On Wednesday night, Chris Matthews accused Sarah Palin of blatant racism when she said on Facebook that “President Obama’s shuck and jive shtick with these Benghazi lies must end.”
The blatantness of this thing, I think, went through the roof the other day when Sarah Palin, about whom people have mixed views put out a Facebook post entitled “Obama’s shuck and jive ends with Benghazi lies” regarding to the Obama administration’s handling of the attack on the Libyan embassy. You know, a dog whistle is a dog whistle, Clarence. A trumpet call is another. Shuck and jive has a particular ethnic connection, not necessarily bad in all cases, it’s sort of slang. It doesn’t mean evil but to throw it at the President as an ethnic shot is pretty blatant.
Clarence Page told Matthews that he researched the term and discovered that it had to do with the slaves jiving with each other while they were shucking corn, and that he wasn’t as disturbed by the use of the term as he was about the jumping to conclusions about what happened in Benghazi. This, despite ample evidence that the Obama administration has indeed been doing a dance when it comes to explaining what really happened in Libya.
Matthews’ other guest, Jonathan Alter, took things a step further by comparing Palin’s use of “shuck and jive” to other racial stereotypes.
Alter: Chris, I actually think my old friend Clarence is being a little bit polite. I think this is rank racism. You know, sometimes people on the right get very upset when people on the left charge racism, but, you know, shuck and jive, that’s like talking about watermelon or, you know, for Jews, talking about Jews are greedy or the Irish are drunk, whatever. These are racist tropes and we need to call them what they are, and I actually think at least implicitly Trump was playing on racism today with his ridiculous stunt demanding Obama’s college transcripts.
If Matthews is so outraged by this term, then why did he use it while talking to Rachel Maddow about her visit to Afghanistan in 2010 when he said, “What has it been like, as you shuck and jive, hang out with the men over there, the women over there, in uniform risking their lives every day?”
Or what about when in 2008, then New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said of Barack Obama: “You can’t shuck and jive at a press conference.”
And then there is White House Press Secretary Jay Carney who last September told the press corps: “Sorry. I’m going to shuck and jive! Time to shuck and jive.”
None of these were racist attacks because they came from liberals—and as we have all learned from the media, liberals aren’t racist.
Palin responded to Matthews on Facebook Wednesday evening.