Friday, September 05, 2008

Sexism Bad. Racism Good. Or at least acceptable.

I'm so mad right now I could just spit.

I just read that Georgia GOP congressman called the Obamas `uppity'. Now, quick quiz here: what word follows "uppity?" That's right...it's a six-letter word that starts with "n," ends with "r," and has ignorance in the middle. It is not acceptable on this blog or around me.

Yet Democrats have been so sexist because some have been wondering about Palin's family situation with an infant with Down Syndrome and a 17-year-old unmarried, pregnant daughter. I have been denouncing these under the "good for the goose, good for the gander" doctrine of "if you wouldn't say it about a man, it's sexist to say it about a woman." (My thinking on that is evolving as well.) I've heard no "don't worry your pretty little head" talk, which I've had directed at me in the past. So the sexism isn't the worst I've heard or even experienced.

But to say something so blatantly racist and THEN deny that was the intent, that's just beyond the pale. I've had plenty of lies this week watching the RNC so I should be inured, but this one takes the cake. For someone in rural Georgia to NOT know what follows "uppity" is like claiming to have never eaten a biscuit. it just doesn't happen. I lived in rural Georgia and am very well aware of the racism that can still exist there. (Doesn't everywhere, but it's there enough to be a problem.)

So, Senator Obama, go after them. Take off the gloves and make everyone see what kinds of folks these are. It's bad enough to make this "slip of the tongue." It's even worse to deny it.

Watch this space for updates as my thinking evolves and I cool down.

10 comments:

Lara, the Neurotic Att'y said...

Maybe he'll choke on an "uppity" biscuit at breakfast in the morning. In the meantime, I would think that if you were speaking on behalf of your party and you were from a traditionally and historically racist part of the country, you would choose your words much more carefully if that isn't what you intended to imply, wouldn't you?

MountainLaurel said...

you would think. But perhaps it's that they don't think; they just parrot. Not an excuse but an explanation. There is no excuse.

Anonymous said...

Well Laurel, I grew up in East Tenn. lots of years ago. And your implication that the word "uppity" has some racist connotation is beyond my experience.

I think you are imposing your own personal experience on everybody else... kinda typical of Democratic mindset.

MountainLaurel said...

Welcome, Anonymous. I had thought of that as there are regional differences in speech. I'm basing my judgment on my experiences in Georgia, where I found racism to be rampant and the word "uppity" to be only used for blacks who were trying to move beyond "their place."

Lara, the Neurotic Att'y said...

Well, I'm from WV, and I have a frame of reference for the term. It isn't something that I necessarily hear "around these parts," but it's certainly a prevalent enough expression -- "uppity n-----s" -- that it's been used with some frequency in movies, TV, and books. I don't think this is something that Laurel has just dreamed up or imposed on any group, and I also don't think she meant to imply that ONLY Republicans would use this term. And God knows Democrats are not above reproach. Even Joe Biden has stuck his foot in his mouth more than I would like.

Muze Euterpe said...

Give 'em hell Laurel!

'Course, I hear 'uppity' used just before 'b*tch' all the time. But, it is still used for the same, derogatory purpose.

It continues to amaze me that the 'pious' of all kinds will use phrases like that to demean others and then cough a tape-worm if the same is done to their people.

What is it going to take to get these people to stop with the stupidity and deal with the issues we are facing?

MountainLaurel said...

Thanks, Lara and Muze. Lara, you're right, I know that Republicans aren't the only ones who use this term. I've heard it from some "good" Democrats. But when major public officials use this terminology, well, they should just know better.

Muze, come to think of it, I've heard it applied to women as well. Never me or my friends, which is probably why I'd forgotten it. Either way, it's quite insulting, as you mention.

It's just that every time I hear the term "uppity" in reference to a black, in my mind's eye I see that "Strange Fruit" that used to be so prevalent in the Southern trees.

I would give anything to hear about issues. Real issues, not who's more patriotic or who hates the poor. None of those phrases actually mean anything.

Evil Twin's Wife said...

He needs to apologize. It was a poor choice of words. And, being from Georgia myself, I do get the implication angle there. It might not have been his intent, but selecting the word "elitist" might have served him better.

MountainLaurel said...

ETW, I'll agree completely. Though I don't care for the word "elitist," (to me it smacks of anti-intellectualism) if that's what they meant, that's what they should have said. Then they could have avoided a word with such baggage as the one they chose.

Kit (Keep It Trill) said...

Hey Laurel, haven't been by in a bit (sorry). If the worse anyone called him was uppity, I'd be ecstatic.