WASHINGTON (AP) -- A Republican congressman from Georgia who referred to Barack and Michelle Obama as "uppity" says he wasn't aware of the term's racial overtones and didn't mean to offend anyone.
Still, Democrats are demanding an apology.
A Capitol Hill newspaper, "The Hill," reports Congressman Lynn Westmoreland described the Obamas yesterday as part of an "elitist class" that thinks they're "uppity." When asked by a reporter if he intended to use the word "uppity," he repeated it.
In a statement today, Westmoreland says he didn't know that "uppity" was commonly used as a derogatory term for blacks seeking equal treatment. Instead he refers to the dictionary definition of the word as describing someone who is haughty, snobbish or has inflated self-esteem.
Westmoreland was born in 1950 and grew up in the segregated South. He has drawn past criticism from civil rights groups.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
To comment, the following rules must be followed:
Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content, but the station is under no legal obligation to do so.
If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator.
Flagging does not guarantee removal.
Multiple violations may result in account suspension.
Decisions to suspend or unsuspend accounts are made by Station Moderators.
Links require admin approval before posting.
Questions may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please provide detailed information.
Viewers with disabilities can get assistance accessing this station's FCC Public Inspection File by contacting the station with the information listed below. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, 888-835-5322 (TTY), or email@example.com.