New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton performed in a skit at the Inner Circle dinner on Saturday night, where the Mayor told a racist joke.
Though the media did take notice of the joke, their reaction is not surprisingly anywhere near the level of scrutiny that they’d have if a conservative or Republican presidential candidate had told a racist joke in a skit. Any criticism the media happens to level at de Blasio and Clinton will have no political repercussions.
In the skit, Hillary Clinton joked to de Blasio, “Thanks for the endorsement, Bill. Took you long enough.” De Blasio responded, “Sorry, Hillary. I was running on C.P. time.”
“C.P. time” – or “Colored People Time” – is a reference to a stereotype about blacks being frequently late.
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After de Blasio’s “C.P. time” joke, television and Broadway actor Leslie Odom, Jr. chimed in, “That’s not – I don’t like jokes like that, Bill.”
Bill de Blasio was interviewed about the racist joke on MSNBC by Chris Hayes. De Blasio defended the joke, telling Hayes that it was only satire. “I just think sometimes there is a place for satire in this world,” the Mayor said. De Blasio said he didn’t write the joke, that he only approved it.
Asked if he would do it all over again if he had the chance, de Blasio responded: “I’m pretty comfortable with it. It was meant to be a joke on the way we speak. It was obviously not meant to offend anyone.”
I’m sure it wasn’t meant to offend anyone. But that’s never been the issue. If this had been Ted Cruz or Donald Trump, the media would have gone haywire, regardless of whether or not the racist joke was meant to offend anyone. There would be calls from Democratic opponents, the media, even from members of the Republican Party for that candidate to drop out of the race.
But when it’s Hillary Clinton or Mayor de Blasio, they can do whatever they want, and people will still support them.