It is now prohibited for the federal government to describe people as American Indians or Spanish-speaking, according to a new law signed by President Obama on May 20
The law, House Resolution (HR) 4238, targets what supporters of the bill called outdated and even offensive terms in laws which were written decades or generations ago, Media Research Center reported.
Seven terms are now prohibited: American Indian, Indians, Eskimo, Oriental, Aleut, Spanish speaking and Spanish descent. They have been replaced by phrases such as Native American, Alaska Natives, Asian American, Hispanic and Pacific Islanders.
The law amended the Department of Energy Organization Act, and the Local Public Works Capital Development and Investment Act of 1976, each of which used old terms.
“Many Americans may not be aware that the word ‘Oriental’ is derogatory,” the bill’s sponsor US Rep. Grace Meng (D-New York) said in a press release. “But it is an insulting term that needed to be removed from the books, and I am extremely pleased that my legislation to do that is now the law of the land.”