Video: Hillary Clinton, Bill de Blasio, and "colored people time."

Watch Hillary Clinton Participate in a Joke About "Colored People Time"

Watch Hillary Clinton Participate in a Joke About "Colored People Time"

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April 11 2016 5:09 PM

Watch Hillary Clinton Participate in a Joke About "Colored People Time"


Above: A clip of Hillary Clinton, New York mayor Bill de Blasio, and Hamilton star Leslie Odom Jr. (he plays Aaron Burr) doing a gag at the Inner Circle Dinner, a hoity-toity annual New York City media/politics event, on Saturday night.

The transcript:

CLINTON: Thanks for the endorsement, Bill. Took you long enough.
DE BLASIO: Sorry, Hillary. I was running on C.P. time.
ODOM: That's not—I don't like jokes like that, Bill.
CLINTON: Cautious Politician Time. I've been there.

I can't really break down the incredibly awkward/insensitive dynamics at work in this situation any better than New York magazine's Rembert Browne does in a photo caption here. Writes Browne in faux-Twitterese (TFW = "That feeling when ..."):

Tfw you are the white mayor of New York City and you thought the colored people time joke would work in 2016 because you have a black wife and a son with an afro and there’s a black president but then it doesn’t work because you're still white and definitely just lost the future white president lady a bunch of black votes open parenthesis jordan cry face close parenthesis.

(DeBlasio's wife, Chirlane McCray, is black. Here's more on the Crying [Michael] Jordan meme.)

What's curious about this is that it happened at a semi-public event on Saturday, but the video didn't start circulating until this afternoon; Browne suggests that's because political reporters don't generally know what "C.P. Time" is supposed to mean. That might be true—several initial reports didn't mention the joke at all or didn't note its racial undertones. But it was also clear from the audience's reaction that at least some of the people who were watching knew what was going on and didn't care for it; you'd think someone in the gaffe-snooping press corps would have noticed the weird vibe and written about it.