Georgia GOP congressman calls Obamas `uppity' By BEN EVANS, Associated Press Writer Friday, September 5, 2008 (09-05) 10:51 PDT WASHINGTON, (AP) -- Democrats are calling on a Republican congressman from Georgia to apologize for referring to Barack and Michelle Obama as "uppity," but the lawmaker stood by his comments and said he meant no offense. Speaking to reporters Thursday, Rep. Lynn Westmoreland of Grantville, Ga., described the Obamas as members of an "elitist-class ... that thinks that they're uppity," according to The Hill, a Capitol Hill newspaper. Asked to clarify whether he intended to use the word, he said, "Yeah, uppity." In a statement Friday, Westmoreland a white man who was born in 1950 and raised in the segregated South said he didn't know that "uppity" was commonly used as a derogatory term for blacks seeking equal treatment. Instead, he referred to the dictionary definition of the word as describing someone who is haughty, snobbish or has inflated self-esteem. "He stands by that characterization and thinks it accurately describes the Democratic nominee," said Brian Robinson, Westmoreland's spokesman. "He was unaware that the word had racial overtones and he had absolutely no intention of using a word that can be considered offensive." The Obama campaign had no immediate response. But the head of the Georgia Democratic Party called on Westmoreland to apologize, saying his comments were "more of the same, tired old politics that are dividing this country." "The fact is, political attacks like this don't lower gas prices one cent, they don't give one more American access to affordable health care, and they don't get one more Georgian a job that pays the mortgage," Jane Kidd said. "Lynn Westmoreland should be ashamed of himself." Westmoreland is one of the most conservative members of Congress. He has drawn criticism from civil rights advocates on a number of issues, including last year when he led opposition to renewing the 1965 Voting Rights Act. He also was one of two House members last year who opposed giving the Justice Department more money to crack unsolved civil rights killings. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland is the type of narrow-minded bigot that gives all southerners a bad name. He knows damn well "uppity" is an insult. :12: He didn't apologize because he meant what he said and he said what he meant. FWIW - I don't want people that think like him in the White House. That's just one of many reasons why I don't vote Republican.