Your Black Politics: Sen. Lynn Westmoreland Calls The Obamas “Uppity”
U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, who was born and raised in the South, said Thursday that he’s never heard the word “uppity” used in a racially loaded fashion — and meant nothing more than “elitist” when he applied it to Barack Obama and his wife Michelle.
“If anyone read more into it, no undercurrent was intended,” Westmoreland spokesman Brian Robinson said this evening.
In a Washington D.C. conversation with reporters today, the two-term Sharpsburg congressman was discussing the speech of Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin when he was asked to compare her with Michelle Obama.
According to The Hill, a newspaper that covers Capitol Hill:
“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.”
The quote quickly zipped around the Internet, causing Westmoreland’s office phones to ring off the hook.
Efforts to obtain comment from the Obama campaign in Georgia have been unsuccessful.
Though raised by a struggling, single mother, Obama studied at both Columbia University in New York and Harvard University. This spring, he apologized for his “poor word choices” at a California fund-raiser in which he described small-town Americans as “bitter” over the souring economy and clinging to religion and guns in response.
Hillary Clinton seized upon the “elitist” label in the primary, and Republicans have done so during their national convention in Minnesota — vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, the governor of Alaska, among them.
But Obama supporters say the “elitist” title has sometimes served as cultural code for “uppity” — a word that for decades in the segregated South was applied to African-Americans who attempted to rise above servile positions…