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Federal law will no longer contain the words ‘oriental,’ ‘negro’ or other dated references to minorities. Legislation to eliminate the last remaining use of the terms in federal law text is on its way to President Obama’s desk after it was unanimously passed by the Senate Monday night.

Rep. Grace Meng initiated the bill, which will replace ‘oriental’ with Asian American and ‘negro’ with African American. “I thank my colleagues in the House and Senate for understanding that the time has come for our government to no longer refer to Asian Americans or any ethnicity in such an insulting manner,” Meng said in a statement Tuesday. “Repealing this term is long overdue. ‘Oriental’ no longer deserves a place in federal law, and very shortly it will finally be a thing of the past.”

In the law that established the Department of Energy, a sentence regarding the Office of Minority Economic Impact describes a minority as “a Negro, Puerto Rican, American Indian, Eskimo, Oriental, or Aleut or is a Spanish speaking individual of Spanish descent.”

Secondly, a line in the Local Public Works Capital Development and Investment Act regarding minority business enterprises establishes minorities as “Negroes, Spanish-speaking, Orientals, Indians, Eskimos, and Aleuts.”

Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, Hispanic, Alaska Natives and Native American will also be added into to replace the dated descriptions for those ethnicities.

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