President Obama Just Removed Two Outdated Words from Federal Law

May 24th 2016

Taylor Bell

President Barack Obama just signed a bill Friday removing the offensive terms "Oriental" and "Negro" from federal law, The Huffington Post reports.


The bill, which already passed through both houses of Congress, was an attempt to modernize two references to "Orientals" and "Negros" in the U.S. code that dates back to the 1970s.

The word "Oriental" has been deemed offensive by many people in the Asian community because it referenced a period of time where Asians were seen as second-class citizens, according to The New York Times. The word 'Negro' is similar in that it refers to a time when Black Americans were treated as subordinate.

The words will be replaced by Asian American and African American respectively.

Rep. Grace Meng (D-N.Y.) who led the charge on the bill, said that the move was long overdue.

“The term ‘Oriental’ has no place in federal law and at long last this insulting and outdated term will be gone for good,” Meng said in a press release. “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. Many Americans may not be aware that the word ‘Oriental’ is derogatory. 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.”

People are celebrating on Twitter.