Given the tone-deafness of Mrs. Hillary Clinton joke about C.P time, was Mr. Bernie Sanders correct about her lack of judgment?
When Mr. Bernie Sanders last week walked back his assertion that Mrs. Hillary Clinton – a former First Lady, State Senator and Secretary of State – isn’t qualified to be the next President of the United States, he still managed to offer up a critique of the 68 year-old perceived Democratic front-runner: “In terms of her judgment, something is clearly lacking.”
Informing Mr. Sanders’ view on Mrs. Clinton’s judgment is, at he put it, her consistency in voting for disastrous trade deals; support for fracking and ties to Wall Street, an institution Mr. Sanders often characterizes as public enemy number one. In summation, Mr. Sanders, on the issue of Mrs. Clinton’s capacity, concedes on lived experience but has reservations on common-sense.
Following this past weekend, when Mrs. Clinton participated in a joke some have labeled racist, the reservation held by Mr. Sanders may have been given the validity to exist while also extending itself to others. The wife of a former U.S. President who just days before the awkward joke-telling was, during a campaign event in Philadelphia, criticized by two black protesters for his 1994 crime bill, Mrs. Clinton this past Saturday was paired with New York City Mayor Mr. Bill de Blasio in a comedy bit that, after Mrs. Clinton jokingly mentioned that Mr. de Blasio had taken longer than expected to announce his endorsement of her, resulted in the Mayor issuing a subdued apology and an explanation: “I was running on C.P. time.”
C.P. time is widely acknowledged among African-Americans as meaning “Colored People’s Time,” a term that suggests, based on a stereotype, that Blacks are always running late. But Mrs. Clinton, after the token black character delivered his line – which objected to Mr. de Blasio’s phraseology – said the Mayor, who’s married to a black woman, was referring to “cautious politician time.”
The joke fell flat with the live audience, who responded with virtual silence. But the public, when they caught wind of it, offered a much more vocal response.
“Hillary Clinton makes awkward joke about “CP Time”: Why do this?,” tweeted Dr. Marc Lamont Hill, a professor and CNN Commentator.
And swarms of Twitter users, some famous and others not, weighed in on the controversy. A large portion of the responses from the public centered on judgment: Who thought this was a good idea and why weren’t the many black Clinton surrogates – the former Mayor of Philadelphia among them – consulted on this joke before it was presented to an audience?
In my opinion, the issue here isn’t whether or not the joke was racist – those types of arguments are subjective and never have a conclusion – but rather why didn’t Mrs. Clinton – a willing participant in the skit that was, as she stated, Mr. de Blasio’s idea – have the foresight to anticipate how a joke of that type would be perceived and remove herself from harm’s way. The job of a President is to, in many cases, evaluate the risk of an impending act and determine its impact on relations with the homefront and abroad.
In this occurrence, Mrs. Clinton failed to use common sense, and, ironically, so shortly after she was criticized for a lack of it. So, given the circumstances of the present, was Mr. Sanders’ point proved?
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