Monday, May 23, 2016

Asian-American/African-American/Redskins -- Note for a discussion, "E Pluribus Unum? What Keeps the United States United"

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Before leaving for a trip to Vietnam and Japan on Saturday, President Obama signed into law a bill that erases references to “Orientals” in federal law and replaces the word with “Asian-Americans.”
The term “Negro” will also be changed to “African-American” in two parts of the U.S. Code that were written in 1976 using antiquated language for minority groups.
“The term ‘Oriental’ has no place in federal law and at long last this insulting and outdated term will be gone for good,” the author of the bill, Representative Grace Meng, Democrat of New York, said in a statement.
The word is fraught with negative connotations and harks back to an era in which Asian, North African and Middle Eastern peoples were reduced to caricatures.
It also recalls the racism inherent in the Asian exclusion acts. They date to the 1880s and prohibited many Asian immigrants, even those who immigrated legally, from full citizenship. That era ended only in 1952.
Of course, the war over outdated words is far from over. The debate over the name of a certain Washington football team took a turn recently when a poll showed that nine of 10 Native Americans don’t find the term “redskin” offensive.

Monday, May 23, 2016

The New York TimesThe New York Times

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