When did the term Oriental become offensive? - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
 
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Old 06-10-2004, 04:41 AM   #1 (permalink)
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When did the term Oriental become offensive?

I recently was told not to use the word 'Oriental' when refering to a person because it's offensive. What?!? When did this happen? All of my life people from the Orient were refered to as Orientals just as people from Europe were Europeans and people from America are Americans. I was told the correct term is now 'Asian', but I don't find this very precise. Sure, Orientals are Asian, but so are Russians, Afgans, Saudis, Turks, Indians, Iraqis, etc.

What am I missing?
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Old 06-10-2004, 05:32 AM   #2 (permalink)
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My Oriental wife tells me that the term is outdated, akin to Negro describing someone of African American origin. There are negative stereotypes and connotations associated with the term.

My wife is personally not offended by the term Oriental, but did point out that census forms and other questionaires asking for racial background do use Asian American as the classification for that ethnicity.

I am not an cultural anthropologist (IANACA), but I think the "European" analogy is somewhat of a stretch since European countries are today somewhat homogenized, at least politically and religiously while there are no similar bonds between coutries that would comprise the "Orient". Also, I am not a geneticist (IANAG), but there may be more genetic variation between the different Asian contries population than between countries in Europe.
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Old 06-10-2004, 06:14 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Remember the whole PC movement? Words they axed:
  • Oriental - Refering to "Asian" people, but ok for crafts of the region
  • Jap - Especially if you served in WWII
  • JAP - Even if you're Jewish, apparently
  • Jew - My Jewish friends don't seem to mind it, but apparently it's derogatory.
  • Black - Silly, but yeah, you can't refer to someone by skin color as a categorization. Anyhow, I call my black friends black and they don't care.
  • Negro - "African" is apparently a less offensive cultural stigma than "Negro", even though they mean the same thing
  • ****** - Don't even think about it, but "Niggah" is ok (but only when referring to men), especially if you're black, err. African.
  • Brother - Ok, but it's cheesy anyway
  • Chick - Unless you're talking about baby birds... err... if you're from UK, I mean the animal
  • Bitch - Same as above, but for dogs... or if you're talking about a male friend.
  • Spic - 'n'Span is what you were thinking, right? Funny thing is I have many friends from latin america who don't even know what it means! LOL so who is it offending?

Oh, but there are words that are still acceptable, like "Cracka", "Gringo", "WASP", "The Man", etc.

Apparently, PC rules only apply to white male christians
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Old 06-10-2004, 06:37 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by transio


Apparently, PC rules only apply to white male christians
They sure don't...honky.

These are all terms of endearment.
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Old 06-10-2004, 06:46 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Make simple, use homo sapien
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Old 06-10-2004, 06:47 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by babak
Make simple, use homo sapien
Then homos would be offended.
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Old 06-10-2004, 06:47 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Old 06-10-2004, 06:55 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I thought it was Fall 2003
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Old 06-10-2004, 06:56 AM   #9 (permalink)
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OK from now on, instead of Oriental, I'll use 'from the Orient'.

And I don't understand the 'Negro' one either. Isn't Negro a scientific classification like Caucasian or Mongoloid? If Negro is offensive, should Caucasian also be?
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Old 06-10-2004, 07:05 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by MickOpalak
And I don't understand the 'Negro' one either.
It's the result of people trying to solve an embolism with a bandage.

People use words in a harmful manner. That doesn't make the words themselves malicious, but the context and intention behind them.

We could use any word in a harmful manner, if intended as such. Making use of words commonly associated with prejudice "offensive words" doesn't eliminate prejudice. All it does is limit usable vocabulary. Like I said, it's silly.
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Old 06-10-2004, 07:30 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Every word known to man seems to offend someone. People need to find something better to do with their time than look for things to whine about.
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Old 06-10-2004, 07:47 AM   #12 (permalink)
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so the correct term for white americans would european americans??

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Old 06-10-2004, 07:51 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by zvezdah1
so the correct term for white americans would european americans??

Chris
"don't care what you call me just don't call me late for dinner"
From this point forward, I wish to be known as Irish-German-Czech-Polish-American.

If I'm called anything else, I'll sue.
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Old 06-10-2004, 08:20 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by MikeAR303
From this point forward, I wish to be known as Irish-German-Czech-Polish-American.
GO HOME YA FOREIGNER!

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Old 06-10-2004, 08:24 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Originally posted by BrianK
GO HOME YA FOREIGNER!

My lawyer will be contacting you shortly.

I'm suing for emotional distress, financial hardship caused by emotional distress, and medical bills
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Old 06-10-2004, 08:27 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Old 06-10-2004, 09:25 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by huggy bear
honky
You got it wrong. I'm not white.
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Old 06-10-2004, 09:34 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I recently was told not to use the word 'Oriental' when refering to a person because it's offensive. What?!? When did this happen?
You didn't get the e-mail? It said the word "oriental" was outdated and on the fringe of being offensive. The proper term is now "Asian", unless they were born in another country then it's Asian-the country they are from. (ie: Asian-America).

However the new terminology caused more problems then it solved, as it brought the issues of cultural identity to the surface. For example, am I an Asian-American or an American-Asian?

And the debate still continues.
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Old 06-10-2004, 09:35 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by transio
You got it wrong. I'm not white.
my bad...you are of arabic decent is that correct? i forget.
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Old 06-10-2004, 12:17 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Asian, Oriental... I think most people don't really care. It's not the words you use, it's your meaning behind it. For example, someone I knew would always ask me, "Do your people like hamburgers?" or "Do your people..." It's a bit offensive to hear that, but apparently she has no clue that there's more than just white people in South Orange County, so I just ignore it. (I'm "Asian" as previously defined: mostly Chinese and a bit of Russian. But if anyone asks... I'm an American, dammit! )

One question that I've always had though... why are "white" people referred to as "Caucasians?" Really, it depends on what part of Europe you're from. If you're from the Teuton mountain range region, you're Teutonic, right? (Germans, etc.) If you're fromt he Caucasus Mountain range, you're Caucasian. And if you're from the UK, you're Anglo-Saxon.

Bob
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