The Hill reports that a bill to removed ‘outdated’ terms referring to blacks and Asians sailed through Congress unopposed.
That’s expected; the people sitting in Congress are, with a rare few exceptions, eunuchs who haven’t enough integrity or guts to oppose anything, if opposing runs counter to the Law of Political Correctness.
According to the ever-changing laws of political correctness, anytime any racial or sexual minority claims to feel ‘offended’ or ‘violated’ or ‘threatened’ by any word or action, the offending word or action or person must be stopped, and in most cases apologies must be offered up at length, lest the charge of ‘racism’ or ‘-phobia’ be laid against the person or thing at issue.
We all remember the old schoolyard rejoinder when someone called us a name: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names can never harm me.” Oh but names can harm minorities; they traumatize people for life, cripple them emotionally, leave them with scars, in ways that sticks and stones cannot. Or so we are told.
“The term ‘Oriental’ has no place in federal law and at long last this insulting and outdated term will be gone for good,” the author of the bill, Rep. Grace Meng (D-N.Y.), said in a statement Friday.
Two sections in the U.S. Code written in the 1970s governing public health and civil rights attempted to define minority groups by using the outdated terms.
Thanks to the new law, references to the term “Oriental” will be replaced with “Asian American” and the word “Negro” will be changed to “African American.”
Mz. Meng says that the term ‘Oriental’ will be gone for good, but it might surprise her to know that the word is still used occasionally, and maybe she should be apprised of this fact so that she isn’t traumatized when she unexpectedly hears it used someday. In a neighboring town, just down the road from where I live, there is a business named “Oriental Grocery.” The business sells food items from various Asian nations, including Japanese, Korean, and Chinese. And the town is a college town, its population very liberal — I suppose that business will eventually have to change its name to satisfy the legions of the perpetually aggrieved. The Asian customers of that store don’t seem to mind the ”offensive” and ”outdated” name, Oriental. I guess the word hasn’t filtered down to ordinary people that Oriental is a taboo and racist word.
And what’s this: aren’t Asians the “model minority”, always mentioned by ‘race-realists’ as co-partners of Whites vs. the ‘NAMs’? Aren’t the NAMs the ones who always complain and make demands, while the docile and amiable Asians are on our team, you know, ‘Whitesandasians’? I guess Congressperson Meng has not heard that.
Some internet commenter on this story asks ‘when did Oriental become a taboo name?’ Apparently after the Civil Rights coup, when blacks demanded, first, to be called ‘colored’ and then ‘black’ and later, ‘African-American.’ I remember when I was in college towards the end of the 70s and a Japanese-American (Nisei) professor of mine told us that the word ‘Oriental’ was offensive and must not be used in his class, nor was the abbreviation ‘Jap’ to be uttered or written. We all obediently complied, no questions asked. Because Hiroshima, because Internment camps. Victimhood trumps all.
So yes, the word Oriental has long since been banished though the news hasn’t filtered down to all. But why? Oriental, in old books, was used to describe not just East Asians like Japanese, Chinese, and Koreans, but anyone who came from East of the Mediterranean Sea. Literally. Middle Easterners were called Orientals. Even Eastern European Jews, during the days of the Ellis Island influx, were called Orientals by the German Jews who had arrived in this country much earlier. Oriental just designates a direction.
Offense is in the eye or ear of the beholder. And that’s what’s wrong with a lot of these language-purging edicts: someone, somewhere, declares that they are ‘offended’ by a certain word and on the strength of a few complaints, in a country of 310 million plus, that word is forbidden and its user called a ‘bigot’ or a ‘hater’ or a ‘racist’.
Minorities of whatever sort claim that they cannot be ‘racists’ or bigots because to be a racist necessitates the possession of power, and they claim to be powerless. ‘Racism is prejudice+power’, so the PC commissars have declared. But if being able to complain and get words banned, or have people fired from their jobs and banished to the outer darkness is not ‘power’, I would like to know what is. If having the whole of society cater to you for fear of being denounced is not power, I’d like to know what power may be.
Having that kind of power, and yet mewling about how one is oppressed and helpless and wronged and victimized at every turn is worse than disingenuous; at best it’s play-acting. At worst it’s deception and manipulation. And on it goes, where it stops, nobody knows. Obviously it won’t stop as long as it profits some people in some way, and not just in a monetary way.
As for the word ‘negro’, doesn’t anyone remember how the now-sainted MLK used to use that word in reference to his race in his speeches and writings? Obviously the young don’t know that; they know only what they are spoon-fed in school. They appear not to know that the term ”African-American” was not even used until the mid-70s at least. The term ‘Afro-American’ was introduced, didn’t catch on, and later the seven-syllable and much more pompous-sounding ‘African-American’ was chosen as the correct term.
And just as with the innocuous ‘Oriental’, the word ‘negro’ is a simple designation, meaning ‘black’ in Latin. How is that anything other than just descriptive?
Trouble is, words and names acquire connotations and associations. For example if my surname is one that some heroic person shares, my name gains a certain prestige. If, on the other hand, I have relatives of the same surname who get their names on the police blotter every week, my name’s prestige is damaged. People make a ‘name’ for themselves in a good sense — or not. As people make the place, people can ‘make’ a name, for better or worse. And once that name or brand has been tarnished — maybe a name change is the thing to do. But though people can change a place or tarnish a once-good name, a name can’t change the person who bears it.