In an interview with The Hill newspaper on September 4th, Republican U.S. Congressman from the 3rd congressional district of Georgia, Representative Lynn Westmoreland obviously felt comfortable enough to lend the press a glimpse into his heart with his assessment of the wife of the Democratic Presidential Nominee Barack Obama.Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, (R-Ga), was chewing the fat with reporters in the U.S. Capitol and was asked to compare Sarah Palin and Michelle Obama. “Just from what little I’ve seen of her and Mr. Obama, Senator Obama, they’re a member of an elitist-class individual that thinks they’re uppity.” When asked to clarify that he used the word ‘uppity,’ Westmoreland said, ‘Uppity, yeah,’ ” the newspaper The Hill reported.
I wonder if his feels reflects those of his district, state and party affiliation. How can you accurately judge someone you suggest you have not seen much of?
Individuals who find it easy to use such a word as “Uppity” to describe someone (typically African-American) who obtains a level of success or sophistication greater than your own, exposes their own personal insecurities and frustrations.
When you are called “Uppity” it subliminally tells the accused “You need to stay in your place.” Or “Who do you think you are?” It suggests that you believe the person is not good enough.
I wonder if Congressman Westmoreland would have said this about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. a native son of Georgia. He was often referred to as an “Uppity Nigger” among several of other colorful characterizations.
Unfortunately Rep. Lynn Westmoreland isn’t the first to show “his true colors”.
Out of the pressure of criticism Congressman Davis sent a letter of apology to Obama in which he described his remark as a “poor choice of words.”
So what did you really mean to say Congressman?
I find the words of Comedian and Actor D. L. Hughley to best describe what the biggest challenge is for a Black man who chooses to publicly take a stand for something.“The hardest thing for a Black man to do is to be an individuals; to stand on your own and say what you mean, to not be influenced by anybody and to make your own mind up in your own way.”
Someone will always try to keep or put you down.
I’m glad that the “Crab Mentality” isn’t just found within the Black community. It’s found in the ranks of the political parties and other communities too.
Some may not understand what’s the harm with being called “Uppity”. This really isn’t about politics or Barack and Michelle Obama. It’s about what’s in your heart. We are seeing the depth of ignorance and the lack of socialization within this political season from both Republicans and Democrats.
Unfortunately the Republicans have a difficult time escaping the perception and lack of diversity in their party. They boast of being the party of Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, but fail to accept the countless of failures they adopted from the Dixicrats and beyond.
It’s not just the Republicans, there are some Democrats who subscribe to this same way of thinking too. Of course the GOP does have some Blacks, but often these talented individuals voices are pushed aside for the radicals of the party. We have seen the same in the DNC too, but it’s obvious that they have adjusted. It will always be true for some people to view Blacks & Women who achieve any amount of success they will always be privately viewed as an Uppity *****.
PS: Before you respond please understand that I know racism isn’t going to end anytime soon. I’m not surprised by the words these U.S. Congressmen used.
SeattlePI.com – 09/04/08 “GOP revives culture and class wars”
The Hill – 09/04/08 “Westmoreland calls Obama ‘uppity’”
USA Today – 04/14/08 “Lawmaker sorry he called Obama boy”
Rep. Lynn A. Westmoreland (R-GA) Congressional Website
Rep. Geoff Davis (R-KY) Congressional Website