Saturday, September 06, 2008

Rep. Westmoreland says he was clueless in making 'uppity' comment about the Obamas

Don Frederick, Top of the Ticket (LA Times): Heretofore little-known Rep. Lynn Westmoreland of Georgia was born in 1950 in Atlanta and was raised in one of its surrounding communities.
Which means the Republican grew up at a time when the racial divide in the South was stark, a time when Jim Crow laws helped enforce a segregationist credo that limited opportunities for blacks, a time when -- as an Atlanta Journal-Constitution article puts it today -- "uppity" was "a word applied to African-Americans who tried to rise above servile positions."
But to hear Westmoreland tell it, he had no clue he was using a racially tinged word when, as reported by The Hill newspaper, he said in Washington this week: "Honestly, I've never paid that much attention to Michelle Obama. Just what little I've seen of her and Sen. [Barack] Obama, is that they're a member of an elitist class ... that thinks that they're uppity."
The remark, the Journal-Constitution reports, quickly "zipped around the Internet, causing Westmoreland’s office phones to ring off the hook."
That furor, in turn, prompted the two-term congressman to issue the following statement:
I’ve never heard that term used in a racially derogatory sense. It is important to note that the dictionary definition of ‘uppity’ is ‘affecting an air of inflated self-esteem -- snobbish.’ That’s what we meant by uppity when we used it in the mill village where I grew up.
The Ticket finds it amazing that someone with such a sheltered upbringing could achieve such success in life.
LSB: This man is either lying through his teeth or completely unaware of his environment. Let's hope the 3rd District in Georgia educates this man or removes him this November!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have heard the word uppity applied to snobbish white folks. In fact in the 50's if the word was being used to describe a black person the phrase would be uppity______ (n-word)