President Barack Obama ended his last White House Correspondents Dinner on a high, with a mic drop — “Obama Out” — but he started off on a high too. The president’s opening remarks included a jab at certain racial indiscretions presidential candidate Hillary Clinton had made earlier this month, and the joking call-outs only continued from there.
— Gemma Munday (@gemunday) May 1, 2016
“I know I was a little late tonight,” Obama said, as reported by NBC News, “I was running on CPT — which stands for jokes that white people should not make.”
“CPT or ‘colored people time’ is a reference to the stereotype that African Americans run late to an event or a traditionally black event not beginning on time.”
This joke about CPT — an acronym for “Colored People’s Time” — is in reference to presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton’s recent racially charged gaffe with New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio.
“Sorry Hillary, I was running on C.P. time,” de Blasio joked with Clinton when she criticized his late endorsement of her earlier this month, according to Raw Story.
This offensive African-American stereotype, then, does not just refer to the black population as “colored,” an outdated term that today borders on offense, but also perpetuates a negative stereotype that African-Americans are always late.
President Obama’s calling out this negative stereotype of CPT, or “colored people’s time,” as well as Bill DeBlasio’s and Hillary Clinton’s casual approach to it, was one incident among many that acknowledged this politically charged moment.
Raw Story reports that immediately after Mayor De Blasio’s remark of running on CPT, Hamilton actor Lamar Odom Jr., who was also on stage, commented that the joke was inappropriate. “That’s not — I don’t like jokes like that, Bill.”
Odom’s comment about the joke making him uncomfortable echoes Obama’s sentiment that such archaic terms as CPT that reference stereotypes that were present in the age of slavery shouldn’t be uttered by white people, even in humor.
Watch a video of the discomforting exchange below.
Hillary Clinton had tried to salvage the “Colored People Time” situation that had made Lamar Odom uncomfortable with its casual, humorous, approach to a negative stereotype, by quickly saying that the CPT DeBlasio had referred to, stood for “Cautious Politican Time.”
But the damage had been made, the NYC mayor’s unthinking reference to “colored people” and his implication that they are always late had already left a negative impression on Odom and others — including, apparently, President Barack Obama.
But her CPT incident aside, Hillary Clinton continued to bear the brunt of Obama’s blasting humor.
In reference to the controversy surrounding Clinton’s unreleased Goldman Sach’s speeches, Obama joked — according to NBC News— that”if this material works well, I’m going to use it at Goldman Sachs next year.”
But despite his calling her out on her mistakes with racially-charged terms like CPT, or “Colored People Time,” and her controversial concealing of the transcripts to her Goldman Sachs speeches, President Obama appears to be firmly in Clinton’s corner.
At one point, NBC News reported that the president subtly predicted Clinton’s victory in the 2016 presidential election. He said the following.
“Next year at this time, someone else will be standing here in this very spot, and it’s anyone’s guess who she will be.”
Seeing as Hillary Clinton is the only female presidential candidate, Obama’s usage of the feminine pronoun is significant here. CPT and Goldman Sachs jabs aside, the president seems to be on Clinton’s side.
[Photo by Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images]