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house Bill H.R. 4238

Removing "Oriental" and Other Dated Terms to Describe Minorities from Federal Laws

Argument in favor

Derogatory terms have no place anywhere in respectable public discourse, let alone in federal law. Modernizing terms used to describe minorities in federal law should be a continuous effort.

Edward's Opinion
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03/01/2016
How about use one description United States of America citizen. No more No Less than that.
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CPMonroe's Opinion
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03/01/2016
We should reject & remove discrimination wherever we find it.
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Ben's Opinion
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05/18/2016
The language we use in all areas of life shapes how we perceive the world. Derogatory language should have no place in legislative nomenclature
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Argument opposed

The terms used to describe minority groups in federal laws might be offensive to some — but Congress has more important things to do than spend time trying to correct its past mistakes.

Daniel's Opinion
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03/01/2016
Waste of time. It will make no difference. Stop getting butt hurt about pointless things
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Ryan's Opinion
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03/01/2016
Stop trying to be politically correct! Laws should not change just because one group feels offended for someone else. That is what is happening. Besides, we have bigger fish to fry. Joblessness, terrorism, government abuse of power, persecution of first ten amendments of the constitution. Stop pandering to liberal feelings! You don't have the right to not be offended! That's why it's called free speech! I'm not required to like anyone, or agree with anyone!
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Billy's Opinion
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03/01/2016
The political correct nature of the nation is getting out of hand.
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What is House Bill H.R. 4238?

This bill would modernize the language used two federal laws by replacing the derogatory terms used to refer to minority groups with more accurate terms.

Existing portions of the Department of Energy Organization Act and the Local Public Works Capital Development and Investment Act of 1976 referring to minority groups would be amended to now include the following terminology:

“Asian American, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islanders, African American, Hispanic, Native American, or Alaska Natives.”

These terms would replace: 

"Negro, Puerto Rican, American Indian, Eskimo, Oriental, or Aleut or is a Spanish speaking individual of Spanish descent" 

Impact

Federal laws that use derogatory terms to describe minority groups.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 4238

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY) introduced this legislation to remove derogatory terms from federal law that are insensitive to minority groups:

“It is way past time for the U.S. government to stop using this offensive and antiquated term and including my legislation in this Senate bill brings us one step closer to making that happen. Many who use the word ‘Oriental’ may not mean it in a derogatory manner; but it is an insulting term that should finally be removed from federal law.”

This legislation was approved by voice vote in the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and it has the support of 76 cosponsors in the House — including 74 Democrats and two Republicans.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Flickr user Anna Fox)

Official Title

To amend the Department of Energy Organization Act and the Local Public Works Capital Development and Investment Act of 1976 to modernize terms relating to minorities.

bill Progress


  • EnactedMay 20th, 2016
    The President signed this bill into law
  • The senate Passed May 9th, 2016
    Passed by Voice Vote
  • The house Passed February 29th, 2016
    Roll Call Vote 376 Yea / 0 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on Energy and Commerce
      Energy
      Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
      Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management
    IntroducedDecember 11th, 2015

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    How about use one description United States of America citizen. No more No Less than that.
    Like (58)
    Follow
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    Waste of time. It will make no difference. Stop getting butt hurt about pointless things
    Like (29)
    Follow
    Share
    We should reject & remove discrimination wherever we find it.
    Like (37)
    Follow
    Share
    Stop trying to be politically correct! Laws should not change just because one group feels offended for someone else. That is what is happening. Besides, we have bigger fish to fry. Joblessness, terrorism, government abuse of power, persecution of first ten amendments of the constitution. Stop pandering to liberal feelings! You don't have the right to not be offended! That's why it's called free speech! I'm not required to like anyone, or agree with anyone!
    Like (21)
    Follow
    Share
    The language we use in all areas of life shapes how we perceive the world. Derogatory language should have no place in legislative nomenclature
    Like (17)
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    The political correct nature of the nation is getting out of hand.
    Like (14)
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    No need to do this if it doesn't change the effect of the law. This is unnecessary.
    Like (13)
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    We shouldn't have somewhat insulting terms in our laws. There should be some effort to reword these laws to make them more acceptable.
    Like (11)
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    More of the Left's political correctness garbage!
    Like (10)
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    Get rid of it! Most people don't see "oriental" as a derogatory term, it is because it's a generalization. The Orient (The Place) is in China. So if I have asian features then I must be Chinese?? What about Japan, Korea, Hawaii, The Philippines? It's essentially saying "you all look alike".
    Like (10)
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    NO to this bill. Another PC attempt to curb free speech. Snowflakes are offended again.
    Like (7)
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    Why are we focused on names, words and feelings when we should be focusing on real life issues! People still don't have clean water, food to eat, and on the other hand we have people who want to be equal with out effort. How does words or names and feelings fix anything?
    Like (6)
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    Useless waste of time. Vote for something that would actually help folks like don't cut SS or SNAP!
    Like (5)
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    Blah blah. Feelings are hurt every day. Grow up.
    Like (5)
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    Such language should not be included in new bills or amendments, but the language is period specific and part of our nation's history. Rewriting old legislation for the sake of political correctness is a waste of taxpayers' money and our representatives' time. The PC Nazis need to stand down and grow some thicker skin.
    Like (5)
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    This should be updated on a regular basis to be reflective of today's society.
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    Words have undeniable power. Leaving outdated terminology on the books will only continue the racist tendencies we (as a nation) are trying to overcome: let's make a statement and show some social progress.
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    It makes no sense that these terms are still in federal law I understand that congress has more important things to do, but this seems like such a simple fix and may help in the unification of our shattered nation.
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    Really?
    Like (4)
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    Because we're better than that!
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