Time is a racial construct.
How’s that, you ask? Because time requires black people to show up to work and class on time, and even worse, it’s a weapon that whites use to tell blacks that racism no longer exists.
Or something like that.
This time-is-white theory comes from Brittney Cooper, an associate professor at New Jersey’s Rutgers University who toils in the “academic” fields of “Women’s and Gender Studies and Africana Studies.”
Cooper divulged the shocking revelation that time is a construct of the white patriarchy in a Ted Radio Hour on National Public Radio.
The title? “How Has Time Been Stolen From People Of Color?”
Lessons From Mom
Actually, if time were really stolen from people of color, it wouldn’t be “white,” but at any rate before we learned that time is racial weapon we learned that Cooper’s mom, a secretary, taught Cooper that punctuality is a key to professional success.
“And so she was on very regimented time,” Cooper explained:
And so that meant showing up and being professional. It meant speaking great corporate English, in many cases. And it had everything to do with the importance of professionalization and trying to create a pathway because we’re a working-class, black family from very modest roots. And she wanted more for herself, and she was a single mom with only a high school education at the time.
Sounds like Cooper’s Mom was a sharp, hard-working woman who knew how to get ahead in an era when getting ahead was tough for a black woman. Mom’s hard-nosed attitude on time rubbed off on Cooper.
“In my educational contexts that were predominantly white,” Cooper continued, “we couldn’t be late because we were trying to project a sense of excellence and that we were about business and that I should be taken seriously as a student and that she should be taken seriously as a parent.”
Still, despite how serious Cooper is about time thanks to her Mom, time is racial, and presumably racist:
In the African-American communities from which I come, we have a long-standing multigenerational joke about what we call CP time or colored people time. Now, we no longer refer to African-Americans as colored. But this long-standing joke about our perpetual lateness to church, to cookouts, to family events and even to our own funerals remains. I personally am a stickler for time. It’s almost as if my mother, when I was growing up, said, we will not be those black people. So we typically arrive to events 30 minutes early.”
That said, she continued, “if time had a race, it would be white. White people own time.”
Time a Racial Weapon
And why is that?
Because “time comes out of histories of European and Western thought.... After the Industrial Revolution we begin to talk about time as spending time. It becomes something that is tethered to monetary value” and the “hourly wage,” and so we now “talk about time in terms of wasting time or spending time. And that’s a really different understanding of time than, you know, like seasonal time or time that is sort of merely passing.”
What that exactly means is hard to say, but Cooper’s long education in women’s, gender, and Africana studies apparently didn’t include the little-known history that the world’s been running on time ever since ... well, ever since God rested on the seventh day.
Anyway, time is whitey’s whip to keep the black man down, Cooper averred.
“When white, male European philosophers first thought to conceptualize time and history,” she said, “one famously declared, Africa is no historical part of the world.” Blacks were “outside of history” and “had no impact on time or the march of progress.”
Well, Africa was kind of “outside history” before Europeans colonized it, but at any rate because of time, blacks are “either alternately outside the bounds of time or stuck in the past.” So when a black person says “racism still matters,” someone else, “usually white,” will say, “why are you stuck in the past? Why can’t you move on? We have a black president. We’re past all that.”
Thus, time is “white” because it’s “linear,” she said. “Every day is a progression beyond the past, that we are not today where we were 50 years ago.” But for blacks, “time doesn’t exactly work that way” because blacks live “with the residue of past historical trauma” that whites ignore.
So maybe Cooper has disproved the adage that time stands still for no man ... or woman. The professor at Rutgers is living a racial Goundhog’s Day, where the Middle Passage and its evil sequellae — the Klan, Jim Crow, Bull Connor, the Edmund Pettus Bridge — endlessly repeat.
Because time was “stolen from people of color.”
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