Lynn Westmoreland’s Slip of the Lip

The way Lynn Westmoreland tells it, ‘uppity’ simply refers to those who think they’re better than someone else. To me the term has always referred to someone, anyone, who didn’t know their place – and, depending upon the context and the object of the insult – could absolutely be deemed racial if applied to a person of color, usually black.  That place was most certainly always some place “less than” that of the speaker.

Pam over at ‘Pam’s House Blend’ has her view up of Westmoreland’s blunder. She flat out calls him a liar. So do I. Like Don Frederick of the ‘LA Times’ writes:

Which means the Republican grew up at a time when the racial divide in the South was stark, a time when Jim Crow laws helped enforce a segregationist credo that limited opportunities for blacks, a time when — as an Atlanta Journal-Constitution article puts it today — “uppity” was “a word applied to African-Americans who tried to rise above servile positions.”

As reported, Westmoreland is branded “one of the most conservative members of Congress.” He opposed renewal of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and in 2007 opposed more money going to the Justice Dept for solving civil rights killings – “one of two House members.”

Growing up here in Idaho there wasn’t much chance of running into many blacks.  The first person I remember was when I was around age 9 or so.  St. Paul’s AME church’s pastor had a daughter who began attending the same grade school in Boise as we. Moving to an outlying farming community, it actually became more diverse with those of Hispanic, Indian, Asian (usually Japanese) heritage being a regular part of my life especially at school.  Following high school graduation and leaving Idaho for various parts of the country, I began meeting more blacks.  At one point ending up in Anniston, Alabama for several months with some traveling around Alabama and Georgia.  I was stunned at the brutality and intensity of thought, words, and oh, yes – actions towards blacks.

Call it a ‘slip of the lip’, a misstating of the truth or a just the flat out lie it is, Westmoreland needs to go.  He’s a Neanderthal stuck in some damned time warp. We’re not going back to the days of Jim Crow.  Those days aren’t coming back.  This is part of what has stunted this country’s growth, this insane hanging onto values that have no part in the American landscape any longer.  Absolutely none.  We’re moving on now, Lynn.  It’s time for you to do the same.  Move on or get out of the way.


4 Responses

  1. Westmoreland was born in 1950, as a son of the south he knew exactly what he was saying. it is a typical Republican response. You say it and then feign innocence, and apologize if anyone was offended. he go heat from the voters and that is why he is attempting to back pedal.

  2. Westmoreland is actually a bit older than me. However as most anyone can attest who grew up in the ’50s and ’60s, they know for a damned fact what things mean or don’t mean. It’s akin to the hanging of nooses around anything when directed towards a person of color, specifically blacks.

    These people, like Westmoreland, make me sick. Hiding behind a ruse of ignorance, they can’t even be brave enough to admit what we already know. Liars & cowards.

  3. I heard on CNN this evening a man interviewed in Atlanta, Georgia, say he felt “uppity” was a derogatory remark, but not a racist remark. Uhhh, OK… But I’d like to ask him — and all the other people who feel they can somehow justify this racist remark — have you ever heard of anyone, white or black, refer to a white person as being “uppity” or as an “uppity white person”? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

    Mr. Westmoreland should do the entire country a favor and resign. It’s 2008, not 1958. It really is time to take your bedsheets off and stop burning your crosses.

  4. […] of the speaker. Pam over at ‘Pam’s House Blend’ has her view up of Westmoreland’s blunder.…]

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