Obama Signs Bill Removing These Two Words From Federal Language
On Friday, President Obama signed a historical bill into law removing two words from all federal language – “Oriental” and “Negro.” The bill passed unanimously in the House and Senate earlier this month, the Huffington Post reports, and seeks to replace the offensive language with up-to-date references like “Asian Americans” and “African Americans.”
“The term ‘Oriental’ has no place in federal law and at long last this insulting and outdated term will be gone for good,” Rep. Grace Meng (D-N.Y.) said in a statement. It may seem like a small step to some, but according to Meng, it’s a big step toward equality and educating others on what’s appropriate and inappropriate to say. “…I applaud and thank President Obama for signing my bill to get rid of this antiquated term. Many Americans may not be aware that the word ‘Oriental’ is derogatory. But it is an insulting term that needed to be removed from the books, and I am extremely pleased that my legislation to do that is now the law of the land,” she said. The bill also replaces the terms “Spanish-speaking” with “Hispanic,” “Indian” with “native American,” and “Eskimo” and “Aleut” with “Alaska Natives.” Meng passed similar legislation in 2009 prohibiting the term in New York documents, but many will agree it’s about time the rest of the country got up to speed.
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