Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer described mentally challenged kids as “retarded children” — and nothing happened to him.
This wouldn’t be noteworthy except for the fact that if the 70-year-old New York lawmaker were a member of the political right, he would have been publicly flagellating himself while uttering his mea culpas precisely three seconds before being booted out of Washington.
But like all Democrats, Schumer appears to be getting a pass for using the outdated term that is now considered a pejorative because, well, he’s a Democrat.
Schumer used the phrase in an interview that was posted over the weekend on the oneNYCHAtv podcast after host Saundrea Coleman asked him about the pushback officials experience when attempting to house the homeless in communities.
“Yeah, I mean it’s, I have found that my whole career,” he told Coleman.
“They wanted to build … when I first was [an] assemblyman, they wanted to build a congregate living place for retarded children,” Schumer said, referring to his stint in New York politics in the late 1970s before he headed to Congress.
“The whole neighborhood was against it,” Schumer said.
“These are harmless kids. They just needed some help.”
Grabien’s Tom Elliot tweeted the clip of what Schumer said, hitting hard the fact that he “refers to mentally disabled children as ‘retarded.’”
Schumer quickly issued an apology in a statement Monday through a spokesperson, according to 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 statement said.
“He is sincerely sorry for his use of the outdated and hurtful language.”
It’s clear to reasonable people that Schumer wasn’t using the R-word as a slur, and he did make a valid point about the “not in my backyard” approach to mental health treatment that complicates efforts to help the disabled.
And Schumer is an elderly man who lived long before the word was removed from the lexicon of enlightened people — but none of that has ever stopped the pitchfork mob when it was someone not of the left (or at least when it was someone not politically useful to them at the time).
The left has made a cottage industry of canceling and shaming whatever target they choose for saying something they’ve deemed taboo.
When Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett used the term “sexual preference” to describe gay marriage in the fall of 2020, Democratic Hawaii Sen. Mazie Hirono slammed her for utilizing such an “offensive and outdated term,” despite this being a completely innocuous, acceptable descriptor up to that point.
In a shocking confirmation of this new norm and the celerity at which these things are changed, Merriam-Webster updated its definition nearly in real-time to reflect this novel offense conjured from thin air.
Former mixed martial arts fighter and Disney+ star Gina Carano similarly found herself at the business end of the cancel club when she used a reference to Nazis turning neighbors against neighbors, even though she used it as a warning and a plea for political tolerance and unity — context be darned.
But this is small potatoes compared to the battle that the left has waged on the gender front, making it their crusade to shame, marginalize and ruin people who refuse to use anything other than the preferred pronoun to describe a gender-confused individual.
Even someone as revered as “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling was not safe when she spoke the simple truth that biological sex means something more than whatever someone asserts as an identity.
While all languages evolve organically over time — with words shifting meaning, usage or appropriateness — the left has appointed themselves the gatekeepers of inclusive language to impose artificial rules it can apply at will.
Yet somehow, these linguistic landmines they bury and semantic snares they set rarely get one of their own who is still useful to the Democratic Party or its agenda.
They make the rules and enforce the punishments, regardless of whether they make sense or not in light of history or context.
I know I’m not alone in my experience growing up in the ’80s and ’90s and being told that calling someone “black” instead of “African-American” was shamefully offensive, and that the term “people of color” was just as appalling as using the N-word.
Now, the terms “black” and “people of color” are routinely uttered by the very activists calling for racial equity, even though they still sound deeply wrong to those of us indoctrinated in the old ways.
Like everything else the left takes on, deciding what is acceptable or outlawed language is a power play to control the minds of the masses — in other words, it’s not really about the terms themselves.
Schumer should not be fired or flogged for what he said, especially since it seems he was genuinely using an outdated term in a way that would have been appropriate in his day.
But it’s unfair that the only R-word that seems to reliably get people in trouble or canceled is the one describing their own party affiliation: Republican.