New York state has actually passed a law banning the use of the word "oriental" when referring to "persons of Asian or Pacific islander heritage" in state and municipal documents. Think about it. The New York Assembly spent time coming up with a bill, and got it enacted into law, to prevent a word from being used. The bill passed unanimously, with not even one member of the legislature having the guts to vote against idiocy -- probably out of fear of being labeled a racist.
Was the use of "oriental" such a big problem in official New York documents that a law was required to address it? Does their legislature really have nothing better to do than ban certain words? This couldn't have been solved with a memo to anyone using the offending term? I wonder what other words need to be banned? Hopefully New York lawmakers are working diligently on those critical problems. We wouldn't want someone to use the wrong word in a document and offend someone.
As of now, there is no word on whether or not it is still permissible to sell oriental rugs in New York.