Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer said Monday he is “deeply” sorry after he referred to “retarded children” during a recent interview.
During an appearance on the “OneNYCHA” podcast Sunday, host Saundrea Coleman was saying it was “unbelievable” that some politicians were against a New York City proposal to house the homeless population when Mr. Schumer spoke about his own experience as an assemblyman in the late 1970s.
“I have found that my whole career,” the senator said. “I wanted to build — when I first was assemblyman — they wanted to build a congregant living place for retarded children, and the whole neighborhood was against it. These are harmless kids. They just needed some help. We got it done.”
A spokesman for Mr. Schumer apologized in a statement Monday calling the term “outdated,” “hurtful,” and “inappropriate.”
“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 statement read, Politico reported. “He is sincerely sorry for his use of the outdated and hurtful language.”
“He used an inappropriate and outdated word in his description of an effort he supported that was led by the AHRC to build a group home in his Brooklyn district decades ago to provide housing and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,” the spokesman said, adding that the AHRC was previously known as The Association for the Help of Retarded Children, The Hill reported.
Mr. Schumer also apologized on Twitter after receiving backlash from the Little Lobbyists group for disabled children.
“I apologize and deeply regret the language I used,” the senator tweeted. “I will never stop fighting for the Little Lobbyists and everyone in the community.”