Sarah Palin responded to the backlash triggered by the use of “shuck and jive” in her criticism of President Barack Obama’s handling of the attack in Benghazi, claiming the comment was not racially charged.
“For the record,” Palin wrote on her Facebook page, “there was nothing remotely racist in my use of the phrase ‘shuck and jive’—a phrase which many people have used, including Chris Matthews, Andrew Cuomo, and White House Press Secretary Jay Carney to name a few off the top of my head.”
The former Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate continued:
In fact, Andrew Cuomo also used the phrase in reference to Barack Obama, and the fact that Mr. Cuomo and I used the phrase in relation to President Obama signifies nothing out of the ordinary. I would have used the exact same expression if I had been writing about President Carter, whose foreign policy rivaled Obama’s in its ineptitude, or about the Nixon administration, which was also famously rocked by a cover-up.
I’ve been known to use the phrase most often when chastising my daughter Piper to stop procrastinating and do her homework. As she is part Yup’ik Eskimo, I’m not sure if this term would be deemed offensive when it’s directed at her or if it would be considered benign as in the case of Chris Matthews’ use of it in reference to Rachel Maddow. Just to be careful, from now on I’ll avoid using it with Piper, and I would appreciate it if the media refrained from using words and phrases like igloo, Eskimo Pie, and “when hell freezes over,” as they might be considered offensive by my extended Alaska Native family.
On Wednesday, Chris Matthews slammed Palin on “Hardball,” saying “shuck and jive” has “a particular ethnic connection.”
“To throw it at the president as an ethnic shot is pretty blatant,” Matthews said.
Palin dismissed the MSNBC host’s rant:
The outrageously outraged reaction to this expression from perennial hypocrites like Chris Matthews has only made me laugh. Mr. Matthews, let me share with you my favorite Irish toast: “May we always be happy, and may our enemies always know it.”