More shit the bullshit Congress has no business sticking their noses into…
Congress completed legislation this week that amends the vocabulary in two acts, replacing “Negroes, Spanish-speaking, Orientals, Indians, Eskimos, and Aleuts” with “Asian American, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islanders, African American, Hispanic, Native American, or Alaska Natives.” The bill now goes to the president for his signature.
The bill was originally introduced in the House by Rep. Grace Meng (D-New York), who previously spearheaded a successful push to strike “Oriental” from government documents in her home state.
“‘Oriental’ no longer deserves a place in federal law, and very shortly it will finally be a thing of the past,” Meng said in astatement.
U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-California), a co-sponsor of the bill, agreed: “‘Orientals’ is an offensive and antiquated term, especially so when referring to America’s vibrant Asian American community…Using this term in federal law lends it a legitimacy it doesn’t deserve.”
Just as “Negro” recalls slavery and Jim Crow, “Oriental” brings to mind such fraught historical moments as the Chinese Exclusion Act and the internment of thousands of Japanese Americans in the U.S. during World War II. Going further back, it conjures the image of “The Snake Charmer” and the idea that people from “the East,” so to speak, will never belong in a place like America.
The term has its origins in “oriens,” the Latin word for “east.” Up until around the 1960s and 70s, “Oriental” was still used in the media as a blanket term for Asians. And elsewhere, an exclamation such as “Those damn Orientals!” conveyed a fear and revulsion for immigrants who became the scapegoats for ailing economies.
While the term began falling out of favor in the late 20th century, it has taken longer to scrub it from official usage. New York University’s Leaya Lee noted in 2005 that the University of Pennsylvania still had an Oriental Studies Department in 1991, encompassing subjects as varied as East Asian studies and North African languages.
It is not by accident the writer opens and premises the the article around this painting depicting Muslim male culture, and its proclivity for homo-pedophilia, and the dismissive essays and books that shame and blame the West’s curiosity and opposing morals and values that view such cultural practices as wrong, yet “stereotypically” exotic and erotic…
As art historian Linda Nochlin wrote in her essay “The Imaginary Orient,” the spectacle depicted in the Jean-Leone Gerome work extends beyond the obvious performance of the young “charmer” to include the seated men, garbed in colorful robes and headscarves and framed by Turkish tiles. The real audience is not these men, Nochlin argued, but rather the Western viewer — one who at the time found such displays of pubescent sensuality and homoerotic voyeurism acceptable only when they concerned the Oriental “other”:
And the insistent, sexually charged mystery at the center of this painting signifies a more general one: the mystery of the East itself, a standard topos of Orientalist ideology.
Fittingly, “The Snake Charmer” was used as the book cover for the first edition of Edward Said’s “Orientalism,” a seminal 1978 text in cultural criticism that shaped academic discourse about how the Western world has historically depicted Asian, North African and Middle Eastern cultures.
Said established the notion that Western representations of “the Orient” perpetually grounded it in a state of un-belonging, in turn reducing “Oriental peoples” to exoticized caricatures.
We cannot have anything that shows the truth and details about the Muslim culture, basically unchanged for centuries, during this era were truth and fact cease being truth and fact if it is deemed ‘offensive’ to the dictated social justice brigades.
And I am so damn thankful we have a very serious Congress that is focusing on these extremely important PC problems, and not wasting time on such things as jobs, education, health care, financial collapse, the border, etc. …