Limbaugh, "Uppity", and a brief glimpse at coded racism.

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    Nov 22, 2011 10:08 PM GMT
    http://www.theatlanticwire.com/politics/2011/11/yep-uppity-racist/45321/

    The Atlantic WireA lot of people have no idea that the word "uppity," when applied to black people, has racist connotations, but it's getting harder and harder to understand how public figures, in particular, are able to maintain their ignorance of the term's history. President Obama has been a well-known public figure for several years and his conservative critics, in particular, keep making the "uppity" mistake. This week it's Rush Limbaugh, who said Michelle Obama was booed at a weekend Nascar race because she showed "uppity-ism," as well as the conservative site Newsbusters, which is just shocked that anyone might call that comment racially problematic. Glenn Beck, too, is defending Limbaugh's analysis, saying it's just a synonym for snobby. It's hard to explain how they've managed to avoid finding out about "uppity" secret past.

    Limbaugh said Monday "Nascar people... are mature, tolerant people who fully understand when they’re being insulted and condescended to," Limbaugh said, then listed Obama's transgressions such as taking expensive vacations and saying exercise is good. He continued, "They understand it is a little bit of uppity-ism." Glenn Beck defended the comment, saying on Imus' radio show, "Uppity? You don't think she's a little snotty? Really? Really? Miss Arugula? Come on!" (Arugula is a type of lettuce that is offensive to some conservatives.) "I'm not going to apologize for saying the woman who says 'I'd like a good steak and arugula once in a while'... Please. We're living in a country where you can't say that's a little uppity?"



    Beck seemed unaware "uppity" was a term racist southerners used for black people who didn't know their place. In fairness, a lot of people don't know for sure whether "uppity" is racist. Various forms of the question "Is uppity racist?" is a very popular on Yahoo Answers. But a little more digging could help these guys out. The most liked and most disliked definition at Urban Dictionary notes that "uppity" is often followed by the n-word. Maybe these media guys don't know how to Google. Even so, they've had a lot of practice with uppity in recent years.

    In 2008, Rep. Lynn Westmorland claimed he didn't know "uppity" had racial connotations when he used the term to describe then-Sen. Barack Obama. This is especially curious because Westmorland is from Georgia. In 2010, Harvard professor Charles Ogletree said Sarah Palin's habit of deriding Obama as a "professor" was code for "uppity." Limbaugh responded by saying the term was racist when applied to Clarence Thomas, but true when applied to Obama: "Obama is uppity, but not as a black. He is an elitist. He does think he’s smarter and better than everybody else. That’s what he was taught. He’s a Harvard man." (Thomas received his law degree, by contrast, from plebian institution Yale.)

    But maybe that practice is starting to sink in. While Newsbusters' Brent Baker was appalled that ABC News had "elevated" the "left-wing hit," he didn't quite go so far as to explicitly say the comment wasn't racist. That's progress.
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    Nov 22, 2011 10:15 PM GMT
    News to me! I've never heard of such a thing. "Uppity" to me just means someone is acting arrogant or that they are more important than they actually are.

    It would certainly take race-obsessed people to be interested in delving into all the etymology associated with a word like this.
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    Nov 22, 2011 10:29 PM GMT
    mocktwinkie saidNews to me! I've never heard of such a thing. "Uppity" to me just means someone is acting arrogant or that they are more important than they actually are.

    It would certainly take race-obsessed people to be interested in delving into all the etymology associated with a word like this.


    No. "Uppity black(s)" is a well-known racist canard.

    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=uppity
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    Nov 22, 2011 10:31 PM GMT
    mocktwinkie saidNews to me! I've never heard of such a thing. "Uppity" to me just means someone is acting arrogant or that they are more important than they actually are.

    It would certainly take race-obsessed people to be interested in delving into all the etymology associated with a word like this.


    Hey look! Someone who passes for white denying racism (something they keep them self ignorant of)!
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    Nov 22, 2011 11:11 PM GMT
    DoomsDayAlpaca said
    mocktwinkie saidNews to me! I've never heard of such a thing. "Uppity" to me just means someone is acting arrogant or that they are more important than they actually are.

    It would certainly take race-obsessed people to be interested in delving into all the etymology associated with a word like this.


    Hey look! Someone who passes for white denying racism (something they keep them self ignorant of)!


    Only you could find a "denial" of racism existing in this world with what I said.
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    Nov 23, 2011 12:10 AM GMT
    (Thomas received his law degree, by contrast, from plebian institution Yale.)

    LOL.
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    Nov 23, 2011 1:03 AM GMT
    mocktwinkie saidNews to me! I've never heard of such a thing. "Uppity" to me just means someone is acting arrogant or that they are more important than they actually are.

    It would certainly take race-obsessed people to be interested in delving into all the etymology associated with a word like this.


    Bull fucking shit!


    we as CANADIANS learn in Grade 6 that the word "uppity" was used by slaveholding southerners. Anyone claiming to not know that is stupid or lying -

    Just as I know all sorts of "innocent" words that would not overtly refer to ethincity and but refer to how some feel superior because they can "pass" - and how that shapes their little worldview.


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    Nov 23, 2011 1:30 AM GMT
    Upper_Cdn said
    mocktwinkie saidNews to me! I've never heard of such a thing. "Uppity" to me just means someone is acting arrogant or that they are more important than they actually are.

    It would certainly take race-obsessed people to be interested in delving into all the etymology associated with a word like this.


    Bull fucking shit!


    we as CANADIANS learn in Grade 6 that the word "uppity" was used by slaveholding southerners. Anyone claiming to not know that is stupid or lying -

    Just as I know all sorts of "innocent" words that would not overtly refer to ethincity and but refer to how some feel superior because they can "pass" - and how that shapes their little worldview.




    Then I'm stupid because I've honestly never heard such a thing in my life!

    And that's pretty pathetic that you would even learn about such an obscure use of that word during the 6th grade -- do you Canadians have nothing more important to learn in school?
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    Nov 23, 2011 1:35 AM GMT
    mocktwinkie said
    It would certainly take race-obsessed people to be interested in delving into all the etymology associated with a word like this.


    This.

    DoomsDayAlblacka, you are more than your skin color. Please talk about something else, you uppity exhibit I.

    Also, for the record, PCBS is PC and BS.
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    Nov 23, 2011 1:45 AM GMT
    mocktwinkie said
    Upper_Cdn said
    mocktwinkie saidNews to me! I've never heard of such a thing. "Uppity" to me just means someone is acting arrogant or that they are more important than they actually are.

    It would certainly take race-obsessed people to be interested in delving into all the etymology associated with a word like this.


    Bull fucking shit!


    we as CANADIANS learn in Grade 6 that the word "uppity" was used by slaveholding southerners. Anyone claiming to not know that is stupid or lying -

    Just as I know all sorts of "innocent" words that would not overtly refer to ethincity and but refer to how some feel superior because they can "pass" - and how that shapes their little worldview.




    Then I'm stupid


    +1

    Everybody older than 25 knows exactly what Limbaugh was talking about when he slammed that uppity nigra, Michelle Obama.
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    Nov 23, 2011 1:50 AM GMT
    FrostedFlakes said
    mocktwinkie said
    It would certainly take race-obsessed people to be interested in delving into all the etymology associated with a word like this.


    This.

    DoomsDayAlblacka, you are more than your skin color. Please talk about something else, you uppity exhibit I.

    Also, for the record, PCBS is PC and BS.


    Translation: Hey look I'm some white guy that has benefited from a broken social system that gives me undeserved benefits at the expense of others, I'm also gay and go on to bash those dirty little femmy liberal gays because I spend most of my time letting people think I'm straight!

    Privileged ignorance...nothing sweeter.
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    Nov 23, 2011 1:51 AM GMT
    mocktwinkie said
    Upper_Cdn said
    mocktwinkie saidNews to me! I've never heard of such a thing. "Uppity" to me just means someone is acting arrogant or that they are more important than they actually are.

    It would certainly take race-obsessed people to be interested in delving into all the etymology associated with a word like this.


    Bull fucking shit!


    we as CANADIANS learn in Grade 6 that the word "uppity" was used by slaveholding southerners. Anyone claiming to not know that is stupid or lying -

    Just as I know all sorts of "innocent" words that would not overtly refer to ethincity and but refer to how some feel superior because they can "pass" - and how that shapes their little worldview.




    Then I'm stupid because I've honestly never heard such a thing in my life!

    And that's pretty pathetic that you would even learn about such an obscure use of that word during the 6th grade -- do you Canadians have nothing more important to learn in school?


    Because learning about the fucked up things your neighbor did (so you can avoid them) is stupid...I mean what...we spend a "month" on learning about "black history" in this country?
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    Nov 23, 2011 1:59 AM GMT
    FrostedFlakes said
    mocktwinkie said
    It would certainly take race-obsessed people to be interested in delving into all the etymology associated with a word like this.


    This.

    DoomsDayAlblacka, you are more than your skin color. Please talk about something else, you uppity exhibit I.

    Also, for the record, PCBS is PC and BS.

    http://www.derailingfordummies.com/#moreimportantly
    Don't You Have More Important Issues To Think About

    As with the best of all these techniques, this step operates on several levels. First of all, it communicates to the Marginalised Person™ that you think the entire debate is trivial and below consideration, indicating you entirely disregard their feelings and emotions. Secondly, you disown responsibility for your part in the debate and anything that you've said that may have been discriminatory or offensive.

    Finally, you reinforce your Privilege® by suggesting that it is Privileged People's® job to set the agenda for the Marginalised Group™. After all, how could they possibly know what issues they should prioritise for themselves, they're far too inferior and stupid! You, with your objective, ractional [sic] Privileged® perspective, on the other hand, know exactly what is most important and it is definitely not confronting you with your own bigotry and ignorance!
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    Nov 23, 2011 2:03 AM GMT
    mocktwinkie saidThen I'm stupid because I've honestly never heard such a thing in my life!

    And that's pretty pathetic that you would even learn about such an obscure use of that word during the 6th grade -- do you Canadians have nothing more important to learn in school?

    Mock - The term "uppity" had years ago been commonly used in the pejorative racial context. Now if you google "uppity" you see mostly "uppity woman". Those of us who are older I think would be aware of the racial use. Younger guys might, especially if they are black or have studied racial history.

    In your case, I think it is entirely reasonable that you were not familiar with that usage. Language has changed over the years. A while ago I was listening to a broadcast of a news report from the 1960s which referred to an accident involving a school bus containing "mentally retarded students". I remember the term was used, but it was still very shocking to hear it.

    Regarding that person from Canada who was offensive, he obviously knew the term, given his age, and never had the where-with-all or wisdom to consider someone in a different situation might not have known. This guy in particular is not worth the intellectual capital, but it is interesting to see someone limited to their own perspective and completely unaware that other perspectives exist.
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    Nov 23, 2011 2:19 AM GMT
    socalfitness said
    mocktwinkie saidThen I'm stupid because I've honestly never heard such a thing in my life!

    And that's pretty pathetic that you would even learn about such an obscure use of that word during the 6th grade -- do you Canadians have nothing more important to learn in school?

    Mock - The term "uppity" had years ago been commonly used in the pejorative racial context. Now if you google "uppity" you see mostly "uppity woman". Those of us who are older I think would be aware of the racial use. Younger guys might, especially if they are black or have studied racial history.

    In your case, I think it is entirely reasonable that you were not familiar with that usage. Language has changed over the years. A while ago I was listening to a broadcast of a news report from the 1960s which referred to an accident involving a school bus containing "mentally retarded students". I remember the term was used, but it was still very shocking to hear it.

    Regarding that person from Canada who was offensive, he obviously knew the term, given his age, and never had the where-with-all or wisdom to consider someone in a different situation might not have known. This guy in particular is not worth the intellectual capital, but it is interesting to see someone limited to their own perspective and completely unaware that other perspectives exist.


    I disagree. Uppity's context is well-known to anyone who's been alive in the past 50 odd years.

    To not understand it's pejorative meaning as applied to either American blacks or women, is to have managed not to engage in any black media, have any black friends, or, indeed, have ever met a black person. icon_lol.gif

    I also disagree that Rush has changed for the worse. You'll recall that he referred to Chelsea Clinton (then a 12-year-old) as the "White House's dog".

    It would behoove all conservatives to disavow Rush Limbaugh for his ongoing racist attacks on the president and, more importantly, the First Lady, whom he denigrates on a daily basis, attacking her race, appearance, and - hilariously - her weight.
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    Nov 23, 2011 2:24 AM GMT
    Christian73 saidI disagree. Uppity's context is well-known to anyone who's been alive in the past 50 odd years.

    To not understand it's pejorative meaning as applied to either American blacks or women, is to have managed not to engage in any black media, have any black friends, or, indeed, have ever met a black person. ...

    I think you are making an assessment based on your own background, including where you grew up, with whom you associated, etc. If someone who is younger than you and also grew up in a very different area has different background than you, you might realize that something that is very obvious to you might be completely unknown to them.
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    Nov 23, 2011 2:36 AM GMT
    How odd... given that us fags take being "uppity" as a compliment.
    Or perhaps that is why we "act up".
    (Though ActUp is "uppity" + "in your face".)
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    Nov 23, 2011 4:07 AM GMT
    socalfitness said
    Christian73 saidI disagree. Uppity's context is well-known to anyone who's been alive in the past 50 odd years.

    To not understand it's pejorative meaning as applied to either American blacks or women, is to have managed not to engage in any black media, have any black friends, or, indeed, have ever met a black person. ...

    I think you are making an assessment based on your own background, including where you grew up, with whom you associated, etc. If someone who is younger than you and also grew up in a very different area has different background than you, you might realize that something that is very obvious to you might be completely unknown to them.


    When people encounter the unknown, they should acknowledge as much.

    They shouldn't say "that's not what uppity means in that context." They should say, "oh, I didn't know that."
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    Nov 23, 2011 6:25 AM GMT
    Perhaps, like with "queer", it is time to reclaim "uppity"?

    After all, times have changed. We don't look positively on those who are just following orders - or are locked in the closet (or the back of the bus).

    "Uppity and proud!"

    "Frank Robinson was Uppity"

    "Rosa Parks was Uppity"

    "Herman Cain is Uppity - and that's ok."
    (But sexual harrassment is not.)
  • CuriousJockAZ

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    Nov 23, 2011 8:23 AM GMT
    I have heard the word "uppity" used, but never pertaining to black people, and had no idea it was a racially tinged term at all...and I wasn't exactly born yesterday. Me thinks there are a few African Americans running around the halls of RJ screaming "racist" when in reality they need to take a good hard look in the mirror to see that they are the biggest racists of all. Stop whining already!!!
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    Nov 23, 2011 10:28 AM GMT
    Haters are always gonna hate.
  • GQjock

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    Nov 23, 2011 10:49 AM GMT
    Strange how all the republicans .... Had NO IDEA that uppity was the term that has been used for CENTURIES concerning blacks who didn't know their place


    Yep, 'Uppity' Is Racist
    The Atlantic
    http://www.theatlanticwire.com/politics/2011/11/yep-uppity-racist/45321/
    "uppity" was a term racist southerners used for black people who didn't know their place.

    YOU can feign ignorance about the term
    But fat addicted pig Limbaugh? ... No he can't

    Because he's a man who makes Money ... lots of money using words and he knew EXACTLY what that word meant because he was talking to a bunch of "Crackers"
    Oh you don't know what Cracker means?
    It's a term black people used for low rent ignorant beer swillin white people
    .... who now usually watch NASCAR

    And that's Exactly who Meth boy was talkin to >>>>>>>>> Coded Racism -What?
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    Nov 23, 2011 11:35 AM GMT
    Why was my comment deleted? i said that Mock´s ignorance should not be boasted about... it is well known that uppity used this way is racist.

    It surely can´t be because I drew out the ellipsis of what "uppity" means can it? That would really be foolish. That is the whole point of the thread and the discussion.

    Uppity, when used of african americans, is an ellipsis of "uppity negro". Therefore calling Obama, or Mrs O, "Uppity" is saying that they should accept their place in the racist hierarchy and not meddle in white man´s territory.

    This is the point of the discussion and the reason you can´t use "uppity" of african americans. It´s as offensive as the N word, if you have basic cultural literacy-

    NB I am not doing that in this post. Please read it carefully.


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    Nov 23, 2011 12:16 PM GMT
    Uppity as a racial pejorative is well-known in the South, and other Red State areas where Limbaugh is most popular. He knows his audience.

    Questionable claims that younger individuals here do not understand this racist slur are really beside the point. It's about a portion of the radio audience that does know its meaning, that right-wingers like Limbaugh tune into, whether some here realize it or not.
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    Nov 23, 2011 12:35 PM GMT
    TroyAthlete said
    socalfitness said
    Christian73 saidI disagree. Uppity's context is well-known to anyone who's been alive in the past 50 odd years.

    To not understand it's pejorative meaning as applied to either American blacks or women, is to have managed not to engage in any black media, have any black friends, or, indeed, have ever met a black person. ...

    I think you are making an assessment based on your own background, including where you grew up, with whom you associated, etc. If someone who is younger than you and also grew up in a very different area has different background than you, you might realize that something that is very obvious to you might be completely unknown to them.


    When people encounter the unknown, they should acknowledge as much.

    They shouldn't say "that's not what uppity means in that context." They should say, "oh, I didn't know that."


    That's what I said when I was 10 years old and I played a 3-letter pejorative for Italians that scores quite a number of points on Scrabble especially with the triple word bonus. Never used the word again.icon_lol.gif