“That’s definitely an offensive use for Asian Americans”
The Miami Police Department are still using the term “oriental” in their identity forms
Miami New Times reports that the term “Oriental” can still be found on identity forms used by the Miami Police Department.
Since 2016, the federal government banend the term from official documents as it was seen as offensive to Asians.
However, the Miami Police Department still uses the term to describe people who file complaints with its Internal Affairs section.
On the form, complainants can choose between “Oriental,” “American,” “Spanish,” “Haitian,” “European,” or “Other” for their ethnicity.
Rodney Jacobs, the assistant director of the Civilian Investigative Panel said the term is definitely offensive and the issue needs to be rectified.
“That’s definitely an offensive use for Asian Americans,” he says. “The whole list of designations is kind of off a little bit. It’s somewhat surprising to me that they haven’t updated it to make their record-keeping more accurate.”
He added that the term is just as bad as derogatory words towards teh African American community.
“Once you realize this word is at best antiquated, and at worst interpreted as bigoted, why would you keep using it when Asian American is an accepted neutral alternative?” he questioned. “It’s no different from the change from ‘Negro’ to ‘African-American.’ If someone today says ‘Negro,’ you do a double take.”
Jacobs also believes that it would be an easy fix for the police department.
“This is just a departmental form so … it’s not like it would take an act of law to actually change it,” he said. “The form is definitely kind of antiquated and needs to be updated.”
In 2017, a racist woman who used the term “Oriental” was filmed by a Korean student at a Starbucks in California.