New York Congressman Peter King Retires: Leading Democrat Sen. Schumer Loves Him, Black America Hates Him

Written by Dana Sanchez
Black America came down hard on Sen. Chuck Schumer for praising police brutality-defender Rep. Pete King. King has announced his retirement. Image: Leela Sanikop/The Moguldom Nation

Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) announced his retirement Monday, saying he will not seek reelection. The bigger news on social media was how Black America responded when Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) reached across the aisle to praise King.

Schumer was condemned by members of his own party for saying King “stood head & shoulders above everyone else” and “fiercely loved America, Long Island, and his Irish heritage and left a lasting mark on all 3.”

“I will miss him in Congress & value his friendship,” Schumer concluded.

“Now Senator….you know that this is some straight garbage,” one Twitter user responded.

Others were quick to remind Schumer that King was not universally admired. He made enemies of “Eric Garner, Occupy Wall Street, McCain’s anti-torture and immigrant documentation work, Obamacare, and anyone investigating Trump,” an activist tweeted.

“Peter King is an Islamophobe who held McCarthyite hearings targeting American Muslims, said ‘there are too many mosques in this country’ and blamed Eric Garner for his own death at the hands of police,” Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) tweeted. “Good riddance.”

King, 75, endorsed Trump in 2016. He serves on the House Homeland Security and Financial Services committees and was chairman from 2005 to 2006 and 2011 to 2012.

King was known for his attacks on journalists, Common Dreams reported.

“I doubt there is a member of Congress in modern history who has called for journalists to be criminally prosecuted more times than Peter King,” said Trevor Timm, executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation.

Yet King was hailed by some Republicans and Democrats as a “moderate Republican.”

“Let’s be clear: King is a moderate only when judged on the sliding scale of the tyranny of low expectations,” Helaine Olen wrote for the Washington Post.

Yes, King supported gun control legislation and 9/11 victims but he also defended police brutality, claiming Eric Garner wouldn’t have died after being choked by New York police if he didn’t suffer from asthma, a heart condition, and obesity, Olen wrote. King compared kneeling NFL players to people giving a Nazi salute. He voted to do away with Obamacare. He’s vehemently anti-abortion and he claimed that there are too many mosques in the U.S. and many Muslims are “an enemy living amongst us.”

Schumer’s praise for King suggests he is out of touch with the reality of 2019. “The Trump administration is trampling the rights of everyone ….” Olen wrote. “This is no time for politics as usual with its collegial bromides. No one needs to be salving the egos of Republicans like King. That goes double when you are supposed to be leading the opposition. To pretend otherwise is simply foolish.”

The campaign arm of the House Republicans tweeted that King is a “political institution”. The National Republican Congressional Committee predicted his seat will remain in the GOP’s hands “thanks in no small part to the insane socialist agenda of Democrats in both Washington and Albany.”

Not if Democrat Jackie Gordon gets her way. Gordon, a veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, plans to run for King’s seat in New York’s 2nd Congressional District. She’s campaigning on health care and supports Obamacare, which King has always opposed.

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As a Black woman candidate, Gordon could be poised to become part of the blue wave elections that began with the 2018 midterms last year, NewsOne reported.

“This District is in desperate need of new leadership and a representative who will do more for their constituents. Just as I served my country, I am ready to serve the people of Long Island in Washington. #NY02,” Gordon tweeted.

“Shame on @SenSchumer!!!! Shame,” a Twitter user said.