Skip to comments.Uppity:The Liberal dog-whistle of the Obama age, and how to respond to it.
Posted on 09/08/2009 5:57:19 AM PDT by B.Lyle
An archaic, politically incorrect term is beginning to make a comeback in the media and Liberal blogs as a tool to silence critics and end debate on Obamas policies.
Uppity, once a word applied to people of colour who were refusing to be subservient, is now being used by people of colour and Liberals to describe themselves and those they support.
This has been happening for some time, but was made particularly obvious during the recent Van Jones scandal. Van Jones himself used the term during his now infamous address at UC Berkley. In a response to a question about why Democrats were failing to make any progress in fulfilling their agenda, Jones responded I can be an asshole, and some of us who arent Barack Hussein Obama are going to have to start getting a little bit uppity. Following Jones resignation, columnist Yael T. Abouhalkah titled an article Lesson for Van Jones: Dont get too uppity. A word search on most Liberal blogs will turn up multiple uses of the term in both articles and comments. So whats behind this sudden attack of Liberals blithely using a word that would instantly end the career of any conservative politician or media personality? Uppity has become the new dog-whistle of the post-racial Obama age.
Dog-whistle politics is the art of using code words. It was first discussed in Australian politics, when critics of John Howards repeated condemnation of illegal immigrants claimed he was communicating a hidden racist message to voters, which would be undetectable to those for whom the race of immigrants was not a concern. The aim of the dog whistle is to convey what cannot be said openly in a manner that either avoids attention, or leaves room for the speaker to plausibly deny any ill intention in their words.
In the Obama age it is no longer possible to simply describe opponents as racist, not only because this would destroy the myth of a post-racial President, but also because the accusation of racism is increasingly subject to the law of diminishing returns. If every critic of the President and his administration is labelled racist the term would soon lose any meaning it has left.
The re-emergence of uppity solves the problem of communicating to the listener that ones enemies are racist without having to say it directly. The usual understanding of uppity is that it is a derogatory word a racist opponent applies to a person of colour, so when a person of colour calls themselves uppity it implies that their opponents are racist, but still allows room for denial of any direct charge of racism.
This tactic is dishonest, and fails to achieve anything more than scoring cheap rhetorical points. The best way to respond to this new trend is to mirror it. Force those who use the term to admit to its racial connotations by using it in the context of white public figures. Those of you who occasionally post on Liberal blogs might want to begin using phrases like When Sgt James Crowley started to get uppity Barack Obama tried to put him in his place. Or If Glen Beck wasnt so uppity colorofchange.org wouldnt have had to promote a boycott of his program.
While it could be said that in public discourse two wrongs dont make a right, it could also be said that if an inflammatory and dishonest phrase can be rendered ridiculous and unusable, then there is a greater hope of a constructive resolution of differences.
© Brett Lyle 2009
Let’s just call them “assholes.”
Call them what they are: mentally ill
Van Jones is nothing but a pimp.The only difference was the product he was hustling.
It's hard to claim you are acting uppity when your political organization has complete control of the Executive and Legislative Branches and is doing everything it can to pack the Judicial system with statists and pro-abortion individuals. It's also disingenuous to claim you're merely acting uppity when your side occupies the moral low ground (i.g. you're advising a president who has advocated for infanticide and who is an unquestioning supporter of homicide by abortion.) Finally, acting uppity is somethign you do somewhat on the sly, because you lack power. In the case of the statists, they are concealing their hand not because they lack power, but rather because their plans are poorly thought out, unpopular and unethical.
Just reply by asking the spousal abuse question.
Feeling a little out of joint because their leftist friend didn’t get to keep his job. So they throw out an irrational argument that has nothing to do with Jones.
I just rather call them Marxist/Communist/Liberal baby killing blood suckers.
Weall Heck! If white Republican women can get uppity in the face of all the Media and Leftist misogyny and smears shoveled all over them.... So can they! /sarcasm
I will just say even the White House COunsel had a problem with Commie Van Jones.
Post-racial, my butt.
Racism will never die in this country as long as those who are so heavily invested in the “problem,” the kenyan included, keep it alive.
The silver lining here, IMNSHO, is that people are beginning to see through this fraud.
Dog-whistle politics is the art of using code words.Because Obama cult members can’t or won’t tell the truth.
I agree with the last two paragraphs completely.
The writer offers a good pre-emptive solution to the problem.