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Politics in Wisconsin as they roll up to every level... and some other thoughts that may cross my mind are explored here from my lefty point of view. My values shape my opinions. You'll always find them in here. Let's have some fun exploring why Liberal values are American values!

Your comments are both welcome and encouraged!
(The watercolor is called Magnolia Tree for Momma, by Audrey Crawford)

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Elitist Black = Uppity Nigger

When ever you hear a black person referred to as elitist, you need to know that it's the code word for an oldie but goodie phrase from our past: uppity nigger.

Now for those of you who have no idea what uppity nigger means, go back in history and read about it, but it was generally a term used by poor whites during Jim Crow and most of the last century to refer to an African American who spoke well or dressed well or was well educated.

The term upsets me just to type it, because I have even been called that in my lifetime, and it was a pretty bad experience that I won't retell...

It is a racial slur and they have conveniently altered it just slightly enough to the term "elitist", that they think they've accomplished saying the same thing with different words.

I hear the media using the term elitist with Obama all the time now, I hear the opponents using it and I find it disgusting.

Remember my previous discussions about subltle racism? Well, this hits that out of the park. They're not even bothering to be subtle in my eyes, but just in case, I wanted to make sure you all saw it as well.

The real irony of them using the term elitist when referring to Obama is that he is the exact opposite of that definition. He's not anywhere near elitist.

10 comments:

RootsWire said...

Renee -
Rest assured that if I ever heard anyone call you that, I'd assume it was a compliment --

Anonymous said...

Yet another baseball phrase to make a point that isn't there? I guess we can thank Keith Olbermann for that. Get out of your bubble and see the truth...we don't like Obama because he is unqualified. I could care less if he was smurf blue!

michaelp said...

They're not even subtle now.

Georgia Republican Rep. Lynn Westmoreland used the racially-tinged term "uppity" to describe Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama Thursday.

http://thehill.com/leading-the-news/westmoreland-calls-obama-uppity-2008-09-04.html

Anonymous said...

Nice try at reading the minds of others. I have been using the word "uppity" for 50 years and never once in a racial way. But, I guess reality is what YOU make of it.

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blackbutchresister said...

1st, Great blog, Crawford. I am sending it to a friend of mine who doesn't know the history of the term "uppity."

2nd, Listen, "anonymous": If you feel so strongly about your views, if you truly believe you are right -- stop leaving comments on this blog ANONYMOUSLY.

Come out! show us who you are!

Otherwise, you seem like you're a person who's only here to disrupt a conversation started by a woman of color (and it is inarguably true that women of color are virtually voiceless in the mainstream media -- meaning, we rely on blogs and venues like racialicious.com to get our views "out there" -- a conversation in which people of color and their *white allies* in the struggle against racism (and all forms of oppression) want to engage in.

If you don't consider or call yourself a *white ally* in the struggle against racism, perhaps you should do more listening (or reading) here than you do talking.

But that's something *white allies* do.

Want to argue with someone about the reality of racism and Obama? Or God forbid, learn something about racism, at the very least?

Go to: www.timwise.org
He's a self-identified white antiracist and white ally -- he's got a blog. He's brilliant and awesome. You will find a lot to disagree with on his site.

That said, it is utterly RIDICULOUS for you or anyone to claim that "uppity" does not have a racial / racialized/ race-based, and thus, racist basis.

It is RIDICULOUS for you to require more evidence than the INDISPUTABLE HISTORICAL FACT THAT MILLIONS AND MILLIONS HAVE BLACK AMERICANS HAVE BEEN CALLED "uppity niggers" in their lifetime.

Who would know better? You, a person who has never been called an "uppity nigger"? Or, black folks who have been called this horrible name. (Another rhetorical question -- clearly, those who are targeted by racism know more about the way it works than those who are *not* targeted by racism, but in fact, benefit from the racist oppression of people of color. It's called "white privilege." It's real. Learn about it.)

The term "uppity" was used traditionally, and frequently, by whites (or all classes) during the Jim Crow period to identify, attack, and subordinate (i.e., "put in their place) any person of color -- but particularly African Americans -- who they believed were acting "too big for their britches."

The term "uppity" signifies the act of behaving as though you are superior to others. But when whites used it describe blacks, it was because they believed those particular black people were behaving in a way that black people *should not* behave, had *no right* to behave -- these black people were behaving as though they were equal to or better than white people.

Moreover, if the term "uppity" has no racial connotation then why is that the term has NEVER -- NOT ONCE -- been used to described the attitude of a white man campaigning for the presidency?

Al Gore provides THE PERFECT EXAMPLE.

Al Gore was called "stiff," "boring," "vanilla" (a term that has a racial connotation), "robotic," "stuffed shirt," "contrived." Gore has also been called "arrogant" -- but never EVER "uppity".

NOT ONCE did anyone call Al Gore an "elitist" (a quality and ethic he exuded during the 2000 election) or "uppity."

Source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/campaigns/wh2000/stories/gore060799.htm

Know why? Because it is perfectly acceptable for a white man -- In fact, it is expected of white men -- white men are expected to carry themselves with confidence, to take up space when they speak, to "win" arguments rather than listen and consider a variety of truths/viewpoints. Millionaire white men occupying and/or pursuing powerful and prestigious offices in government and business, most especially, are expected to exude the kind of confidence, even arrogance, that conveys a sense of superiority over others. If they didn't, voters (of all races) might feel they can't trust the person do a job that makes them the most powerful person in the entire world.

likwidshoe said...

Maybe it just means elitist?

Naw...too much sense for the elitist mindreader. It's not as if the guy who says that the people of Pennsylvanian "small towns" are "bitter" and "cling to guns or religion" is elitist. No, that's not elitist! Must be racism instead.

Haha! You're funny.

Continue on your race baiting while crying about racism. See how far that will get ya. I can tell you one thing: your assumptions about people's intentions in word usage won't win you many fans among those who aren't so ASSumptious.

Chew on that one.

georgia said...

What UTTER and COMPLETE HUBRIS!

Likwidshoe - {anonymous,butthole, whatever you opt to name yourself- 'divisive creep' fits best) I've gotta admit - you have chutzpah!

Telling a WOMAN OF COLOR she's "race baiting" by speaking HER feelings about missives already in evidence - absolutely affirms - YOU ARE RACE BAITING with your blather.

Seems to be the way of those jockstrap supporters of McBush opps McSame opps McLame - and his "soul' running mate- the one true PitbullinLipstick, Palin. (Sorry for giving you a bad name, PitBulls.)

Let's talk about Republican "FAMILY VALUES".... hmmmmmmmmmm? And let's talk about the PitbullinLipstick Palin:
Whoa.... look at the fabulous job she's doing with HER kids...and IF ELECTED - she wants the same for all of our kids!
Let's all take a real close look at her family AS AN EXAMPLE OF HER DEVOTION TO "FAMILY VALUES":
Palin eldest son Trak - off to the military/war (sincerely - bless his heart, and thanks Trak!)(Aside: guess he felt continuing education a waste of time?),
Palin eldest daughter Bristol -the (undeucated) pregnant 17 year old junior in high school [when her mom touts and swears by: Abstinense Only sex education, I'd venture to say she's quite ignorant - wouldn't you???] - Mom (the Pitbullin Lipstick) says she's "Thrilled to death her daughter is pregnant and marrying the baby's father."
(This is what REPUBLICANS think we dream about for our 17 year old sons/daughters???)
and then Willow -the 14 year old that missed how many MONTHS of school this year {from January-May ) jeeze much stuff going around those north woods!
Piper - the youngest daughter seems the perfect child,
and then we have baby POOR TRIG - his dedicated mommy (or grandmommy?) cut the Alaskan special education needs budget by 66% (so what if all other Alaska special needs kids don't have a mommy(grandmommy?) FLUSH with oil deal monies to burn)

I don't see any family values there I'd care to practice with my family. But------- It sure looks good on the PitbullinLipstick's EXPERIENCE list right???.

Chew on that one?
Kiss my liberal butt, you ASSuming Elitist!

likwidshoe said...

Well, "georgia", you're good at name calling, reinventing reality and continuing on in the fine tradition of assuming.

Not much else though.

So sorry that your feelings were hurt by calling the race baiting for what it is. I'll be sure to tiptoe around your delicate sensibilities from now on while you can continue to cry wolf as you are protecting the "WOMAN OF COLOR" (as if her skin color mattered any which way). Speaking of which, why does it matter so much to you?

Hah.

Don't choke too bad on your hypocrisy. You have to save your breath for the next spittle flecked attack.

Gig Thurmond said...

Hey, Renee.
This morning I was writing a piece on racism and the current crop of Republican presidential candidates, and the caption I wrote one of the Tea Party illustrations made reference to the unfortunate phrase "uppity nigger." And I thought maybe some of my younger readers wouldn't be familiar with that phrase, so I looked around for a concise definition. After about a half-hour search I stumbled upon your wonderful blog, and this was exactly what I was looking for. So I linked to this post.

The piece is entitled "Not Saying Nigger: A Guide for the Candidates," and you can find it at http://www.hokumburg.com/

Glad I found you. You're going on my favorites list immediately.