Two 40-year-old pieces of federal codes have now been expunged of terms such as “Oriental” and “Negro ” as part of a bill that was signed Friday by President Barack Obama.
“Many Americans may not be aware that the word ‘Oriental’ is derogatory,” said Rep. Grace Meng, D-N.Y. “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.”
An example of the change is in the Department of Energy Organization Act. Where it once read, “a Negro, Puerto Rican, American Indian, Eskimo, Oriental, or Aleut or is a Spanish-speaking individual of Spanish descent,” it now reads, “Asian American, Native Hawaiian, a Pacific Islander, African-American, Hispanic, Puerto Rican, Native American, or an Alaska Native.”
Along with that law, the Local Public Works Capital Development and Investment Act of 1976 also received a language update.
At least one commentator thought the law amounted to much ado about nothing.
“It’s amazing that some people are so offended over the dumbest things. These words are a part of history, of America’s past. Hardly anyone still uses these words today, so why cause such a fuss over nothing?” wrote John S. Roberts on Young Conservatives
“If you’re a liberal, sticks and stones may break your bones, but words are the true killer,” he said. “Remember, words have no power (over) you. Keep repeating that to yourself if you’re a Democrat.”
h/t: Young Conservatives