Sarah Palin has used racially charged language to accuse “300-400″ people in the Obama administration of ignoring the first signs that the deadly assault on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi was a pre-planned terror attack.
“President Obama’s shuck and jive shtick with these Benghazi lies must end,” Palin writes in a Facebook post. The “shuck and jive” line also appears in the note’s title and a tweet that links to her statement.
CLICK HERE for details about the White House’s response to the Benghazi emails
“Shuck and jive” is a racially loaded expression that has mostly disappeared from public discourse over the past half-century.
“She never ceases to amaze,” ABC News political analyst Nicolle Wallace, a former aide to Palin during the 2008 election, said today. “It’s entirely possible that she was ignorant about the racial implications of her comments, but at this point, I’m not sure what’s more incredible — her ignorance or her eagerness to offend.”
The phrase “originally referred to the intentionally misleading words and actions that African-Americans would employ in order to deceive racist Euro-Americans in power, both during the period of slavery and afterwards,” according to Urban Dictionary, a catalog of off-color and often racially and sexually insulting slang and terminology.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, used the term while campaigning for Hillary Clinton in 2008, saying Obama “can’t shuck and jive at a press conference… those moves you can make with the press don’t work when you’re in someone’s living room.”
When questioned about his choice of words, Cuomo told Politico he meant it “as a synonym for ‘bob and weave,’” a tactic used by evasive boxers.
Palin aide Rebecca Mansour denied to ABC News that the words had any racial undertone, calling them only a “common phrase that means to manipulatively dodge an issue.” She also pointed White House Press Secretary Jay Carney’s use of the expression in 2011, when he used it in reference to his own behavior in the briefing room.
UPDATE: Palin responded to the criticism Wednesday night with another post to her Facebook page, writing at 10:17 P.M. EDT: “For the record, there was nothing remotely racist in my use of the phrase… I’ve been known to use the phrase most often when chastising my daughter Piper to stop procrastinating and do her homework.”