Federal government banning word "Oriental"



The federal government has passed legislation banning the use of the word "oriental" by the federal government. I suppose it is only a matter of time before we have to start referring to it obliquely as the "O word".

There's no gridlock in Washington over the appropriateness of the word "oriental."

On Monday, the Senate unanimously passed a bill that would remove the word from the last known laws in the United States Code where it applies to a person. In February, the House passed the original measure unopposed. Now the bill is on its way to President Obama for final approval.

The new legislation sends a message that "oriental" is hardly a harmless inoffensive word, according to Erika Lee, director of the Immigration History Research Center at the University of Minnesota, and the author of, "The Making of Asian America: A History."

"It's origins are in the era of European colonization when the terms "Orient" and "Oriental" were used to describe Asia and Asian peoples as backward, inferior, exotic, and foreign in order to justify colonization and subjugation," Lee told NBC News.

Oriental means backward, inferior, and... exotic? Somehow that last word doesn't go with the first two. The fact is that there are many positive or even simply descriptive uses of the word "Oriental". "Oriental" used to mean people from China, Japan, and the far east. Now we have to call them Aaaaasian and we have no idea what that word means because an Asian can be anything from a Japanese to a Pakistani. Also the word is still used to refer to things like carpets. What will the Federal Government do, call them "Asian carpets"?

This is more PC ridiculousness. There is no problem with this word and by taking it away, we lose a way of referring to a people which is neither meant pejoratively or positively--simply descriptive of a region.



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