Conservative leader Rush Limbaugh is at it again accusing President Obama of being “uppity” in the way he carries himself. As I’ve written before, the term uppity is a code word that several far-right (and prominent) conservatives have been using to attack this president. It’s a way of describing a black man who has overstepped his bounds and gotten out of line with a white man or white men who are perceived to know more than him, be in a higher social position or be flat-out better. It’s a term from a long-past era that many far-right conservatives, like Limbaugh, would love to see make a comeback.
Face it: “Uppity” is a term that has race written all over it and that is why Rush Limbaugh continues to come back to that term. Among Limbaugh’s goals are to agitate, degrade, inflame racial tension and create conflict.
This is from Media Matters for America:
LIMBAUGH: From InsideHigherEducation.com, you will not believe — well yeah, you will believe it. Everything that used to be unbelievable is not only believable it is happening. “Barack Obama has been called a lot of things since he hit the national stage: Celebrity, elitist and even one who ‘pals around with terrorists.’ But as his poll numbers come back down to earth, and an emboldened conservative movement sharpens its attacks, the label that seems to be sticking to Obama as much as any lately is that of ‘professor.’ Speaking to Tea Party activists in Nashville last week, Sarah Palin did her part to keep the ‘professor’ dig in circulation. The 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee told a frenzied crowd, ‘They know we’re at war, and to win that war we need a commander in chief, not a professor of law standing at the lectern.’ The use of ‘professor’ as a term of derision may have hit its stride in the 1950s, but it dates back to scolding characterizations of Socrates, according to Geoffrey Nunberg, a linguistics professor at the University of California at Berkeley.”
OK, fine. Frankly, I didn’t know that “professor” had become the number one dig. But if it is, fine and dandy. Now get this: “Charles Ogletree, Harvard law professor, founding and executive director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for race and Justice says that he sees the ‘professor’ label as a thinly veiled attack on Obama’s race.”
Yes, my friends, you heard me read that. I heard myself read it. So now when we call Obama a professor, we are racist. “Calling Obama the professor walks dangerously close to labeling him uppity, a term with racial overtones that has surfaced in the political arena before, Ogletree said. Describing his divisive confirmation hearings as a circus, Justice Thomas called the proceedings a high tech lynching for uppity blacks who in any way deigned to think for themselves, to do for themselves, to have different ideas. It’s perhaps ironic, then, that the Ogletree, who represented Anita Hill, now sees a bit of the ‘uppity’ label being placed on Obama.”
This is two different kinds of uppity that are being discussed about here. So now is professor the P-word? We’ve got the N-word, we have the R-word, and now we have the P-word? We can’t — we gotta — we gotta speak in code? And only people who don’t know what P-word is will understand what we’re saying.
“The idea that he’s not one of us, Ogletree says of the professor label. He has these ideas on that are left-wing that are socialist, that he’s palling around with terrorists. Those are buzzwords, but the reality was that they were looking at this president as an African-American who is out of place.” You know, Professor Ogletree, I hate to burst the balloon, but the single most important reason Obama was elected was his race.
A bunch of white people who thought electing a black president would assuage all of their guilt and erase our racial past voted for Obama. They couldn’t of cared less what he thought, what he said. He didn’t think of his as uppity, they were being selfish. They didn’t like feeling guilty over our racists past, slavery, and so they thought pulling the lever for Obama would absolve them. It wasn’t for his policies, as we are now quickly learning.
What Clarence Thomas meant by uppity, meaning he wasn’t a liberal black. When Clarence Thomas said uppity black thinks for himself means he’s off the reservation, so to speak. He’s not following the civil rights speech codes set forth by the Reverend Jackson and Al Sharpton and whoever else is in charge of them. But nobody — Obama is uppity, but not as a black. He is an elitist. He does think he’s smarter and better than everybody else. That’s what he was taught. He’s a Harvard man.
The fact that he needed to qualify his use of the word uppity by saying “not as a black” shows he had a full understanding of the racially-inflammatory nature of his words. He is playing into the undercurrent of racism he hopes is continuing to flow in this country to use it as a method of attacking President Obama.
Limbaugh then loses credibility stripes for quoting Clarence Thomas in regard to civil rights.
He also essentially calls white people (I am assuming liberal white people) stupid for voting for voting for a black man to be president of the United States of America.
While most people see a man who rose from humble roots to do great things, it’s clear Rush Limbaugh has an issue with what he sees as an uppity Negro in the White House.
It’s also clear that when most black people accomplish something in life he sees it as being the product of affirmative action (or white guilt) while when white people accomplish something it’s because they worked hard.