A lot of people have no idea that the word "uppity," when applied to black people, has racist connotations, but it's getting harder and harder to understand how public figures, in particular, are able to maintain their ignorance of the term's history. President Obama has been a well-known public figure for several years and his conservative critics, in particular, keep making the "uppity" mistake. This week it's Rush Limbaugh, who said Michelle Obama was booed at a weekend Nascar race because she showed "uppity-ism," as well as the conservative site Newsbusters, which is just shocked that anyone might call that comment racially problematic. Glenn Beck, too, is defending Limbaugh's analysis, saying it's just a synonym for snobby. It's hard to explain how they've managed to avoid finding out about "uppity" secret past.
Limbaugh said Monday "Nascar people... are mature, tolerant people who fully understand when they’re being insulted and condescended to," Limbaugh said, then listed Obama's transgressions such as taking expensive vacations and saying exercise is good. He continued, "They understand it is a little bit of uppity-ism." Glenn Beck defended the comment, saying on Imus' radio show, "Uppity? You don't think she's a little snotty? Really? Really? Miss Arugula? Come on!" (Arugula is a type of lettuce that is offensive to some conservatives.) "I'm not going to apologize for saying the woman who says 'I'd like a good steak and arugula once in a while'... Please. We're living in a country where you can't say that's a little uppity?"