Chuck Schumer sparked an angry backlash by referring to mentally disabled homeless children as ‘retarded’.
Schumer, 70, was discussing the complexities of social housing, and especially homeless shelters, when he used the offensive term for the mentally disabled.
‘I wanted to build, when I first was an assemblyman, they wanted to build a congregant living place for retarded children, and the whole neighborhood was against it,’ he said.
He later apologized for the ‘outdated’ and ‘hurtful’ language, claiming he’d used it because the homeless program he was discussing was led by the AHRC.
The AHRC, an organization dedicated to fighting for people with mental disabilities, previously stood for ‘the Association for the Help of Retarded Children,’ though the group has dropped ‘retarded’ from its title.
Schumer, 70, appeared on the OneNYCHA podcast on Sunday to discuss New York City’s housing problems. The senator told how, years ago, he faced a struggle to build a shelter for ‘retarded’ homeless children. His spokesman later apologized
‘For decades, Senator Schumer has been an ardent champion for enlightened policy and full funding of services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities,’ Schumer’s spokesperson told the Washington Examiner.
‘He used an inappropriate and outdated word in his description of an effort he supported that was led by the AHRC to build a group home in his Brooklyn district decades ago to provide housing and services to children with developmental disabilities.
‘He is sincerely sorry for his use of the outdated and hurtful language.’
Critics seized upon Schumer’s ill-advised phrasing.
Sean Spicer, who served as Donald Trump’s first press secretary and now has his own Newsmax show, was quick to share the link to the DailyWire story.
‘WTF? Did @SenSchumer actually say retarded? Please tell me this is a doctored video,’ another Twitter user wrote.
One man noted that the remark would have generated a firestorm if Trump had said it.
‘Hey @DonaldTrumpJr, what would the press do if your father had said this?’ he asked.