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?