It’s been three days since Hillary Clinton and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio delivered a controversial joke and they are still taking heat.
The comedy sketch, which took place at the annual Inner Circle dinner on Saturday night, involved Clinton chastising de Blasio for taking too long to endorse her. He claimed that he was just running on “C.P. Time,” short for “colored people time.” In response to groans from the crowd, Clinton translated his comment instead as the innocuous “cautious politician time.”
“Oh, I get it,” The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah said Tuesday night. “You see, the joke is Bill de Blasio saying he’s late like black people always are and Hillary saying she doesn’t want to be president.”
“Why would you do this, Hillary?” Noah demanded. “This should be so easy. Just don’t say the things that will lose you the votes.” Especially since Clinton is “in the midst of a controversy” surrounded her past use of the term “superpredators” to describe black youth, the host said she would probably be better off refraining from race-based humor. “That’s like if the governor of Michigan was going around Flint telling water jokes,” he said.
As Noah noted, many will argue that because Clinton was on stage with not only a black actor—Hamilton’s Leslie Odom, Jr.—but also de Blasio, who is married to a black woman, she couldn’t possibly be racist. “I agree with you, they’re probably not racist, they just got too comfortable,” he said.
“Let me explain this in a way white people will understand,” Noah continued. “Race jokes are kind of like orcas. Powerful and entertaining, but you put them on display in the wrong environment, and people are going to get hurt, and the joke might die.”
Earlier in the day, Clinton essentially blamed the entire ordeal on de Blasio, telling Cosmopolitan magazine, “Well, look, it was Mayor de Blasio’s skit. He has addressed it, and I will really defer to him because it is something that he’s already talked about.”