On a recent episode of the One NYCHA podcast, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) used the use “retarded” in regard to children with disabilities. It doesn’t take much to imagine what public shaming would happen if a conservative like Trump were to use derogatory language, but when a Democrat does it? All Schumer got was a slap on the wrist.
“When I first was an assemblyman, they wanted to build a congregate living place for retarded children — the whole neighborhood was against it,” Schumer said, referring to the time he spent representing parts of Brooklyn in the New York legislature from 1975 to 1980 prior to serving in Congress.
“These are harmless kids. They just needed some help,” he said, adding that the effort was ultimately successful. “We got it done. Took a while.”
The term is considered outdated and offensive by many, and advocates for people with mental and intellectual disabilities discourage its use.
On Twitter, people immediately roasted him for the use of the offensive word. The Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway wrote, “The privilege of being a Democrat who is useful to the left’s agenda is that the propaganda press don’t destroy you when you do stuff like this. Not a slur worthy of cancellation — just an “outmoded word.” So nice for him!”
A “lifelong liberal” wrote, “I’m a lifelong liberal voter, but I have to ask: Why is it that for Schumer we’re saying ‘outmoded’ word, when if a Republican said it, we’d be saying ‘offensive’ word?”In a statement, Schumer’s office told Politico, “For decades, Sen. Schumer has been an ardent champion for enlightened policy and full funding of services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.” The spokesman added, “He is sincerely sorry for his use of the outdated and hurtful language.”