WASHINGTON (Web Desk) – President Barack Obama has signed legislation banning the use of the words “negro” and “oriental” in federal laws.
The Commander in Chief signed the bill earlier this week without much fanfare. He also signed six other pieces of legislation into law.
The move, sponsored by Rep. Grace Meng, D-N.Y., ran through Congress unopposed in a rare testament of bipartisan cooperation. The new bill will replace the offensive words with “African American” and “Asian American” in federal law books, the UPI reported.
The effort was meant to “modernize terms relating to minorities”.
“The term ‘oriental’ has no place in federal law and at long last this insulting and outdated term will be gone for good,” Meng said in a statement. “No longer will any law of the United States refer to Asian Americans in such an offensive way, and I applaud and thank President Obama for signing my bill to get rid of this antiquated term.”
Since the 1970s, the term “oriental” has appeared in Title 42 of the U.S. Code to refer to citizens of Asian descent. The Code consists of federal laws dealing with public health, social welfare and civil rights.
Title 42 refers to Asian Americans as “oriental” twice, and is the most recent US law to refer to Asian-American citizens in this way.