Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

National Council of Asian Pacific Americans Applauds House Passage of Legislation to Remove Term “Oriental” from Federal Law

The National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA) applauds the House of Representatives for unanimously passing legislation to remove the term “oriental” from federal law.

This bipartisan bill (H.R. 4238) was sponsored by Representatives Grace Meng (D-NY) and Ed Royce (R-CA) and would replace antiquated terms that remain in federal law with Asian American, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islanders, African American, Hispanic, Native American, or Alaska Natives. The House of Representatives and the Senate each have previously passed this provision as amendments to other legislation, but today’s passage of H.R. 4238, as a standalone bill, is a significant step toward speedy enactment.

“We are pleased that the House of Representatives approved the removal of the derogatory term ‘oriental,’ as well as other outdated terms, from federal legislation once and for all,” said NCAPA National Director Christopher Kang. “We thank Representatives Meng and Royce and Senator Hirono for their leadership on this issue and the entire Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus for its support. Any language the government uses should be respectful and accurate. We now call on the Senate to swiftly pass this bill.”

Based in Washington, D.C., the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans is a coalition of 35 national Asian Pacific American organizations that serves to represent the interests of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) communities and to provide a national voice for our communities’ concerns. Our communities are the fastest growing racial/ethnic group in the United States, currently making up approximately six percent of the population.

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