Delivering a controversial, racist joke is never a good idea, but it's even worse when you do it in the national spotlight, and what's more, in the middle of a presidential campaign. That's the lesson former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton learned Saturday, when she and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio made an ill-advised joke about "CP time," short for "colored people time," a nod to the overly generalized, offensive stereotype that people of color are consistently late for things.
Clinton's taken understandable heat for participating in the gag, and Trevor Noah said Tuesday on The Daily Show just how stupid the skit was. Namely, because Clinton's popularity with the minority vote is giving her a slight edge over Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
"Why would you do this, Hillary?" Noah said. "This should be so easy. Just don't say the things that will lose you the votes ... That's like if the governor of Michigan was going around Flint telling water jokes: 'I'll have a Mountain Dew, I'm trying to stay healthy.'"
Though Noah concludes that Clinton and De Blasio likely aren't racist, he notes they "got too comfortable," in part, because they delivered the joke next to Hamilton star Leslie Odom Jr. However, if the notion was confusing to white people, Noah said it in a way we might understand — with a SeaWorld analogy, the bane of our vacation plans.
"Let me explain this in a way white people will understand," Noah said. "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."
Check out the full segment from The Daily Show here.