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  1. #1 New York State bans use of 'Oriental' term 
    New York State bans use of 'Oriental' term
    PTI 10 September 2009, 12:22pm IST
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    NEW YORK: New York Governor David Paterson on Wednesday signed into law a bill that bans use of term "Oriental" in documents used by state agencies,
    public authorities and municipalities when referring to persons of Asian or Pacific islander heritage.

    The bill, sponsored by Assemblywoman Grace Meng and Senator Craig Johnson, was earlier unanimously passed by both houses of the New York State.

    Speaking on the occasion, Governor Paterson said that New York State champions the rights of immigrants and "I wonder why it was not passed earlier".

    Assemblywoman Grace Meng said the word "Oriental" is derogatory and offensive in the category of race. No state agency, public authority or municipality shall use the term "Oriental" to identify or denote persons of Asian or Pacific islander heritage, she said.

    The word Oriental has been used with negative connotations. New World College Dictionary says that when used to describe a person as "Oriental" it denotes a sense of disparagement.

    Parveen Chopra, who was invited by the Governor to witness the signing of this bill, said it will remove another way of expressing bias or prejudice in government establishments and records and will help Asian-Americans to live bias free fuller life like all other Americans.

    "There must be equity and balance in justice system for all Americans. Eliminating the use of word "Oriental" in criminal justice services will free the system of its bias," said Chopra who served as a Commissioner of Human Rights for two decades and currently serves on the New York Civil Liberties Board.
    I've often wondered about this one. Oriental simply means Eastern. While all people in Asia are Asian, not all people of Asian ancestry live in Asia (and some of them have lived for hundreds or thousands of years outside of Asia).

    I'm certainly not Caucasian in terms of ancestry yet if that's the term, it's fine with me. I don't self-identify as Caucasian. I do self-identify as white (more or less) although there are Persians as "white" as I am in skin tone. Maybe we should retain both Oriental and Occidental to use as labels.

    Times of India
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  2. #2  
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    I have a Chinese friend who doesn't see anything wrong with it; that's good enough for me.
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    Senior Betwixt Member Bubba Dawg's Avatar
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    Some people will consider this disorienting.
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    I worked with a Korean kid who was surprised to learn that he should be offended by the term "Oriental". Of course, he also didn't know that he wasn't white. I didn't want to tell him he was yellow.
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    PORCUS MAXIMUS Rockntractor's Avatar
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    I have a Vietnamese friend and I call him an ornamental, he calls me a big dummy. Should I be offended?
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    Festivus Moderator ralph wiggum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by linda22003 View Post
    I have a Chinese friend who doesn't see anything wrong with it; that's good enough for me.
    A partner in a firm I worked for was Asian/Oriental. He always called himself by derogatory names (i.e. "I'm such a stupid Jap", he didn't give a damn.

    I'm actually surprised that this hasn't happened sooner.
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    Senior Member stsinner's Avatar
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    We now need laws telling us what words we can and can't use.... Good God! America sucks more every day.
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    Senior Betwixt Member Bubba Dawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phillygirl View Post
    I worked with a Korean kid who was surprised to learn that he should be offended by the term "Oriental". Of course, he also didn't know that he wasn't white. I didn't want to tell him he was yellow.
    That was nice of you to not to risk damage to his self image. Such damage could even have served to make him more vulnerable. You know, acting as as a sort of chink in his armour.
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    Zoomie djones520's Avatar
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    My wifes not the type to really be bothered by pidly crap like that, but it does piss her off when people refer to her as being oriental.

    Should this be a state law? No. But I guess people do find it offensive.
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    Resident Unliked Meanie Shannon's Avatar
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    My father calls them all gooks. I wonder if they would prefer that?
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