scarborough has started to feel the pressure being applied by the Autism community. It would be even ‘more eloquent’ to actually say “I’m sorry” but in the realm of politicians and pundits, a ‘clarification’ is a mea culpa; if someone who speaks for a living has to clarify his words, it is clear the words were a mistake. To all members of the Spectrum who work hard every day to take a step forward, this is the heart of Autism Awareness: this is Autism Activism. Keep the pressure on! -Ed
The MSNBC host, who has a son with Aspergers, came under fire for what some considered distasteful stereotypes of people with autism.
Joe Scarborough is asking for a mea culpa.
On Tuesday, Scarborough issued a clarification to Dan Abrams’ site, Mediaite:
“The growing Autism epidemic is a tremendous burden for children, parents and loved ones to endure,” he wrote to the website. “My call for increased funding and awareness for Autism and other mental health conditions was meant to support the efforts of those who work every day to improve the lives of Americans impacted. Those suggesting that I was linking all violent behavior to Autism missed my larger point and overlooked the fact that I have a wonderful, loving son with Aspergers. Perhaps I could have made my point more eloquently.
“I look forward to continuing my work with wonderful organizations like Autism Speaks to provide badly needed support to millions of Americans who struggle with Autism every day,” he added.
Scarborough has a son with Aspergers, and has been involved with charities benefiting the disease. In 2005, he hosted Robert Kennedy Jr. in a segment in which they discussed the disease, and the largely debunked notion that childhood vaccines could have caused an uptick in the number of kids with autism.
- Joe Scarborough On Autism Remarks: ‘Perhaps I Could Have Made My Point More Eloquently’ (mediaite.com)