Bill de Blasio, the white, male, current mayor of New York City is currently dealing with the fallback that comes with making racist jokes at campaign dinners.
On Sunday, during a night of political campaigning and New York hob-nobbing, de Blasio got up on a stage with Hillary Clinton to perform a bit of rehearsed comedy for an audience. After expressing her exasperation that it had taken de Blasio so long to endorse her run for the White House, de Blasio explained that he was running on CP time.
One imagines that whoever scripted the awkward exchange was trying to riff on the false idea that we live in a post-racial America where two white politicians making jokes about black people won't read as offensive. The entire exchange was made that much worse by the fact that Hamilton's Leslie Odom Jr., a black man made famous for playing a white man in a production that white people love, was also on stage.
Rather than owning up to the fact that his joke about colored people's time was racist and unfunny, though, de Blasio's leaning in and insisting that people just didn't get it.
“It was clearly a staged show, it was a scripted show. The whole idea was to do the counterintuitive,” de Blasio explained in a CNN interview. “Every actor involved, including Hillary Clinton and Leslie Odom Jr., thought it was a joke on a different convention, that was the whole idea of it, so I think people are missing the point here.”
What de Blasio doesn't seem to be able to grasp is that people understood his joke, but just didn't find it funny. Playing up the racist idea that black people are always late to things isn't really clever humor so much as it is just lazy bigotry made all the worse by the fact that there was a black man on stage with de Blasio.