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Anonymous asked in Politics & GovernmentPolitics · 1 decade ago

since when has the word uppity become racist?

i am from the south east and have never heard anybody ever make that claim. i for one will never quit using the word uppity when the shoe fits.

a senator called Obama something like an uppity elitist and now ppl are demanding an apology from the senator who called him an uppity elitist.

35 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    It's not racist in the LEAST, and anyone who tells you otherwise is over-sensitive/looking to pick a fight

  • 1 decade ago

    I grew up in the upper South, and "uppity" was always a word used in reference to blacks and to a lesser degree women. In fact, the word has been used in literature about both. It simply means "not knowing your place." or as Calpurnia said in To Kill a Mockingbird, "putting on airs."

    During the Civil Rights Movement of the 60's, I heard this word often. An "uppity *****" was a black man or woman who by a certain attitude expected to be treated in an equal way to whites. At that time, that might mean voting, eating in a restaurant, trying on clothes in a department stores, (No, blacks were not allowed to do that.), and going to a good school.

    Today, the word is used as a code. David Gergen, a former employee of both Republican and Democratic administrations said that John McCain's recent attack ads, charged that the Senator was using coded messaging to paint Barack Obama as "outside the mainstream" and "uppity."

    Although "uppity women" is not part of your question, it is relevant since the connotation of the word means the same for both blacks and women which is "does not know his/her place." (There is a series of history books about uppity women.)

    I hope you are young because that gives me lots of hope. Since you grew up in the Southeast and are unfamiliar with the term, that is fantastic progress. I visit my family in the South about 4 times a year, and I have not heard the word in many years.

    However, Rep. Westmoreland is old enough to know eactly what he said and what it meant.

    At this point, I should just shut up; however, I think it is interesting to question why Rep.Westmoreland would think Obama is uppity. His education: Harvard and Columbia. his audacity in running for office. his verbal skills? Why is anyone uppity? Is it because some of us do not know our place? What is our place? Is there a some division of class that some of us don't know about?

  • 6 years ago

    Uppity has historic racist connotation in the US. I believe it is an Americanized form of Uppish, which was used long before and meant the same thing, without racial connotation. Context, once again, is king. (so if you don t use it racially, only those with an agenda should take it as racist.)

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I have to say, the word "uppity" was often followed by the word "*****" or similar, in the South, back in the bad old days, so the word "uppity", when directed at a Black person often is, or is perceived as, a racist comment.

    it is what it is

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  • 1 decade ago

    I guess it depends on how its used and by who.

    I must admit in the past when I have heard the term uppity used it was often used by whites describing blacks that thought they were higher on the social ladder than they "should be".

    I am sorry. I am not saying this for political reasons, but for the sake of the truth.

    I sure wish the truth would make a come back. Nowadays especially on yahoo answers it seems people don't believe in the truth. To them the truth is just whatever they can spin and say that wins them an argument.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    uppity negroes are ones that rise above their station in life and then take on a very superior attitude. it has been a problem in the black community since reconstruction. these people think they are the leaders of their people while in fact they are despised by their own as well as by the establishment

  • 1 decade ago

    It is in Ebonics. Just as offensive as ********* for a budget cut to the bone, or a "black hole of paperwork" for a proposal that would generate a whirlwind of paper from which no light can escape.

    Only Ebonics educated people find "uppity" offensive.

  • 1 decade ago


    1. affecting an attitude of inflated self-esteem; haughty; snobbish.

    2. rebelliously self-assertive; not inclined to be tractable or deferential.


    1. practice of or belief in rule by an elite.

    2. consciousness of or pride in belonging to a select or favored group.

    I don't see that it is racist but looking at the definitions I can see why he would be offended.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Look up the derivation of the Dylan song "John Wesley Harding." Here, I'll even help you out:

  • 1 decade ago

    i would say "Blazing Saddles" clenched 'uppity n-----' as a slur. but since it pretty much skewered everyone else, as Mel Brooks did so well, i'd recommend chilling. lets not act ********* toward our vocabularies. note to auto editor, N I G G A R D L Y is not racial. yikes, pc strikes a killing blow to miriam webster's unprotected skull...

  • ?
    Lv 4
    5 years ago

    no one ethnic or minority team would be contained in maximum folk. what's going to take place is via 2050, whites will now not be greater beneficial than 50% of the country. and that i'm not sure if which would be racist or not. i assume it would count number on precisely what their attitude became. If it in touch "my race is larger than yours," then confident.

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