Republican Congressman Calls Barack and Michelle Obama “Uppity”

Republican Congressman Lynn Westmoreland was asked (in an already sexist question) to compare Michelle Obama to Sarah Palin. In doing so, he decided to call Michelle “uppity” — and made sure to let everyone know that he feels the same way about Barack.

Westmoreland was discussing vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin’s speech with reporters outside the House chamber and was asked to compare her with Michelle Obama.

“Just from what little I’ve seen of her and Mr. Obama, Sen. Obama, they’re a member of an elitist-class individual that thinks that they’re uppity,” Westmoreland said.

Asked to clarify that he used the word “uppity,” Westmoreland said, “Uppity, yeah.”

I don’t really think there’s any comment needed on that. But just in case you missed it: that’s racist. And with Michelle being both black and a woman, one would imagine that she’d be doubly uppity in this fuck’s mind.

The article at The Hill discusses the racially-charged nature of other attacks against Barack Obama — though unfortunately ignores those used against Michelle — including the framing of him as an “elitist.” But this guy . . . well he just comes right out and says what they mean, doesn’t he?

Via Michelle Obama Watch

0 thoughts on “Republican Congressman Calls Barack and Michelle Obama “Uppity”

  1. Lemur

    OFFS. Who the hell says ‘uppity’ un-ironically anymore? Seriously? What a wank.
    Can’t have those black/female/gay folks runnin’ around thinkin’ they’re people now, can we? They might get UPPITY and start demanding respect!

  2. Cobalt

    …….wow. Y’know, just when I’m ready to dismiss (again) the race element in this election, someone goes and bitches about them “uppity” black folk. Damn coloreds, gettin’ above themselves. >:

    Seriously. Every time I start to think, “There can’t be that much racism involved, can there?” I see something like this and have to drop my head onto my keyboard in despair.

  3. Pingback: Uppity? Um, wow. « don’t do that

  4. shonda

    Suck it, old white dude.
    This is no new story. The GOP has always taken one little thing that scares low information voters and twist it.
    With the Obamas, they are trying to use a mix of reminding people that they aren’t only black, but black people who think they are better than the working class. It is total bullshit and makes me so anxious to purge the country of Bush and his foul influence.

  5. Ryan

    Since when is “uppity” specially reserved for the derision of African Americans? What makes you think Westmoreland’s comments stray from typical Republican complaint of “liberal elitism” into the realm of racism?

  6. Cara Post author

    It’s not “specially reserved” for African Americans, Ryan, as I noted it is also sometimes used against women. It is a derisive, offensive word no matter who it is used against. But it has been used against African Americans more than any other group, and the implication behind uppity is “thinks they’re as good as the rest of us.” Women are uppity when they think they’re as good as men and deserve equal rights to them. Gay people are uppity when they think they’re as good as straight people and deserve equal rights to them. And black people are uppity when they think they’re as good as white people and deserve equal rights to them. The last usage of the term is the most common. Words have history and that history adds to their meaning, in this case the meaning being a racist one.

    Also, if you had paid any attention to the article or other conversations, using the word “elitist” to refer to a black man who was raised by a single mother, sometimes on food stamps, has racist insinuations as well. Not to mention that the whole “elitist” conversation is just fucking stupid to begin with.

  7. Ryan

    I really don’t like it when I find posts under my name; I guess I should just post with a less common first name.

    Though, the fact that a small uproar could spring up around Westmoreland using that racially charged insult and somebody could STILL be unaware of the connotation of that word is unbelievable.

  8. Anne

    While it’s true that a lot of people who have heard or used the word “uppity” in a non-racist context, the sad fact is that it HAS historically been used by white racists against black people they felt didn’t know their place.

    American history abundantly provides disheartening examples of blacks who were lynched, jailed, or threatened by white racists for such things as registering other blacks to vote or owning a business that was in competition with a white person’s.

    I don’t think anything is accomplished by those of us who have experienced or know people who have experienced the racist connotations to discount the experiences of those who have not heard or used it in non-racist terms.

    Nor do I find it productive for those whose experience has been non-racial to discount what I know people in my own African-American family have experienced.

    It just goes to show that people can live in the same country and have entirely different experiences.


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