Did You Sayuh Sumpthin’ About Thuh Ey-yuth Cohmandement?

ABOVE: Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R – Georgia)

Lynn Westmoreland, a Republican Congressman from Georgia, used to be best known for sponsoring a bill allowing the public display of the Ten Commandments in courthouses and then only being able to name three of them on The Colbert Report. At least that was the case until earlier this week when he called Obama “uppity.”

In a Washington D.C. conversation with reporters, 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.

“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, according to The Hill, a newspaper that covers Capitol Hill.

When asked to clarify, Westmoreland said, “Uppity, yeah.”

When a staffer in Westmoreland’s office finally turned on the computer and figured out how to read the Congressman’s emails, Westmoreland’s chief of staff decided that they had to say something to explain what the Congressman really meant. After an all-night brainstorming session, this is what they came up with:

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 order to demonstrate the probability that the Congressman had never heard the word “uppity” used in a racially-loaded fashion, Robinson lead Westmoreland in front of the press corps and pointed to the two corks that apparently were permanently lodged in his two ear canals. That’s the only possible explanation for Westmoreland’s claim. I grew up in the South, am younger than the 58-year-old Westmoreland and certainly heard “uppity” used as a description of black folks who “didn’t know their place.”

When Robinson lead Westmoreland out of the press conference, Westmoreland was overheard saying “My, them nigras suhtainly are-uh touchy.”

UPDATE: Here’s part of Westmoreland’s appearance on The Colbert Report. They cut the part where Colbert presses him on how many commandments he remembers, and he can name only three. However, they have left in the part where he admits he doesn’t know them. Pay careful attention to the expression on his face when he’s asked if he knows them.


Comments: 63


We un’s hyah in Joh-ja is proud of ow-er Westmoreland for standin’ up to that outside aji-tater with all his trub-ull-suuum speechifyin’, an’ upsettin’ tha o’dah that we un’s down hee-yah is comftabull with.


Another good photoshop: you could have pasted his face into a saltine…


I’m 47, I grew up in the South, and I’ve never heard “uppity” used in any other context BUT as a racist epithet.


My Friends.

Walter Reed, My Friends.

Walter Reed Middle School in North Hollywood, California, that is.


“Born and raised in the South” completely contradicts the rest of the sentence.

And of course this:

they’re a member of an elitist-class individual that thinks that they’re uppity

Makes no fucking sense whatsoever.

How the hell can you be a member of an individual? Is he saying they’re dicks? What’s wrong with uppity dicks?

A cynical person might think he was thinking Uppity Nggr! Uppity Nggr! Uppity Nggr! and part of it slipped out. Is there a clip? Does he say Nnnnnnnndividual?


Yeah, what Jacob said.

I’m 33, grew up down South, and the word “uppity” is almost always followed by a word that starts with “n.” “Negro” if you’re around “polite” people, and, well, you can guess the other one.


Izzat chore culchun hay-tidge? Dat ain’t MY culchun hay-tidge!


Hell, I’m in the North, and I’ve heard “uppity” used against black people. It’s not confined to the South.


Lets grant that Obama could somehow be a member of an upper-class elitist individual. Even if that were the case, is Westmoreland saying that this group/individual believes that they themself are an elitist?


“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…”

And on January 20th, 2009 that ‘uppity’ Senator from the State of Illinois will become YOUR Commander in Chief, Rep. Westmoreland.

Why is your lip quivering like that?


we ain’t condasen’ from no monkeh!

Incontinentia Buttocks

I challenge anyone to find a use of the word “uppity” in a non-racial context. It’s a word used exclusively to accuse African Americans of not keeping in “their place.”


Never mind uppity, I’d like some explanation of what he meant by ‘elitist’. It’s been thrown around with great abandon this election season and I still haven’t got a clue what it’s supposed to mean. Well, except for: ‘If he has a brain, and he chooses to use it, he’s out of touch with the heartland’.

Obligatory The Onion Link.


And women, too, IB.

There is no way he didn’t know what he was saying. I wish one of these assholes would actually stand behind their racism and quit trying to weasel out of it with disingenuousness and code words.


I live on another cCONTINENT


I’ve not only heard it in that context and no other, I’ve just won a couple of bets that ‘uppity’ would fall out of a Republicans’ mouth before November 3.


I would like to echo Mr. Singer’s comments above. As a proud resident of Georgia, I can unequivocally state that the word “uppity” is simply not used in polite Suthun society, as the offensive baggage that comes with it is very well-known indeed.

If Congressman Westmoreland (who, IMO, is a fucking moron) believes that “uppity” has no racial shade to its meaning, then I invite him to call his fellow Georgia Congressmen David Scott (my Congressman) and John Lewis “uppity” and see what happens. “Uppity,” in Suthun society, is a dog-whistle term used for nothing other than signifying an African-American individual who does not, in crude racist terms, ‘know their place.’

Quite simply, Suthun gentlemen do not call people “uppity” unless they are *trying* to make a racial comment or racial slur. And Lynn Westmoreland is a lying sack of shit who, I declare, gives me the vapors.


I challenge anyone to find a use of the word “uppity” in a non-racial context.
I’m too damn busy and waaay behind schedule, but you could try to email the good folks at the Language Log. I’m sure they’re as busy as I am, but at least they have access to corpuses and databases that would make the search a whole lot faster.


Thanks for defining “elitist” for me, Jethro.


I grew up in the South too, have lived there all my life, and I assure you, Westmoreland is lying his Christian ass off.


Hell, I grew up in Noo Yawk Citay, and we knew what “uppity” meant!


I challenge anyone to find a use of the word “uppity” in a non-racial context.

It can also be used when speaking of an aggressive woman. I’ve heard it used about a poor woman not “knowing her place”.


what he meant by ‘elitist’: Uppity.


Honestly, I HAVE heard “uppity” used in a non-racial context (very rarely), but when a white Southern man calls a black man “uppity,” it only means one got-damn thing. It means “that boah doesn’t his place.”


Indeed. There is a PUMA who is called “Uppity Woman”.


Westmoreland is in a twelve piece bucket of trouble.

Or, at least, he should be.


With taters and a biscuit.


Oh Gawd, I just love that clip! That smile on Colbert’s face, ’cause he knew what was going to happen, and the way he asks, oh-so-quietly, “What are they?”


never heard the word “uppity” used in a racially loaded fashion

And when he says “uppity colored boy” he’s merely referring to a crayoned picture of Little Lord Fauntleroy.


I have to politely add that “uppity” is also used against women, esp. He-uh in the South. Mostly I’ve heard it used by other women. type “uppity into a google tool bar and see what automaticaly pops up. Still, there is no way to use the term against a African-American without it having a racial meaning. No possible way. Uppity does not mean elitist, even though elitist has clearly become the code word of choice. Just like “states’ right” never actually meant states rights, it always meant keeping out of southern state’s attempts to back door discriminatory laws. Rep. Westmoreland is going to have to claim he has never heard of Clarence Thomas, who’s use of “uppity” to garner some backlash against the people who rightly pointeed out his lack of qualifications (esp. in temprament) to be a Supreme Court justice. And I believe Thomas grew up right around where Westmoreland did.


Justice Thomas was born in Pin Point, GA, not too terribly far from Savannah.


I challenge anyone to find a use of the word “uppity” in a non-racial context

What, you never heard tell of “uppity women”? We’uns is all ovah tha playce!


I give you The Uppity Blues Women, who make a great joke of the word (and make great music).


I’m even more fascinated by the bizarre phrase “thinks that they’re uppity”. What is that supposed to mean? “Yeah, ah know it’s bad to call them that, but they themselves THINK they are! Really!” What a babbling freak.


Why does he even bother lying? Standing up and calling Obama an Uppity N word would guarantee landslide re-elections for the rest of his life.


no undercurrent was intended

No, because it’s an overcurrent in this instance. Or perhaps an overtcurrent.

Com on, let it all hang out, GOP faithful. Hate on local activists and their crazy democracy from below ideas. Hate on blacks and their crazy assumption that the political process is theirs too. Be honest and tell us about everyone who needs to be shut out and kept in their places. Take that load off.


I’m 25, I was born in England, and even I know it’s a racial epithet over thar.

False disingenuousnesses really fucking annoys me.


“they’re a member of an elitist-class individual that thinks that they’re uppity”

Sounds like drunk talk to me. So blame it on the Jack Daniels, you elitist-class individuals who think you’re uppity. He knows what he meant, and so do we.


Jack Daniels?

Come now. Suthun gentlemen imbibe Gentleman Jack. It is the standard pour at the downstairs bar in my house. Until you get cut off for putting a lampshade on your head or some other such tomfoolery, that is.



Dr. Kenobi:
Well pardonnez-moi s’il vous plait very much I’m sure, Mr. Elitist Fancy Pants. Around this American household, where we don’t think we’re uppity, The Spouse likes his Jack Black label. He, sir, is no Gentleman! Which is why I love the big lug.


Nope. He didn’t know it was a racist remark a-tall:

Westmoreland is one of the most conservative members of Congress. He has drawn criticism from civil rights advocates on a number of issues, including last year when he led opposition to renewing the 1965 Voting Rights Act. He also was one of two House members last year who opposed giving the Justice Department more money to crack unsolved civil rights killings.


It’s like Rudy calling Obama “cosmopolitan”. Now that’s code.


MzNicky: Blame my wife. She’s from the West Coast and she thought I needed a little culturizin.’

Along with some lye soap and competent dentistry.

Seriously, though, try the Gentleman Jack if you can find it in your area. It gets a second pass through the charcoal process and is much, much smoother than the black-label Jack. Until a few years ago, it was very hard to find outside the Southeast and mid-Atlantic states, so depending on where you live, it might take a little searching to find it.

Big Bad Bald Bastard

Must be something in the water, Westmoreland is Zell Miller stupid.


OB-GYN Kenobi: Honey chile, The Spouse’s wet bar is a veritable shrine to Jack Daniels. Hell, son, we here in the glorious border state of Tennessee take our young ‘uns on field trips to Lynchburg for the free samples!

Okay, seriously, I don’t really care much for bourbon, and the old man certainly can acquire Gentleman Jack easily enough if he wanted, but he seems to prefer the black label.


Uppity seems to be going the way of various archaic words that only exist in context with certain other words. Like “moot point”. Is anything other than a point ever moot now?

As far as I can tell, jiggle only gets used in the context of fat, jello and toilet handles


Suthun gentlemen imbibe Gentleman Jack.

Why? It’s the same brain killing hooch as regu–

Oh. Nevermind.


MzNicky: “field trips to Lynchburg for the free samples!”

Indeed! I, too, have made the pilgrimage on many occasions. Somehow, during a drunken haze, I must have given the distillery my name and address, for I now receive sporadic mail from them. Among the items I have received is a property deed and a photograph, purportedly of mah lan’. I believe that I am expected to occupy said plot with a hound and a long firearm, concurrent with the intent of runnin’ off any revenooers, Yankees or men from the bank what’s come to serve papers.

Andrew: ” Is anything other than a point ever moot now?”

Is there not such a thing as “moot court” in law school?


Westmoreland thinks “uppity” means “better than the rest of us,” rather than “thinks they’re better than the rest of us,” which is why he’s adding the “thinks they’re” to “uppity.” It’s kind of like the way people say “ATM Machine” even though M stands for “machine.” He’s also using “member of” as a substitution for “kind of” or “sort of,” which is “member of” idiotic.


Lynchburg, TN is (famously) in a dry county. You can buy ‘commemorative’ bottles at the distillery that are sold for their collectible value, but nothing else.


I had coffee the other day that was totally moot.


ahem: Yeah, I wuz just funnin’ when I said that about takin’ the young ‘uns to Lynchburg for the free samples. That’s why I used the word “seriously” in the next sentence.


Moot is a term of art in administrative law, primarily. Not in much use by normal people. During Guiliani’s speech, I must have pushed the moot button. I could hear everything he said all right, it was just pointless.

Leon Trotsky, Exile-in-Mexico

D. Aristophanes said,

September 5, 2008 at 15:05 (kill)

Izzat chore culchun hay-tidge? Dat ain’t MY culchun hay-tidge!

I demand that from now on, all posts this election season come with that guy and his broom and midget saying that. You could photoshop McCain as the little guy, and Palin as Homer T. Buford or whatever his name was.


LT, E-i-M:
Thank you sir! I’ve been trying all dang day to remember where I’d heard D. Aristophanes’s awesomely rendered line of cracker talk before!

O Brother Where Art Thou?, indeed. And I second the request for photoshops of Homer Stokes, the midget and the broom.


TaggLines Exclusive!! Westmoreland original campaign poster! See it here! http://www.tagg-lines.com/2008/09/tagglines-exclusive.html


He thinks Obama is one of the Mr Men: http://www.mrsneeze.com/mrmen/meetmrmen2.html

Well, he’s coloured, right?


After watching this, I have to say:

Thank you, Al Gore, for inventing the internets. It’s payback time.


“they’re a member of an elitist-class individual” –

Someone send this guy an elementary book on set theory!


I think anyone who doesn’t know how many houses he owns, and says so on the TeeVee, is uppitier than Obama.


Would it be wrong to advocate for the nuclear destruction of whatever congressional district chose this douchebag to represent them?



Any chance of this hump being sent to the dustbin this November?


“Would it be wrong to advocate for the nuclear destruction of whatever congressional district chose this douchebag to represent them?”

Please don’t; I have to travel through it on occasion. Once I manage to sell off my mom’s real estate in Alabama, though (ought be be able to do that in 5-10 years), you can have at it.


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