From Tom Palizzi
Chair, PDF People with Parkinson's Advisory Council
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.
"On Sight," the opening track on Mr. West's new album Yeezus, includes the lyrics:
“The monster about to come alive again/
Soon as I pull up and park the Benz/
We get this b*** shaking like Parkinson’s”
Many of us appreciate the lighter side of having a chronic and degenerative movement disorder, though as many interpret such statements as harsh and insensitive. While it appears Mr. West is familiar with one of the more recognizable symptoms of Parkinson's disease, there are several other, less obvious challenges people with Parkinson's face.
For more than 55 years, the Parkinson's Disease Foundation (PDF) has been helping people understand and cope with Parkinson's disease. In a unique and bold move, the foundation formed the People with Parkinson's Advisory Council (PPAC) to ensure the effectiveness of their actions.
As Chair and on behalf of PPAC, I would be delighted to help Mr. West better understand the truths and myths of "Parkinson's" and how it indiscriminately impacts the lives of roughly 1,000,000 Americans and their families. Notable people such as Michael J. Fox, Muhammad Ali and Ben Petrick, my peers and millions of others are testament to the enduring spirit of people with Parkinson's.
Mr. West, please take a moment and visit www.pdf.org to learn more and, by all means, feel free to contact me or my colleagues with any questions.
Chair, People with Parkinson's Advisory Council