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National Briefing / WASHINGTON, D.C.

Obamas 'uppity'? Yes, official says

September 06, 2008|From Times Wire Reports

Democrats are calling on a Republican congressman from Georgia to apologize for referring to Barack and Michelle Obama as "uppity," but the lawmaker stood by his comments and said he meant no offense.

Speaking to reporters Thursday, Rep. Lynn Westmoreland of Grantville, Ga., described the Obamas as members of an "elitist-class . . . that thinks that they're uppity," according to The Hill, a Capitol Hill newspaper.

Asked to clarify whether he intended to use the word, he said, "Yeah, uppity."

In a statement a day later, Westmoreland -- a white man born in 1950 and raised in the segregated South -- said he didn't know that "uppity" was commonly used as a derogatory term for blacks seeking equal treatment.

Instead, he referred to the dictionary definition as describing someone who is haughty, snobbish or has inflated self-esteem.

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