Thursday, October 25, 2012

Shuckin' 'n jivin'

Sometime back in the 50's, in Memphis, TN, was the first time I heard the phrase. It was used by a Black male describing a scam run on Black families by another Black male. It had no racist meaning to me. I had no idea where he got it but, in the context used, I understood it completely. No interpretation needed.

As years passed I continued to hear it and even used it. Still, not even a hint of racism arises. And it was always understood.

Enter today's whiney, touch-feely, can't we all just get along journalists and their Dictionary Code Book of Racist Words and Expressions, Abridged Version.

The most recent victim target vile Anglo-Saxon perpetrator of crimes against the Ethics Standards of Usage of the English Language According to the Liberal School of Journalism is Sarah Palin. She used the aforementioned phrase. And the slings and arrows were brought forth and placed in use. Like Texas (or, as she calls it, "The second largest state."), you just "Don't Mess with Sarah Palin." She fired back.

"For the record," Palin wrote on her Facebook page, "there was nothing remotely racist
in my use of the phrase 'shuck and jive'—a phrase which many people have used, including
Chris Matthews, Andrew Cuomo, and White House Press Secretary Jay Carney to name
a few off the top of my head."

I'm not a huge Palin fan, but I do admire folks with Grit. And the lady got grit.

I've been known to use the phrase 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. 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.

There's more at the link and a few more links.

BTW, she also used a Yiddish term, "shtick." Since there's been no furor raised, I'm assuming there is no "Standard" for words, terms or phrases which might be considered Anti-Semitic.


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