Sarah Palin Defends Allegedly Racist Obama Comment
Sarah Palin got herself into hot water this week for what some critics called a racial remark about President Barack Obama, but the former governor of Alaska is defending her comment.
Palin wrote a blog post earlier this week calling out Obama on his actions following the attack in Benghazi, Libya, which she titled, "Obama's Shuck and Jive Ends With Benghazi Lies." The post drew criticism from pundits who said the phrase "shuck and jive" has racial undertones and a history in slavery.
The former vice presidential candidate wrote a Facebook post on Wednesday night to comment on the controversy and tell followers that she sees no harm in her remark.
"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," Palin wrote.
Palin said the "outrageously outraged reaction" to her use of "shuck and jive" has come from "perennial hypocrites," and she said the expression has no racial undertones.
"I've been known to use ['shuck and jive'] 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," Palin wrote. "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."
Palin also recalled that the phrase has previously been used by other political figures such as New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Cuomo received fire from CNN commentator Roland Martin when the governor used the expression.
"'Shucking and jiving' have long been words used as a negative assessment of African Americans, along the lines of a 'foot shufflin' Negro.' In fact, I don't recall ever hearing the phrase used in reference to anyone white," Martin said.