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The word oriental is not inherently negative, as it has a geographical meaning- eastern. The problem comes in because words, especially in a racialized context, carry connotations beyond their literal meaning.

The word oriental is associated with a time when Asian people had a subordinate status. The term is associated with exoticism and with old stereotypes. While oriental isn’t a slur, it is Eurocentric terminology and defines other people in relation to Europe instead of as their own being.

Términos recomendados alternativos


The recommended terminology to describe someone of Asian descent would be to use their national origin, for example “Pakistani,” or if you are unsure of their national origin you can use “Asian.”

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