I've heard that the word Oriental, if used to people, is racism.
Is it true? And if it is, why?
Possibly because people are not carpets.
I have several oriental carpets given to me by Asian friends
Do note that in the UK, Asian are not Chinese or Japanese.
Also note that some Asians may call themselves oriental like African American may call themselves whatever they want.
Lastly, my Asian friends are just my friends, I luckily never need to specify their genetic makeup. If I have to, I say "from Pakistan" or "from India" or in other cases, "He's Chinese"
The only collective expression I use is Antipodean to not offend Kiwis and Aussies when I do not know from whence they come :)
Usage Note: Asian is now strongly preferred in place of Oriental for persons native to Asia or descended from an Asian people. The usual objection to Orientalmeaning "eastern"is that it identifies Asian countries and peoples in terms of their location relative to Europe. However, this objection is not generally made of other Eurocentric terms such as Near and Middle Eastern. The real problem with Oriental is more likely its connotations stemming from an earlier era when Europeans viewed the regions east of the Mediterranean as exotic lands full of romance and intrigue, the home of despotic empires and inscrutable customs. At the least these associations can give Oriental a dated feel, and as a noun in contemporary contexts (as in the first Oriental to be elected from the district) it is now widely taken to be offensive. However, Oriental should not be thought of as an ethnic slur to be avoided in all situations. As with Asiatic, its use other than as an ethnonym, in phrases such as Oriental cuisine or Oriental medicine, is not usually considered objectionable.
So when used as a noun I guess it is. Honestly I have a lot of Asian friends and it has just never came up.
Spoiler: Just messaged an Japanese girl I know. She laughed. She said "I wouldn't find it offensive, just the person dumb."