Earl Ofari Hutchinson's take on the politics of the day
Talk about racial silliness run amok. Hillary Clinton with tongue buried deep in cheek tells New York City Mayor Bill deBlasio in a skit at a press dinner that “CPT,” that’s the acronym for colored peoples time i.e. late late later, really means “cautious politician time.” Next thing you know the racial correct crowd is in a lather. Tweets fly, the debate rages on Facebook, and the rest of social media. All of a sudden a harmless riff on a culturally laughable crack is instantly transformed into a gotcha’ moment supposedly proving Hillary’s closet racial insensitivity.
Clinton need not give the bashers the courtesy of an acknowledgement of this foolishness, let alone an apology. None is required or needed. However, the intimation that Hillary did something wrong in one sense is more than a case of silliness. Or yet another case of clawing at misguided political and racial correctness to savage a name figure, in this case Clinton. It is another sad, and really frightening example, of how the inveterate Hillary loathers will latch onto anything no matter how ridiculous to tar her as a closet bigot, and unworthy of African-American voter support. Hubby, Bill’s, ego-driven, ill-tempered, offensive, lash out at Black Lives Matter protester’s days earlier at a campaign rally in Philadelphia further fed the narrative that the Clintons when they make allegedly insensitive racial remarks are just showing their true colors when it comes to black voters.
Now of course, Clinton will have to be doubly on guard wherever she goes to watch every single word that comes out of her mouth for fear that no matter how innocent or correctly uttered that word, that it will offend someone’s racial, gender, ethnic, religious, LGT, and heaven knows what else’s sensitivities. And every time that happens the public loses.
I liken the flap over Hillary’s alleged racial misstep to the ancient brawl over the use of the word nigger. Some publications are so jittery and fearful of offending blacks that they absolutely bar the use of the word in their publication. The paranoia has morphed into calling nigger, the N word, N.............., the word, or simply N.
The word is objectionable when it used to racially slander and pillory blacks. This is hardly the same as the use of the word in a thoughtful, critical article or discussion on the controversy over the word or the damage that use of the word has wreaked.
So now as with the N-word Hillary in one flick of a second instantly elevated the old insider joke among blacks about CPT into another damning racial indictment. It isn’t and those who try to make it such with Clinton should take their criticism elsewhere, and please do it in CPT.
Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. His latest book is From Sanders to Trump: A Guide to the 2016 Presidential Primary Battles (Amazon Kindle) He is an associate editor of New America Media. He is a weekly co-host of the Al Sharpton Show on Radio One. He is the host of the weekly Hutchinson Report Saturdays 9:00 AM on KPFK 90.7 FM Los Angeles and the Pacifica Network