Sunday, September 7, 2008

Rooting for Stephen Camp and more about "uppity"

It seems that U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, born and raised in Georgia, wants us to believe he was totally oblivious that "uppity" might have any racial connotations. And I guess it's possible.

Maybe Westmoreland thinks we're as stupid as he seems to be, as evidenced by his infamous appearance on "The Colbert Report." Then again, I don't think I've ever heard the word "uppity" used as anything other than a slur.

More importantly, how does a guy like this make it into public office? I'm curious to know a little more about Georgia's third Congressional district. Westmoreland would be easy to write off as some fringe racist if not for the fact that about 40 percent of the people in his district are black.

Thus, I've become a huge fan of Stephen Camp, whoever he is. And if the residents of the Third have any sense, they'll make sure Westmoreland doesn't make it back to D.C.

Also, this has been linked at a couple of other places today, so why not here? Below is a comment to a blog item in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution about the "uppity" flap:

"This morning I called Westmoreland’s office:
Them: Good morning, Congressman Westmoreland’s office.
Me: Good morning, I would like to make a public comment.
Them: Yes, sir, what is your comment?
Me: I would like to compliment Congressman Westmoreland on his comments yesterday about Barack Obama. We need more people like him to call a spade a spade. You crackers in Georgia must be very proud.
Them: [long pause] Sir, there’s no need to be insulting.
Me: I’m sorry, but how did I insult you?
Them: There is no need to call me a cracker.
Me: I’ve never heard that term used in a derogatory sense. It is important to note that the dictionary definition of "cracker" is "a thin, crisp biscuit." That’s what we meant by cracker when we used it in the city where I grew up.
Them: Well, that’s not how you meant it.
Me: Oh, so what you’re saying is that you don’t like being called names. Now you know how it feels.
Them: [another long pause] Sir, I have to take another call."


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