April 12, 2016

Mayor De Blasio tries to explain that "CP time" joke he did with Hillary.

You don't want to have to be in the position of explaining a joke, but it's the day after the somewhat edgy joke brought criticism — because who wouldn't seize an opportunity to criticize a politician you don't like and because those who don't like Hillary know so very, very well that if a Republican had attempted a joke with a racial edge that Republican would be called out forcefully. But what's De Blasio going to do? He's got to attempt to explain it.

So the little sketch — at a gathering of New York journalists and politicos that was actually called the "Inner Circle dinner" — had De Blasio rapping: "I came out blazing with heavy artillery, for the queen of Democrats, my home girl, Hillary."

Then Hillary came on saying: "I heard my name. I just have to say, thanks for the endorsement, Bill. It took you long enough."

De Blasio said: "Sorry Hillary, I was running on CP time." There was a black actor on stage — Leslie Odom Jr. (who plays Aaron Burr in the Broadway musical "Hamilton") — and he made as if he were offended, saying: "That's not — I don't like jokes like that, Bill."

Then Hillary got the punchline — correcting the impression that CP meant "colored people" — saying "Cautious politician time. I've been there."

De Blasio's explanation was: "It was clearly a staged show. It was a scripted show and the whole idea was to do the counter-intuitive and say, 'cautious politician time.'"

Well, if it's scripted, that means it was thought out and intentional, no mere slip. But that doesn't get them off the hook for participating. I'd love to see a politician try to evade responsibility for a terrible line in a speech by saying Hey, I didn't write that speech.

De Blasio's main point is that the guy that he was when he was reading the line really was saying "I was running on cautious politician time." That guy is innocent of saying "colored people time." But those who wrote the joke and the politicians and actor who chose to play that script knew that it was funny because the listeners would hear "CP time" and assume it meant "colored people time," so they were deliberately playing with the racial stereotype. And they had a black man right there at their service to: 1. nudge the audience to get the reference and understand the joke, 2. play the role of the offended black person who admonishes the seemingly callous white people, and 3. play the role of the black person who did not understand and must absorb correction from the actually-not-callous-at-all white people.

Except that they were callous to choose to play the role of the people who were actually not callous, because the comedy of it depended on thinking about black people as "colored people" and as having a group trait of untimeliness.

84 comments:

Brando said...

I think if I heard "CP time" I'd not know what the hell they were talking about, so the joke would fall flat for me. If he'd come straight out and said "colored people time" I'd laugh but only because Mister Leftist and Mister Hey Look My Son's Black said it.

pm317 said...

Interesting.. Indians have Indian Standard Time (IST) to mean the same thing.

CJinPA said...

The enlightened times we live in.

If our politics gets any more infantile it will be embryonic.

Mary Beth said...

I think the lesson here is, don't let Hillary deliver the punchline.

Big Mike said...

Interesting. Can I assume, Professor, that when a prominent left-wing Democrat (meaning left wing even by the standards of Democrats) is telling it then the joke is "edgy" whereas a Republican telling the same joke in a similar setting would be guaranteed evidence of racism?

Michael K said...

"I think if I heard "CP time" I'd not know what the hell they were talking about"

Me neither. A friend of mine was notoriously late all the time so another friend found a clock that said "1ish, 2 ish, 3 ish..." and gave it to him as a gag.

I don;t get "CP time."

Ann Althouse said...

"I think if I heard "CP time" I'd not know what the hell they were talking about, so the joke would fall flat for me...."

But what if you had a black man standing right there hemming and nudging like Odom did?

Fernandinande said...

pm317 said...
Interesting.. Indians have Indian Standard Time (IST) to mean the same thing.


Dot Indians or feather Indians?

PB said...

Two white out of touch fools.

Mutaman said...

Has Ann found the letter "N I G" in the pajamas yet?

Hagar said...

Also known as "Navajo time."

Curtiss said...

So this is how fancy people get edgy, then.

Qwerty Smith said...

There was nothing wrong with the joke, apart from its being lame. It wasn't racist. It played off of people being hyper-sensitive about racism.

The real problem was that it was delivered by people who attack others for merely accidentally doing what they did deliberately. It involved a woman whose campaign suggests that questioning a candidate's qualifications is sexist, merely because the candidate happens to be female. It involved a party that routinely suggests that any criticism of the current president must be racially motivated, merely because the president happens to be part black.

Sebastian said...

@Qwerty: "It wasn't racist. It played off of people being hyper-sensitive about racism." And included a mild attempt at self-deprecation. But you're right, it doesn't work for people who will play the race and gender cards for less, who are utterly phony even in their self-deprecation, and whose supporters are so stuck on their taboos that any attempt at humor is itself taboo. Of course, it is amusing to see the left go through these white-shaming rituals and to see H and Bill get stung by it.

Toto said...

If this moves beyond a one-day story I'll be shocked. If Trump had said it ... it would be short-lived, too, and then weaponized after he secured the nomination. If Cruz said it -- nonstop news cycle would commence.

Comanche Voter said...

Well they could have told a watermelon joke about Bernie Sanders--you know, green on the outside and red on the inside. Or Hillary could have waved a piece of fried chicken around and say "I'm taared of the food around here".

Then the two of them have done a little buck and wing; except Hillary is too old, dumpy and slow to do it right.

DeBlasio and Hillary are simply insensitive idiots.

JAORE said...

Rappers can say the "N" word without repercussions.

Hillary can participate in a "joke" that implies all black are lazy - or t least perennially tardy.

Big deal.

At least they did not say something as horrifying as Strom Thurmond would have been a good president in a tribute to an old man finally stepping down..

If the tables were turned, you'd see Hillary in full battle mode.

Expat(ish) said...

I am from the deep south and have never head of "CP Time." It would have fallen flat for me with a platoon of Uncle Remus dressed characters on stage. Probably because I have not heard a black person refer to black people as "colored" since about 1972.

I have to say that I have found a class difference in "showing up on time" - in this country. When I worked in India and Costa Rica the whole showing up for work time thing killed me.

-XP

SteveR said...

Among her numerous shortcomings, Hillary is not "funny" and bringing her into a comedy act automatically risks ridicule. People like free stuff so she's got that going for her.

pm317 said...

Dot Indians..

mikee said...

Althouse should, coulda, woulda done better to write a one line post denouncing the idea of Hillary being funny, ever, in any way, shape or form.
Reality bites. Hillary is really never funny.

Bay Area Guy said...

In the normal world, this joke was mild, and not a big deal.

In the Leftwing world, had a white, male, Republican said it, he would have been drummed out of office, sued, villified, and prosecuted for a hate crime.

So, which standard would you apply -- the lenient standard to both sides or the harsh standard to both sides?

Your choice!

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Missing headline: Hillary's Ugly Joke or Hillary & Deblasio's Ugly Racist Sketch
Is the Left too beautiful to ever be ugly? Must be another one of those empathy problems I just don't get.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Let's not forget, though, that Rick Perry's family rented a ranch on which was a rock, on which was painted a word that contained a racial slur (until it was painted over).
So, you know, context.

coupe said...

In the military everyone uses "HNIC" or "Tulsa Time".

Sometimes Negro humor is the best to explain the situation to the confused.

The Godfather said...

"For 'tis the sport to have the enginer
Hoist with his own petard . . . .

Hamlet Act 3, scene 4 (it means to be blown up by your own bomb)

Bruce Hayden said...

I don't get "CP time."

I didn't, really, until I was on the DC beltway, and the people right around me were driving 5-10 miles below the speed limit, and I had places to go, things to do. Meandering along, and I looked over, and thought: "Oh, well, of course, they are Black". Which was the time I knew that it was time to get back west. Left back for CO a couple months later. I didn't like the fact that I was stereotyping Blacks based on the way that they dawdled while they drove. They seemed to have all day to get where they were going, and I didn't. Which, to me was a bit racist on my part, which is why I knew it was time to go.

The Godfather said...

coupe: When I was in Basic the expression was "National Guard time", which was great because our Ex O was an activated Guardsman.

jr565 said...


""Mayor De Blasio tries to explain that "CP time" joke he did with Hillary."
He tried to whitesplain you mean.

traditionalguy said...

Being Politically Correct is never finished.

jr565 said...

In truth I had never heard of Colored Peoples (CP) time. Maybe I'm too young. Then again, when was the last time I heard blacks referred to as colored people? so it makes sense.
I've heard various minorities referred to as People of Color, and blacks are part of that group. But calling black people colored. Thats a big no no. But Diblasio is down with the brothers. He has his good white liberal get out of jail free card, that all white liberals give themselves so long as they call other white people racist and assume the the system is systemically racist, that cops are shooting black men for no reason other than that they are walking while black.

The BubFather said...

hahahahaha....I bet all the colored people in the crowd really thought that was funny....another stereotype tossed out there by a guy who married an African American woman and has two African American kids, so it's just fine that he makes fun of colored people time...oh man that's just soooo funny. Colored people time....gosh.
/sarcasm

Seriously, who thought this up? Who even thinks like this anymore? What a stupid idea, but hey, it was Hillary and DeBlasio, two really sincere democrats and by gum, they didn't mean this to be hurtful, so move along. what a couple of out of touch dumbasses they are. Oh and I'll expect the media to fall right into line and never ask Hillary about this on a Sunday news show because the media is one giant double standard.

By the way, why aren't the idiots who thought this up being fired? Oh that's right.....double standard, what was I thinking. Donald Trump says CP Time and his run is over.

That is all

Jeff Gee said...

I wonder how Hil & Bill would do on that "Inside or Outside the Bubble" quiz a couple of threads back.

coupe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rsbsail said...

I'm a white guy who has lived in Houston, Texas, for over 38 years. I have never heard of "CP Time."

CWJ said...

Althouse,
You do realize, I hope, that you spent more time and words analyzing the basically indefensible than H and BdiB sent trying to spin it. Look, sometimes the response is worthy of no more than hahaha.

robother said...

A real knee slapper, that Billy DeBlasio. He knows how to squeeze the cackles out of Cankles.

Tom said...

Racist. They should resign and be ashamed. (That's how you Alinksy, right? I'm new to not using logic or reason to make an argument).

bagoh20 said...

It's not funny. Where do you even find a 9 year old racist comedy writer these days. The Dems must have some awesome connections.

coupe said...

rsbsail said...I'm a white guy who has lived in Houston, Texas, for over 38 years. I have never heard of "CP Time."

It's a cultural euphemism I'm sure. People in Texas just use the non-euphemism version, and then they spit.

"Hell-fire boy [spit], either park that son of a bitch or lean your foot [spit] against that go pedal [spit]..."

rsbsail said...

Coupe wrote: "Hell-fire boy [spit], either park that son of a bitch or lean your foot [spit] against that go pedal [spit]..."

You sure nailed the spittin' part!

David Begley said...

Let's face facts. The Dems are racists.

Qwinn said...

See, whenever I note that Republican sex scandals get tons more play than Democrat scandals (seriously, just tapping your foot is enough to get hounded out of office if you're a Pub), I am always told that Republicans are obsessive scolds when it comes to sex, so it matters more and it deserves ten times the media coverage because of TEH HYPOCRISY!! 1!!

By that same logic, since Democrats like Hillary are obsessive scolds when it comes to racial sensitivity, they should be getting raked by the media for this ten times more than Republicans. Instead, it's still ten times less. I guess TEH HYPOCRISY!! 1!1!! is another exclusively conservative flaw

Eric said...

What professional politician would be dumb enough to tell a joke like that in 2016? That's like a carpenter who can't drive in a nail. Learn you job, man!

Eric said...

By that same logic, since Democrats like Hillary are obsessive scolds when it comes to racial sensitivity, they should be getting raked by the media for this ten times more than Republicans. Instead, it's still ten times less. I guess TEH HYPOCRISY!! 1!1!! is another exclusively conservative flaw

The party that will twist what a Republican says, ferreting out "code words" and "dog whistles" at every opportunity expects to be given the benefit of the doubt because they control the media. In this case, though, they failed to take into account the possibility the mau-mauers would be unable to restrain themselves even in an election year.

Eric said...

Thanks for your opinion, Mary. I'll be sure to give it all due consideration.

MaxedOutMama said...


Straightforward cultural appropriation, and thus a violation of the SJW principles.

You may be an edgy stand-up comedian or you may be an elected official holding a high political position. But not both. Trying to combine them is, always has been, and always will be a bad idea.

DanTheMan said...

"Colored people" = Racism
"People of Color" = Respect

Curious George said...

"Well, if it's scripted, that means it was thought out and intentional, no mere slip. But that doesn't get them off the hook for participating."

My take on the original post:

Curious George said...
Yeah, the whole thing was staged, and done poorly. In any event, it doesn't matter that DeBlasio mouthed the line. The Hildabeast has to own it too. And the black actor, pathetic.


jake said...

I'm truly surprised a lot of the folks here have never heard of CP time. I am a white male from Wisconsin, bit I am intimately familiar with the term.

Michael Fitzgerald said...

Typical lies and dissimulation, as it always is on DPT, democrat party time....

rcocean said...

I've never heard of "Colored Peoples time". Is this some sort of East Coast Liberal thing?

This reminds of Trump using some Yiddish word that was supposed to be bad and we were all supposed to offended even though 95% of the USA doesn't know what the hell it was.

Gahrie said...

My Black friends all acknowledge, and are not offended by, the notion of "Black people Time".

Birkel said...

The party of the KKK, Jim Crow, Woodrow Wilson, Margaret Sanger, LBJ, big city ghettos...

If they didn't have double standards, they'd just be racists and not racist hypocrites.

Meanwhile, Althouse asks whether the hemming and nudging (couldn't quite bring yourself to go with hawing?)... what way does that matter? I fail to see the point.

Skipper said...

And, the party of slavery.

Matt said...

I had never heard this phrase either. Then again, I was completely unfamiliar with the stereotype that American Indians are drunk until I was at college. Which college? The very liberal UW-Madison!

I don't like how Republicans respond to this all to frequent racist slip-ups by Democrats. The Republicans tend to overplay it and look ridiculous. Instead, they should say, "I'm not surprised. We expect no less from Democrats as they were the originators of the KKK. This is just their mask slipping." And leave it at that.

This incident reminds me of a few years back when MN Rep Ryan Winkler called Clarence Thomas an "uncle Tom". He later claimed he never knew it was a racist term. Which, in fairness, it's not like he went to Harvard. Wait, he did. Well, it's not like he has a history major. What's that? He was!? Oh well then... As I said, I expect no less from Democrats than for the mask to occasionally slip revealing their deep-seated racist attitudes.

Gusty Winds said...

In 2003, my wife and I were once the only white people invited to an all African-American wedding in Chicago. The groom, a great guy and good friend, was my first shift foreman.

The wedding was at the reception hall. Invitation said the ceremony started at 5pm. He told me, don't bother showing up at 5, that it would start late because of CPT. First I'd ever heard of CPT when he explained it to me. Thought he was joking.

We arrived at 4:45. Hung out with him and the groomsmen and other guests until 7pm when the bride finally arrived two hours late. Robert basically said, see I told you. CPT.

The Greek guy who owned the reception hall was freaking out, because dinner was supposed to start at 6:30, the soup was cold, etc...

True story. The wedding was a great time. We had our picture taken with many guests. Seemed we were token celebrities as Robert's only white guests. I was complimented when he told my all the groomsmen wanted to throw me in the dumpster out back because they thought my wife was hot.

Paul said...

Well, they can always BLAME BUSH!

Gary Rosen said...

As usual rcocean has joooos on the brain.

rcommal said...

Um, what?

Bill de Blasio has been married to Chirlane McCray since 1994.

Clue bat, anyone?

coupe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
virgil xenophon said...

Speaking of CPT, in New Orleans it is VERY COMMON to see two blacks in their cars, one going in one direction, the other in the opposite, to stop their cars in the middle of the street and carry on an extended conversation. Or, alternatively, to see a driver stop in his lane to carry on a conversation with an old friend hailed from the sidewalk. I came to Louisiana in 1962 and I've seen it a million times since. (well, not literally, but it feels like it)

Brando said...

"But what if you had a black man standing right there hemming and nudging like Odom did?"

Even then--I don't think I'd have made the leap from "CP" to "colored people". I'd be like "what, is this some sort of black slang?"

Francisco D said...

Eons ago, I lived with a woman from Jamaica. I learned the phrase "Soon Come Time" which was well known the be the West Indies version of CP Time. It means that if I promise to be there at 6, I may show up by 9. Jamaicans used it to describe other Jamaicans who were habitually late and uncaring about being on time.

Not to defend DeBlasio, but I surmise that he and his AA wife use the term CPT to refer to AAs who never show up on time. Use of the term is quite common in AA culture and does not reflect racism. It is simply descriptive and reflects exasperation on the part of AAs towards other AAs.

Curious George said...

"virgil xenophon said...
Speaking of CPT, in New Orleans it is VERY COMMON to see two blacks in their cars, one going in one direction, the other in the opposite, to stop their cars in the middle of the street and carry on an extended conversation. Or, alternatively, to see a driver stop in his lane to carry on a conversation with an old friend hailed from the sidewalk. I came to Louisiana in 1962 and I've seen it a million times since. (well, not literally, but it feels like it)"

That's everywhere. Happens in Milwaukee all the time. They also think the horn is just another doorbell. Even at 6AM....

Jeff Teal said...

Driving in traffic yesterday I was noticing again that I was stuvk again behind a middle aged guy driving 10 miles under the speed limit.Nice for the D's to let me know that it wasn't racial of me tonotice thst this seems to happen statistically more often when the driver is AA.

Jeff Teal said...

Now if they would only extend that to the idea that some people seem to be 5 to 9 times more likely to shoot otjer people.

Moneyrunner said...

You realize, don't you, that this is not going to change one vote? I call this a "bystander issue."

Mike said...

So I did a CTRL F and was surprised no one called this a "Macaca moment." Because that is exactly what it would have been for any politician without a D after their name.

JAORE said...

"By the way, why aren't the idiots who thought this up being fired?"

Yeah, because the "smartest woman in the world" can't be expected to be given this script and say, "You are out of your mind".

David said...

Lying again.

Look to past behavior if you want to understand the present.

Lying again.

David said...

It's going to be a shock to my wife to learn she has been married to a black man for 12 years. As for her, I just thought it was the red hair but now I'm going to have to check more closely.

Barry Dauphin said...

New York values on display.

The Gold Digger said...

I like the way Tony Hillerman described time and punctuality in one of his novels and I found it to be true when I worked in Chile with a group of indigenous women. Here is what 10:00 a.m. meant for various groups in my office:

Me, the midwesterner: 9:45
My Chilean boss: 10:01
My Mapuche co-workers: While the sun is still in the sky

cubanbob said...

And to think I always thought that CP Time was an American expression referring to Cuban People Time. Cubans are fashionably late. Perhaps the first person to ever be late their own funeral will be a Cuban.

walter said...

cubanbob,
That's why they call it the Cuba Libre..right? ;)
Hey..
This whole skit would have gone down better with a little blackface.

John Althouse Cohen said...

I surmise that he and his AA wife use the term CPT to refer to AAs who never show up on time.

Are Trump's comments about immigrants OK because his wife is an immigrant?

This is getting awfully close to the reviled "Some of my best friends are _____!"

damikesc said...

Why obsess over the racism when we can also comment that it was painfully lame?

Francisco D said...

No John,

It's not getting close to "some of my best friends are ..." You are reading the wrong chapter, maybe the wrong book.

My point was that the DeBlasios (whom I cannot tolerate) use CPT in their private conversations. It slipped into his public conversation, and in no way reflects racism, just sloppiness. As much as I would like to derogate DeBlasio, this is an issue of low self-awareness. There is no reason to be a "racism" drama queen on this one.

johns said...

I half expected Hilary's defense to be "But the person who wrote the joke is black!" (because she is so self-aware) Instead, the defense is that we are supposed to know what CP time means but that Hilary didn't mean it that way! Hilarious.

damikesc said...

My point was that the DeBlasios (whom I cannot tolerate) use CPT in their private conversations. It slipped into his public conversation, and in no way reflects racism, just sloppiness. As much as I would like to derogate DeBlasio, this is an issue of low self-awareness. There is no reason to be a "racism" drama queen on this one.

Would a Republican be given that benefit ofthe doubt?

No.

Then why in the Hell give it to people who claim that this is dead-serious stuff?

Bruce Hayden said...

Are Trump's comments about immigrants OK because his wife is an immigrant?

For the most part, Trump talks about illegal immigrants. Presumably his wife is a legal immigrant. One of the big problems that a lot of legal immigrants, in particular, have with illegal immigrants is that the legal ones waited in line, and did things legally, while the illegal ones just showed up, (often) stole someone else's social security number, and went to work. Of course, a Trump wife is not likely to have to wait very long in line, nor to have to worry overmuch about the paperwork (that is what lawyers are for).

damikesc said...

For the most part, Trump talks about illegal immigrants. Presumably his wife is a legal immigrant. One of the big problems that a lot of legal immigrants, in particular, have with illegal immigrants is that the legal ones waited in line, and did things legally, while the illegal ones just showed up, (often) stole someone else's social security number, and went to work. Of course, a Trump wife is not likely to have to wait very long in line, nor to have to worry overmuch about the paperwork (that is what lawyers are for).

It's a little more complex. She had an H1B visa, which is a program that needs heavy curtailing as it is the one leading to Americans getting fired to allow employers to hire foreigners for less money and with far less ability to negotiate/complain about conditions.

Francisco D said...

Damikesc,

I agree that Republicans would not be given the benefit of the doubt by the MSM.

I am not the MSM. I am an independent thinking conservative libertarian. If someone, even one as opposite to my way of thinking as DeBlasio, deserves the benefit of the doubt, I will give it to them. Intellectual honesty is more important to me than partisanship, at least until we vote in November. :-)