Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) is issuing an apology after he used “outdated and hurtful language” to refer to developmentally disabled children.
“When I first was assemblyman, they wanted to build a congregate living place for retarded children. The whole neighborhood was against it. These are harmless kids, they just needed some help,” Schumer said during a OneNYCHA podcast interview over the weekend.
He was discussing the challenges of “overcoming community resistance to housing initiatives meant to serve vulnerable populations,” according to Politico.
Now, Schumer’s spokesperson says the Democratic lawmaker is “sincerely sorry” for using the term.
“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 spokesperson said in a statement, according to Politico. “He is sincerely sorry for his use of the outdated and hurtful language.”
His spokesperson also said, “He used an inappropriate and outdated word in his description of an effort he supported that was led by the AHRC to build a group home in his Brooklyn district decades ago to provide housing and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,” according to The Hill.
The AHRC was previously known as The Association for the Help of Retarded Children, the spokesperson noted to The Hill.
Chuck Schumer refers to mentally disabled children as “retarded”.
Will the cancel mob come for him? pic.twitter.com/P7YPw9egoZ
— Amy Tarkanian (@MrsT106) June 14, 2021
According to the Special Olympics, in 2010, former President Barack Obama removed “the terms ‘mental retardation’ and ‘mentally retarded’ from federal health, education and labor policy and replaces them with people first language ‘individual with an intellectual disability’ and ‘intellectual disability.'” Obama signed the Rosa’s Law in October 2010.
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