US House erases term ‘Oriental’ from federal legislation

December 4, 2015
Rep. Grace Meng (Korea Times file)

Rep. Grace Meng (Korea Times file)

The word “Oriental” has been removed from federal legislation following a unanimous vote by the U.S. House of Representatives Wednesday.

“We’re technically ‘AAPI,’ so we’re replacing it with all those four words: Asian American Pacific Islanders,” New York Rep. Grace Meng, who co-sponsored the proposal with California Rep. Ed Royce, told NBC News. “We want to be as inclusive as possible.”

The proposal removed two instances — found in the North American Energy Security and Infrastructure Act — of the use of the word from law.

Meng told NBC News the proposal wasn’t about being politically correct.

“There are some people who use the term without bad intent. The point is to make sure that federal law as it is written is using accurate and factual terms and labels,” she said. “Our ethnicity, our identity cannot be described as ‘oriental.’”