Sarah Palin used the derogatory term “rice rockets” during an appearance on Fox News on Wednesday
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Sarah Palin revived a derogatory stereotype in an attempt to make her point about rising US gas prices during a Fox News appearance on Wednesday.
Gas prices have climbed to record highs across the states as the country cut off Russian oil imports this week following Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
During a segment on Jesse Watters’ show, the former Alaska governor complained about how much it cost to fill up her truck, and described vehicles which use comparatively little gas as “rice rockets”.
“It costs almost $140 to fuel up my truck,” Ms Palin said, during the show. “And I know that the Jen Psaki’s – or however you say her name – of the world they’re going to say, ‘Just don’t drive a big truck then, Sarah’.
“Because they don’t understand that petroleum products are everywhere; every piece of plastic we touch, everything that is transported from here to there.
“Everything is petroleum-based and all they think about are, well, ‘drive your little tiny rice rocket or something and don’t spend so much on gas.’ They have no clue, Jesse, what’s going on and it’s a very scary place for us to be as Americans.”
Watters responded to the remarks with laughter. The Independent has contacted Fox News for comment, along with Gov Palin.
“Rice rocket” is a racially pejorative stereotype which refers to Japanese cars or vehicles made in Asia more widely. It can also be used to put down vehicles which have been given cosmetic makeovers to give the impression of speed and high performance.
Twitter was quick to respond to Ms Palin’s remarks. “Reviving the era of anti-Japanese hate?,” read one tweet. “So we’re making fun of people who drive fuel efficient cars now? My Corolla still costs less than $30 to fill up,” noted another user.
On Tuesday, President Joe Biden announced that the US is banning all imports of Russian oil and gas following Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, saying that the US “is targeting the main artery of Russia’s economy”.
An executive order bans the import of Russian oil, liquefied natural gas, and coal into the country. Mr Biden said the decision was made in close consultation with the US’s allies and other global partners, and had strong bipartisan support in Congress and, he believed, throughout the country.
A growing number of governors and state lawmakers are calling for the suspension of gas taxes to provide relief to drivers over the high gas prices which averaged $4.25 a gallon on Wednesday.