Video of America's first African-American first lady being booed by a largely white crowd of NASCAR fans this weekend in Homestead was a slightly troubling sight, but Rush Limbaugh predictably hasn't helped the matter much. He went on his radio show today to defend the NASCAR fans and excuse the boos because Michelle Obama has a bit of "uppity-ism." Of course, uppity-ism isn't a real word. Uppity, however, is a real word, and it's rife with racist connotation.
"Many in the African-American community associate the word with white racists suggesting an African-American is being presumptuous by not knowing his or her proper, lesser, place," writes ABC's Jake Traper
In fact, the term had been so synonymous with racism that even the 1952 edition of the Oxford Dictionary listed a definition for "uppity [N-word]."
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Of course, we should report Limbaugh's statement in full:
"We don't like paying millions of dollars for Mrs. Obama's vacations. The NASCAR crowd doesn't quite understand why when the husband and the wife are going to the same place, the first lady has to take her own Boeing 757 with family and kids and hangers-on four hours earlier than her husband, who will be on his 747. NASCAR people understand that's a little bit of a waste. They understand it's a little bit of uppity-ism."
Yes, we certainly think "the NASCAR crowd" understands the implication of a word such as uppity.