‘Oriental’ is not a slur — there are worse things you could be called…But I think it’s fallen into disfavor because it’s what other people call us. It’s only the east if you’re from somewhere else. It’s a Eurocentric name for us, which is why it’s wrong. You should call people by what they call themselves, not how they are situated in relation to yourself.
Mae Ngai, from this NYT article
. NY Governor David Paterson has legislation that will eliminate the use of the term “Oriental” in reference to persons of Asian or Pacific Islander descent on all “forms or preprinted documents used by state government, public authorities or municipalities,” by no later than Jan. 1.
The key is red wallpaper,” our director will tell us. “We need a place with red wallpaper. With designs on the wallpaper too, maybe in gold.