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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? 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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My Oriental wife tells me that the term is outdated, akin to Negro describing someone of African American origin.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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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? :D 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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Discussion Starter #9
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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MickOpalak said:
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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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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zvezdah1 said:
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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Just another sign that this country is heading downhill fast, and people are spending too much time worrying about all the wrong things!
 

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Chris:

I want toknow why I'm not considered Irish-American. My wife is 1/2 Korean and nobody calls her Asian-American.

Seems to me the whole thing is so someone can stick out and get special attention or $$$.

Mark (Just American) Pfeffer
 

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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? :confused: 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? :huh:

And the debate still continues. ;)
 
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