Obama signs measure striking ‘oriental’ and ‘negro’ from federal law

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President Obama has signed legislation striking outdated racial terms such as “Oriental” and “Negro” from federal laws. 

Obama signed the bill without fanfare on Friday along with six other pieces of legislation, the White House said.

{mosads}The measure sailed through Congress unopposed, a rare example of bipartisan agreement in an election year. It reached the president’s desk after the Senate unanimously approved it on Monday. It passed the House easily in February. 

“The term ‘Oriental’ has no place in federal law and at long last this insulting and outdated term will be gone for good,” the author of the bill, Rep. Grace Meng (D-N.Y.), said in a statement Friday. 

Two sections in the U.S. Code written in the 1970s governing public health and civil rights attempted to define minority groups by using the outdated terms. 

Thanks to the new law, references to the term “Oriental” will be replaced with “Asian American” and the word “Negro” will be changed to “African American.”

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