I recently met a person, pardon the vagueness as it is deliberate. You know how you aren't supposed to talk religion or politics with people when you first meet them? In my first conversation with this person (whom I will probably have to tolerate for at least a year), he asked about my research interests and then argued with me that Oriental is not an offensive term and that Asian is more of a problematic term because it leaves out some people in Asia, like Russians and people from Kazakhstan. I made a failed attempt at being patient as I explained that Asian is a term of collective identity that gives us (as in yellow people) some political strength through solidarity. He would not compromise and just pushed the argument harder. He was in complete denial of the social and political implications of this racist notion of Orientalism as it is constructed in the west. He argued that black people call themselves the N word so "Oriental" is also okay. I responded that Asian American people DO NOT call themselves Oriental and even if they chose to reappropriate that term (like queer for example), it doesn't give other people permission to use it unless that permission is granted rather than assumed. Asian American history really needs to work its way into the public school curriculum because obviously there are a number very misguided people out there.
Oh and did I mention this heated argument took place in MY HOME within five minutes of meeting him? Aside from taking Ethnic Studies 101, this person also needs to take a lesson from Miss Manners on how to make small talk with people you've just met.