Those who follow my writings know I rarely write about trivial Sarah Palinâs latest foray down the road of insulting commentary happened Wednesday in a Facebook post titled âObamaâs Shuck and Jive Ends With Benghazi Lies.â (J. Scott Applewhite - AP) matters or people such as Palin; but due to all the calls and e-mails regarding her latest statement, I feel compelled to say something.
Palinâs latest foray down the road of irrelevancy happened on Wednesday on her Facebook page. Her post, titled âObamaâs Shuck and Jive Ends With Benghazi Lies,â says, âWhy the cover up? Why the dissembling about the cause of the murder of our ambassador on the anniversary of the worst terrorist attacks on American soil? We deserve answers to this. President Obama's shuck and jive shtick with these Benghazi lies must end.â
I will give Palin the benefit of the doubt that she doesnât know the history of the phrase âshuck and jive,â because to conclude differently would be to assume she knows something about history (and we know from her 2008 Katie Couric interview that that is very unlikely).
The expression âshuck and jiveâ is a term of survival from slavery and is often interpreted as the act that slaves would take to deceive their âmastersâor other whites in power. Slaves would be in the field shucking corn or picking cotton, and when the âmasterâ came around to check up on them, they had to make sure âmasterâ was satisfied with their production or they would be subject to beatings, rape, and other types of punishments. This is a horrific term to be used by someone in Palinâs position, whether the President is African American or not.
I now hope my white readers will have a little more understanding about why there is such uproar over this latest Palin incident. (Ed. note: Palin has defended her comments in subsequent news reports)
When Palin makes statements like this, itâs the personification of everything that is wrong with the Republican brand. Since there is absolutely no diversity within the party, there is no opportunity to see things through a different set of eyes. This leads many black people to conclude that the Republican Party doesnât care and has no interest in learning to appreciate people who come from different walks of life.
Indeed, these kinds of statements reaffirm how Palin is still under the influence of the âSouthern strategy.â This was the Republicansâ willful decision to trade in black votes for the increasingly disaffected white Southern Democratic voter of the 1960s. This is why blacks left the Republican Party, and until the party deals with this legacy, it will never regain the African American vote in large numbers.
Is Palin a racist? I doubt it, but she has a history of using hyperbolic language and has absolutely no relationship with the black community. Either way, her latest walk down buffoonery lane is an embarrassment to our party.
If someone like Colin Powell or former Congressman Jack Kemp made a statement that could have been misinterpreted, they would have immediately apologized and the black community would have forgiven them because they had a long, established relationship with the community. They had spent years building up goodwill.
A lot of my Republican friends will e-mail me examples of Democrats making similar statements, which will show me that they clearly are missing my point. I can call my brother a lazy drunkard, but you canât!
Republicansâ actions speak so loud that the black community canât hear anything they say. This is why people like Palin, Akin and Mourdock are making it almost impossible to appeal to the black community; and itâs even more tragic that Romney doesnât have the courage to denounce people like these.
So, the Party can continue to bow before the more extreme elements of our Party or they can begin to take principled stands based on what is right. Until such time, we will become as the sounding brass or a tingling cymbal: full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
President & CEO of Raynard Jackson & Associates, LLC., a D.C. public relations/government affairs firm, Jackson can been seen regularly on TV shows, both nationally and internationally, giving his analysis on subjects from politics, culture, foreign policy, and economics. Jackson has contributed to CNN, MSNBC, BET, FOX News, and C-SPAN.