Palin Criticized for Describing Obama as "Shucking and Jiving"

The former Republican VP candidate is being criticized for her use of racially provocative language against the president.

Posted: 10/24/2012 06:03 PM EDT

Sarah Palin, the former governor of Alaska and one-time vice presidential candidate, is ruffling feathers again. This time for her method of criticizing President Obama’s handling of recent turmoil in Libya.

The Republican politician said via Twitter and Facebook that “Obama’s shuck and jive shtick with these Benghazi lies must end.”

Palin’s decision to use racially provocative language has led to a good deal of criticism from a wide array of people.

“This is racial code language that harkens back to 1930s radio, from the era of Amos and Andy,” said Hasan Kwame Jeffries, a professor of African-American History at Ohio State University.

“It brings out the worst of Jim Crowism and the portrayal of Black buffoonery,” Jeffries said. “She is asking people to dismiss Obama’s foreign policy with regard to Libya because it comes from a Black man. This is powerfully coded. Is there no end to this kind of thinking?”

The term, which is widely believed to have originated during the days of slavery, depicted slaves who used clever lies and impromptu storytelling to avoid punishment or rebuke from a slave owner.

Rebecca Mansour, aide to Palin, told ABC News that the words were not intended to harbor any racial undertone. She called Palin’s choice of words, a “common phrase that means to manipulatively dodge an issue.” She also pointed out White House Press Secretary Jay Carney’s use of the expression in 2011, when he used it to describe his own behavior in the briefing room.


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(Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

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