Police have been told to stop describing people from China and South East Asia as Oriental in race hate crime reports.
New guidance announced by the Home Office eliminates the term from a table of categories that are allowed to be used, and a Home Office spokesperson said that this term is offensive, and Labour’s Sarah Owen, the first female MP of Chinese descent and chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Hate Crime said it was especially antiquated.
But Eddie Chan, 67, who set up the London Chinese Community Network, said the word described where they come from and that he didn’t find it offensive.
Here in the United Kingdom, Asian refers to people of Pakistani or Indian heritage. Oriental doesn’t appear to have any adverse or offensive meaning or intent, and I’m not sure why this has suddenly become an issue – the Orient relates to an area and even the train “Orient Express”.
I guess the logical conclusion will be that in time all labels will go and no one will be called anything, but this is all pretty absurd, and Oriental just defines where the person or their forebears came from, and it just means “The East”, which is the correct geographical term and in no way defamatory.
And in time will the word “human” even still be okay to use? There’s too many do’s, don’ts and box-ticking and it’s time to call an end to this madness and let people describe what they see, and some people are becoming a laughing stock around the globe, being told what we can and can’t say by an assembly of people who don’t know whether they’re human or an indiscriminate object from one day to the next.
And it just seems that life as we know it is offensive, and this is daft because, in the end, we’re all going to have to give up talking altogether at this rate, and this is murder on the non-specific Express.
Where will this stupidity end? Will people now have to reorientate their map of The Orient, and are Leyton Orient FC going to have to alter their name or even the local chip shop that might be called The Oriental Bake – I’m now becoming very disorientated!
Now it seems that we’re placing people into neat little racial boxes – talk about compartmentalising things.
At the end of the day, we’re all human beings. We all bleed red blood, and we’re not alien to each other, and if there are some of us out there that are, then I’d like you to take me to your leader!
And how would we then describe how someone looks? “Well, Sergeant, the offender was gender fluid and about 6 foot tall, and the hair was brown”. Well, that narrows it down, and this is why the police can’t police.
Wouldn’t it be amusing if the police were unable to write down descriptions in case they offended someone? And it seems that the whole damn world is searching for new ways to be offended, and before you know it we will be heading for a police state where it will be against the law to say anything.
To be fair, I’d sooner our police force concentrated its energies on preventing and detecting crimes that destroy people’s lives, rather than wasting time, energy and resources on a few self-obsessed, terminally offended people that are wokey dokies, with hurty feelings.