To think that 'black man's time' is a derogatory term?

(111 Posts)
ptangyangkipperbang Sat 17-Nov-12 16:56:34

I was listening to the radio yesterday and someone from JLS was being interviewed. There was a comment about him being late for something and the DJ said, "what are you on - black man's time?"
I was really shocked (as was teenage DS) and I emailed the programme controller.
I've received a reply saying he agrees if I'd tuned in half way through the programme I might have taken it out of context but "In no way was the term derogatory and the interview was very cheerful, positive and upbeat".

Am I guilty of being too PC?

Yes you are

TheLightPassenger Sat 17-Nov-12 16:58:25

I've never heard that expression before, but yanbu.

No, I think that sounds incredibly racist to me and seems to tap into that racist stereotype of 'lazy' black people.

I'd never heard it before until the concept was explained to me by a Ghanaian colleague who later become a very close friend.

Euphemia Sat 17-Nov-12 17:00:04

I've never heard the expression.

IslaValargeone Sat 17-Nov-12 17:00:08

I would probably be inclined to think of it as a harmless colloquialism like Cornish time, everything being 'dreckley'
Quite prepared to be told otherwise however, but I don't tend to jump to the conclusion that everything is racist or derogatory.

It's got frig all to do with 'lazy' Laurie

Purple2012 Sat 17-Nov-12 17:01:05

I've never heard the expression, but agree that now a days people should not use expressions like that.

ArthurandGeorge Sat 17-Nov-12 17:01:31

What is it supposed to mean?

ptangyangkipperbang Sat 17-Nov-12 17:02:57

Isla - I too rarely jump to the conclusion that something's racist or derogatory but this term just seemed 'wrong' but I do stand to be corrected, which is why I posted.

InNeedOfBrandy Sat 17-Nov-12 17:03:01

Tbh it is a very common joke between black people. I wouldn't of found it offensive in fact whenever I'm late to drop dd off at her dads I get "kmt your not supposed to be on black peoples time" said in a joke way.

Rumplestiltskine Sat 17-Nov-12 17:03:24

I would assume the DJ was black himself, as I've only ever heard black people use that phrase.

TwitchyTail Sat 17-Nov-12 17:03:35

Was the DJ black?

I don't advocate the "people can be racist to each other as long as they're the same colour" approach in general, but I can sort of see that if this was the case, it could have been friendly in-jokey banter. If not, it's kind of dodgy territory...

TwitchyTail Sat 17-Nov-12 17:03:55


roundtable Sat 17-Nov-12 17:04:38

Yanbu - when are people going to stop attributing qualities to 'black people' as though they are a race?

Kethryveris Sat 17-Nov-12 17:04:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Kethryveris Sat 17-Nov-12 17:05:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JaquelineHyde Sat 17-Nov-12 17:05:50

It is a term I have heard used in black company as an in joke.

However, it is a ridiculous thing to say in an interview on the radio as large section s of the audience are not going to be in on the in joke and will quite easily take it the wrong way.

mamij Sat 17-Nov-12 17:06:32

Not sure. Our Australian and Brazilian friends are always late and we tease them that being chilled out and laid back is in their blood! Although we all know not all of them are!

InNeedOfBrandy Sat 17-Nov-12 17:07:03

Please don't ever turn into 1xtra OP I would hate for the banter to have to be curbed because of people like you.

IslaValargeone Sat 17-Nov-12 17:07:52

I wasn't having a go patangyang smile
I may well be guilty of being too laid back regarding that kind of expression?

missymoomoomee Sat 17-Nov-12 17:07:54

If the person he said it to wasn't offended I think its a bit much to get offended on his behalf. If you tuned in half way through how do you know it wasn't a joke about a previous comment?

FellatioNelson Sat 17-Nov-12 17:08:23

What does the phrase actually mean, can someone explain please. I have never heard it before.

TheCountessOlenska Sat 17-Nov-12 17:09:10

I've heard my friends say "Indian time" between each other (they are of Indian descent) - I take it to mean that punctuality is not seen in the same way as in English culture, like they are more relaxed about what time to turn up etc?? I too would assume the DJ was black and it was an "in" joke

InNeedOfBrandy Sat 17-Nov-12 17:09:32

It means late and in their own time fellatio by a hour at least grin

InNeedOfBrandy Sat 17-Nov-12 17:10:41

Let me give you an example fellatio My friend says I'm trying to be at yours for half 6 but I'm on black people time today, so I know she's going to be late by a hour.

In my friend's case it was he knew he had to be somewhere and meet someone at, say, 10am but 10am could also mean 11am or sometime inbetween the two! It's not a matter of rudeness - he explained that in his culture a given time is really nothing more than a guideline and is never expected to be rigidly adhered to!

ptangyangkipperbang Sat 17-Nov-12 17:12:35

InneedofBrandy - what do you mean people like me? I am asking if it was a racist term and have already said I don't mind being corrected but I don't need you implying I'm some Mary Whitehouse figure. I asked both the radio station and Mums Netters if I was wrong in thinking it sounded racist.

InNeedOfBrandy Sat 17-Nov-12 17:13:05

Yes it's not over a hour really, a guide is a good way to put it.

InNeedOfBrandy Sat 17-Nov-12 17:13:46

People that like being offended and complaining about it wink

gloomywinters2 Sat 17-Nov-12 17:14:20

it,s a common joke with black people there never on time always running late like a hour or too late so if you expect to say i,m coming at 2.0clock no that there coming at 3.oclock or later.

sue52 Sat 17-Nov-12 17:15:13

I've only heard it used once, by a Nigerian Friend, to explain his fellow countrymen's rather flexible attitude towards any social engagements. I would never use the term but I wouldn't think it un PC if it were used by someone to explain a cultural difference.

BoneyBackJefferson Sat 17-Nov-12 17:27:51

black man's time
Cornish time
Italian time
Greek time they all mean the same thing.

ethelb Sat 17-Nov-12 17:28:27

I have heard black people refer to BMT (black man's time).

I've hear of similar expressions from Turkish and Indian people in the UK.

I think its an in joke.

LadyBeagle Sat 17-Nov-12 17:35:17

I've never heard it before but I get the impression it means manana.
It's a bit like here up in the NW Highlands, where there's no rush, it'll be done, relax.
Sadly changing as with so many incomers who have been used to charging around expecting everything to be done NOW, a lot of that laid back attitude is dying away.

spotsdots Sat 17-Nov-12 17:45:26

I know "African time" or "Indian time" is an "in joke" among Africans and Indians. Meaning I might be slightly late.

If the DJ and JLS member are both black and it was a station for predominantly black listeners, then its not a big deal, if this wasn't the case then you were right to complain.

CindySherman Sat 17-Nov-12 17:49:05

My black friends use this term a lot between themselves. I never really understood it really

lovelyladuree Sat 17-Nov-12 18:07:55

Only black people can joke with other black people, or hadn't you heard?

NoraGainesborough Sat 17-Nov-12 18:11:16

If the DJ and JLS member are both black and it was a station for predominantly black listeners, then its not a big deal, if this wasn't the case then you were right to complain.

So some things are ok for black people to say and hear but not white people?

I have never got that.

I have heard it. It has nothing to do with implying laziness. Its about being laid back. My inlaws are often on 'greek time' because they are always late. not because they are lazy but because they are more relaxed in general and don't get the 'you must be here at x time on the dot' when it comes to socializing.

Lifeasafish Sat 17-Nov-12 18:12:19

I'm more likely to hear BPT (black people's time) and in my circles it is not an aim! More of a 'lets meet 3pm - not BPT'. African- Americans tend to use cpt and it is a kinda derogatory term in the sense that its usually used as something to avoid or a criticism.

So, 'where's Karen? Is she on BPT again?' hmm

Would I class it as racist? Probably not. If I was at the receiving end I'd be a bit pissed in the same way as a man telling me I'm suffering pmt rather than a women telling me that iykwim. But wouldn't necessarily think much of it. But then I'm rarely late for anything!

P.s I'm black - if that wasn't obvious.

DixieD Sat 17-Nov-12 18:18:50

I used to live in the Caribbean and we called it 'Caribbean time'. It's means the laid back attitude to things. 'Soon come mon, soon come'. Ah I miss it there.

Lifeasafish Sat 17-Nov-12 18:19:13

OP - I don't think it should have been used on air. It's a bit sloppy really. As with my analogy re pmt it just wouldn't seem appropriate to me to be broadcast.

I do not think it is worthy of complaint, but I'd see it in the same way as hearing 'snappy today? A bit premenstrual? on the radio, regardless of man/woman, 2 women. Just a bit hmm

ClippedPhoenix Sat 17-Nov-12 18:25:43

PC crap grin Stop being offended when no offence was meant.

Lifeasafish Sat 17-Nov-12 18:37:24

For clarification - I wouldn't be offended smile.

It can raise some funny convos mentally debates whether I should go here in case I offend anyone

Friend 1: shall we meet about 2ish?
Me: what sort of 2ish?
Friend: med time? Not BPT please
Me: nah - I've things to do - say Western European time?
Friend: coolio.

InNeedOfBrandy Sat 17-Nov-12 18:39:45

I would like to say, WPT aka white peoples time means on time smile

TinyDancingHoofer Sat 17-Nov-12 18:41:53

Not offensive where i come from. Not hugely used but acceptable when it is.

mrskeithrichards Sat 17-Nov-12 18:42:06

I've never heard this saying and I doesn't sit easy with me but no the same token I've used Greek time a lot!

Misssss Sat 17-Nov-12 18:45:31

Black person here. BMT is a common phrase. Nothing racist about it. OP you are being tooPC and rather silly. I can't believe you emailed the station about it, I bet the producer and controller had a right laugh.

Thanks be for the sensible post Misssss!

44SoStartingOver Sat 17-Nov-12 18:58:35

I think it is really hard to say.

I think unpunctuality is a bad thing, so would see a racial term that related to it as quite negative. Thus i would be shocked to hear it.

Black mans honesty would be comparable for me. I'm pretty sure that would not be acceptable. However I am a punctuality demon, so maybe it seems very negative to me as I abhor lateness.

Corygal Sat 17-Nov-12 19:03:04

I have heard it used with pride - ie from party guests who wouldn't be try-hard enough to come to a christening for the lunch, but would make an entrance at 5pm explaining they were on Caribbean time.

In that context, it was meant to be a joke reproach to anyone shamefully scuttling in for the canapes at 12:30 and not showing proper party spirit.

stopcallingmefrank Sat 17-Nov-12 19:09:16

I don't think it is derogatory. I come from another culture where punctuality is not valued in the same way it is in English culture. That's all it refers to. It's a shorthand way of describing that cultural difference. You might say you are on BMT instead of GMT.

shellyf Sat 17-Nov-12 19:10:30

Never heard the phrase before.

My DH and his family use that expression all the time.

Mind you, they do run to a different time scale than most people.

I'll be there in a minute could mean up to an hour.

Christmas dinner last year, they were supposed to be at ours by 4. They arrived at 7pm. We had planned dinner for 8pm for that very reason.
You have to tell them a time 2 hours before they actually get there.

I think it was a bit over the top to cplain to the radio station.

And please steer clear of 1xtra and choice fm if things like that offend you.

The only time I've ever heard anything similar was when a black colleague of mine said he'd be late handing in a report as he as on CPT - 'coloured people's time'.

I think it's easy for a white person to feel uncomfortable with the phrase but I personally wouldn't get twisty knickered about it in the context the OP has outlined.

MmeLindor Sat 17-Nov-12 19:24:03

I don't know. Going by the fact that a few black people (or those with black friends who've used this expression) have said it is a common expression, I'd say it is ok.

My FIL is German and we talk of Siegfried Time, meaning punctual to the point of being 10 mins early for everything.

MmeLindor Sat 17-Nov-12 19:26:14

I don't however find it was silly or unreasonable for the OP to complain to the radio station - she didn't know the term was used regularly.

Next time ask on MN first, OP wink

Iggly Sat 17-Nov-12 19:37:36

If this was on the today show on radio 4 then YANBU

But I bet it wasn't.

abbierhodes Sat 17-Nov-12 19:44:53

I'm English from an Irish family. When we have family visiting from Ireland we have 'Irish time'. It's not so much about being late- more about running to a later timetable iyswim. So you'd arrive too the pub at about 10pm, but stay till the early hours. Or meet for lunch at 2.30, eating about 3. They just don't seem too keep the same hours as us! Obviously, this may just be my family, not all Irish people.

I don't think it's offensive OP, but do you know what...if you heard it as a derogatory term, aimed at a whole race of people, then you're absolutely right to question it. The 'PC gorn mad' brigade should leave you alone. You only asked a question.

HanSolo Sat 17-Nov-12 19:47:11

i have only heard it as Nigerian Time and Indian Time (from Nigerian, and Indian friends) though whilst Indian time is only 1 hour behind, Nigerian seems to be anything from 2 to 6 hours behind!!! grin

I run to Siegfried time myself [clicks heels]

oohlaalaa Sat 17-Nov-12 19:53:03

I've only ever heard black people use the BMT time phrase. As I've never heard it said by a white person it's never seemed offensive.

MrsDeVere Sat 17-Nov-12 19:53:43

The OP asked a question.

There is no need to call her PC, silly or to use infantilising terms such as 'knickers in a twist'.
Why, as soon as race is mentioned, do people feel the need to vie to be the most dismissive regarding possible racism.

BMT can certainly be used in a racist way. It certainly does not always refer to how laid back black people are. Black people are not always laid back anyway ffs. They are hardly depicted as the 'irie man' 'soon come types on the front page of the Daily Hate are they hmm

I didn't hear the broadcast, I don't know if it was used in a derogatory or racist way. I do know that if someone thought it was fun to use it in a 'down wiv dah brother' sort of way with my OH they wouldn't get very far.

The man is never late and drives me demented with his insistence that we leave an hour early for everything.

MrsDeVere Sat 17-Nov-12 19:54:51

And what abbier wrote whilst I was faffing about with my post grin

InNeedOfBrandy Sat 17-Nov-12 19:55:19

MrsD to be fair the OP did ask if she was being to PC and brought PC up in the first place.

MrsDeVere Sat 17-Nov-12 20:01:37

Fair enough. But it really shouldnt be used as an insulting, dismissive way.
Gets on my nerves.

PC is why people don't call my babies n*****s to their face. They might think it in their stupid thick heads but thanks to PC they keep their stupid thick gobs shut.

Not everyone is so lucky. My FB friend saw someone spitting in a fucking pram today because the baby wasn't quite white enough.

I am 45. I am white so I will not claim to have suffered racism (unless I have been out with my OH and DCs). But I am old enough to remember when it was overt and frequent and if anyone complained they were told to stop making a fuss about nothing. 'Its only a laugh' 'don't be so sensitive'. Bit like when people are told 'ffs dont be soooo PC'

HolyBrrrrrrBatman Sat 17-Nov-12 20:02:53

I think this is why there is a lot of 'accidental' racism.

This really sounds like it should be offensive. If i heard it I would also think it was racist. I'm happy to be told I'm wrong by people who know more about it than I do. I don't think I need to be told I'm 'one of those people', prof offended etc. There are other phrases that sound fairly harmless, but then when someone uses it because they don't know that it's offensive they are jumped on as a small minded, racist and hounded off mumsnet.

Can't win really.

Aboutlastnight Sat 17-Nov-12 20:07:36

Mumsnet is so contradictory about stuff like this.

I think that phrase is racist. I am shocked it was used on the radio - it implies that black people are always late or lazy.

Yet people say it's not racist...I'm confused.

44SoStartingOver Sat 17-Nov-12 20:08:44

I remember someone calling a takeaway a chinky and being slaughtered on here. I am pretty sure she did not mean it to be offensive but was roundly told it was.

Surely it is good to question. But IMO actions do speak louder than words and if someone treats their friends and acquaintances fairly, there is probably no offence meant.

Aboutlastnight Sat 17-Nov-12 20:08:50

As a white woman, could I use this term on mumsnet?

44SoStartingOver Sat 17-Nov-12 20:10:08

I would not fancy your chances of getting out alive

InNeedOfBrandy Sat 17-Nov-12 20:10:18

I suppose it all depends on the context it's used and the tones of voices.

A look can be racist in the right setting, Iv'e had enough dumb white girl having black babies comments and looks from white and black people to know that. A joke between people I don't see as racist any more people saying it about irish time or french time or old peoples time yadayada. We all know there are people that love to be offended I'll save my offense about racism to terrible comments published in the daily mail like only stupid fat white women go out with lazy work shy uneducated black men.

giveitago Sat 17-Nov-12 20:12:46

Never heard this before. Have indian background and don't remember anyone say this. Ever.

Mrsdever - someone spat into a pram????? WTF - that's the most disgusting thing I've ever heard in my life. Horrible. Sick making. What's going on in someone's head that thinks it's OK to take out their weirdo hatred against the world on a baby in a pram . I thought I'd heard it all but this is really something else. I can't say OMG enough.

drjohnsonscat Sat 17-Nov-12 20:12:53

I'm amazed at this. I've never heard the phrase but of course it's not on. If a black person uses it about themselves within a culture then that's different but obviously if I (white) used it it would be offensive. So it matters that it was broadcast - the context was missing. Let's put it this way: if I used it at work about a black employee's timekeeping it would be a certain (and fair) discrimination case.

Very odd to question the OP's reaction I think. It would shock me to hear it in a broadcast context whereas if I heard a group of black friends talking among themselves it wouldn't.

drjohnsonscat Sat 17-Nov-12 20:15:54

Agree MN is contradictory. There was a massive bun fight about 'having a paddy' meaning having a meltdown which was almost universally viewed as racist although it probably comes from the welsh word for tantrum iirc.

I didn't accuse the OP of getting her knickers in a twist. I just said that I wouldn't in the same circumstances.

Sorry if I've used a childish phrase - I was trying to be nice but obviously I was patronising the OP by not using big words that she might not understand <insert a big assed eye rolling smilie right about here>

Uh huh.

sarahseashell Sat 17-Nov-12 20:20:32

OP YANBU I'd consider it racist in context of radio programme

NoraGainesborough Sat 17-Nov-12 20:29:53

I'm amazed at this. I've never heard the phrase but of course it's not on. If a black person uses it about themselves within a culture then that's different but obviously if I (white) used it it would be offensive. So it matters that it was broadcast - the context was missing. Let's put it this way: if I used it at work about a black employee's timekeeping it would be a certain (and fair) discrimination case.

Can someone explain this to me? I don't get how something is only racist if a white person says it.

Fishwife1980 Sat 17-Nov-12 20:34:53

NoraGainesborough ok as a black woman let me explain this yo you slowly

I assume you have a mother

You can talk aout your mother tell us all what a cow she is and make jokes at her expense but its commely know that others cannot make jokes about others peoples mum with out getting a slap

Same sort of thing my husband makes irish jokes all the time usually in relation to drinking i would not dare i am not irish

InNeedOfBrandy Sat 17-Nov-12 20:38:31

Yes or we Brits can slag off our weather and how we wish we lived in the sun but an outsider saying urgh I would hate to live in Britain how shit the weather is and the traffic brits are smelly and binge drink not in a million years, that would make us go who the hell our you to say that about us.

But we can slag off the weather and the binge drinkers as much as we like wink

HolyBrrrrrrBatman Sat 17-Nov-12 20:39:35

But there is a clear difference between saying a specific person (e.g. your mum) is a cow and all black people/Irish people/gay people are cows.

You can slag off one person, not an entire group.

babybarrister Sat 17-Nov-12 20:40:51

In Latin America (Spanish speaking bit anyway!) they refer to 'la hora inglesa' ie English time - ie very punctual - I never took offence but actually it also carries negative connotations as we are thought to be anal and too 'complicated'. I think black people's time is actually quite racist as it does imply in the UK laziness rather than being laid back as in the UK punctuality is very highly regarded. Maybe bpt used overseas is not as negative. I also think that the use of a country ie Indian time etc is not as offensive - why pick on someone's race?

MmeLindor Sat 17-Nov-12 20:41:01

If a black person makes a joke about this, then we can assume that he is not being racist. If a white person makes the same joke, we don't know if it is a joke or not. Unless we know that person very well.

Which is why a comment like this on the radio is dodgy.

I remember saying to my aunt that I couldn't remember the names of her girls (she had 4 girls who were very close in age, and we only saw them every couple of years, I knew their names, but not who was who). She replied that she couldn't tell them apart, so she just went to the door and shouted, 'Cmere you little black bastards'.

She could say that. I couldn't.

NoraGainesborough Sat 17-Nov-12 20:42:22

fishwife I completely disagree. Talking shit about my mother is not likely to lead to you being arrested.

Actually in regards to the irish thing (i am) i hate the jokes and being irish, imo is not an excuse. A joke is either racist or not.

Racism is racism.

Here is an example. DD got loads of shit from a girl for being irish at school. It was classed as bullying and racisit. Turns out the girls grandparents were irish and she never knew. Didn't change that she was using my dds race to bully.

Fishwife1980 Sat 17-Nov-12 20:44:05

Sorry but its very simiar

Evean on mumsnet i here thongs women say about other women that is a man said them there would be up raoar

Of the radio guy is balck then every one should move on i am black an i will say on here

black people are always late for everything and my oh well tell a few things about teh irish likeing a drink

FreudiansSlipper Sat 17-Nov-12 20:46:28

i think you are getting confused about laughing at and laughing with. you can laugh at culture and cultural differences what is wrong with that

my friend (german) and i laugh at my timing she calls it asian timing (her ex was asian always late). so we agree to meet in the middle of german and asian time

my family call it sri lankan time, parties always start after 10pm even if invite says 8pm so you know to eat before you go

my friends say they will be round at say 6 jamaican/carribean/bajan/brazillian time that means 8ish at the earliest

HolyBrrrrrrBatman Sat 17-Nov-12 20:47:08

'black people are always late for everything'

Fishwife if i asked you to be in charge of finding me a new PA, punctuality is very important to the role, would you dismiss all the black applicants on the grounds 'black people are always late for everything'?

InNeedOfBrandy Sat 17-Nov-12 20:47:24

There are cliches for a reason..Brits liking their tea is one cliche. Ok not every single British person likes hot sweet milky tea but it's a cliche for a reason.

Fishwife1980 Sat 17-Nov-12 20:47:43

NoraGainesborough there you go mmelindor has just explained it for you

I very much dobut that me as a black person commenting on balck mans time when my sister is late i will be arrested

As a white person you might say somthing like this to a black person you know but not a random black person

End off just as i might agree my mates mum is a cow but would never dream of saying that to a random person

NoraGainesborough Sat 17-Nov-12 20:50:49

Evean on mumsnet i here thongs women say about other women that is a man said them there would be up raoar

And I disagree with that train of thought as well.

Fishwife1980 Sat 17-Nov-12 20:51:06

HolyBrrrrrrBatman no but it dose make us giggle to talk aout black mans time when my sister late

Sorry but as most poster have already said the black people they know are the ones who have told them about this the only people who seemed worried are people who are NOT black

I am black and have no issue with this belive me or dont

HokeyCokeyPigInAPokey Sat 17-Nov-12 20:51:17

Mme Lindor makes a good point:

If a black person makes a joke about this, then we can assume that he is not being racist. If a white person makes the same joke, we don't know if it is a joke or not. Unless we know that person very well

Which is why a comment like this on the radio is dodgy.

That's it in a nutshell.

I have heard it a million times, my dh is black and A LOT of his family run on black people time as we call it, dh doesn't though which is just as well as i am far too uptight to ever be late and i would bloody kill him!!

Fishwife1980 Sat 17-Nov-12 20:54:25

If the dj was not black then its a bit dogy but then again he could know them really well

If hes black then mostly likey just cracking the in joke that every black perons cracks if you are late to and event

Just like when the old joke about women always being late due to takeing ages to getting ready is thown out there and amazingly i am not offend by that either

MmeLindor Sat 17-Nov-12 20:54:32

I am actually wondering now about the whole 'black time' thing - it is surely a UK thing?

It comes from the immigrant Caribbean / West Indian culture, I am guessing? Laid back, less obsessed with punctuality etc

You couldn't say it in America, about African Americans.

So 'black man's time' is really implying 'Caribbean / West Indian time' which would be like me saying 'Siegfried Time', or my friend talking about her husband being on 'Italian Time'.

NoraGainesborough Sat 17-Nov-12 20:57:47

we don't know if it is a joke or not. Unless we know that person very well but you would assume it is racist? Why?

HokeyCokeyPigInAPokey Sat 17-Nov-12 21:00:05

I don't see how it can all be due to that MmeLindor

For example my sil is from the west indies, she was raised there until a teenager, in her 50's, she is a professional woman, punctual and never late for anything.

Her two daughters however are young mid twenties women who were born and raised here, they are professional women and late for everything and i mean everything and i am not talking a little bit late, i mean LATE.

I am not sure how they keep a job, they drive me bloody mad!!

MmeLindor Sat 17-Nov-12 21:00:41

I wouldn't assume that person was racist, but I would pay more attention to his/her comments.

Bogeyface Sat 17-Nov-12 21:03:02

My black DH said "Put that the service starts at 3pm instead of 4pm on the invites for the black folks" when we were organising our wedding grin

All of the black people bar 2 (him and a female friend of ours) were late, and I was amazed that he was on time! Its kind of a standing joke that DH is on "black mans time" whenever we go out. He doesnt find it racist at all.

MmeLindor Sat 17-Nov-12 21:05:20

oh, not meaning that all with Caribbean/West Indian heritage are chronically unpunctual, but the stereotype gave rise to the expression.

Anyone a West Wing fan? When the President is interviewing for a new secretary and asks one woman the worst thing about working for the French ambassador, and she answers, 'The pliable relationship the French have with time'.

Fishwife1980 Sat 17-Nov-12 21:05:57

Bogey i have to do this with my sister as well smile

Nightmare my oh finds this very frustrating

AmberSocks Sat 17-Nov-12 21:06:40

I remember going to a christening and my cousins boyfriend is black and his family are all from jamaica,they were about an hour late and everyone was saying(black and white people)they were on jamaican time.

i am shocked they said it on the radio!

HokeyCokeyPigInAPokey Sat 17-Nov-12 21:06:49

Bogey When one of dh's friends, who is white was having a christening he said to dh 'don't worry nearly everyone from work will be sitting together' - the majority of the people he invited from work were black.

Dh said 'why the seats don't have names on do they?' and dh's friend said 'no, you're all black and you'll all be late and get the seats'

He wasn't wrong!

Bogeyface Sat 17-Nov-12 21:13:07

I wonder where it comes from though? Being late?

I have seen it a lot on Bridezillas blush, some of the black guests are up to 3 hours late, and the brides can be 4 hours late. Its so rude! DH, his family, his black friends are always late. Why?! DH says its because nothing starts until he gets there and I am not sure he is joking hmm

As someone who will be early for everything and considers being on time as being late, it drives me INSAAAAAAAANE!!!

MmeLindor Sat 17-Nov-12 21:14:59

I must be black then, cause I am always late.

Perhaps it becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy though, cause 'oh, black people are always late' so they don't bother to be punctual.

HokeyCokeyPigInAPokey Sat 17-Nov-12 21:16:09

My lovely nieces who i mentioned up thread have literally miss our dd's parties and turned up at the end just in time to tidy up!!

I am so glad dh isn't it like it, we'd get divorced!

idontgivearatsass Sat 17-Nov-12 22:05:29

Mme Lindor
You are correct. It is know as Caribbean/West Indian time in the Caribbean. And specific islands will say the name of the island and then add time behind. Eg Grenada time or Bajan time etc. It is only in Britain that I hear it called Black Man time, perhaps it is called BMT in the C'bean too but i have not heard it.

African Americans do use it too as coloured peopled time.

But as everyone has said, there are people from the Caribbean who are always bang on time. However overall the general attitude in the Caribbean is that things will always start late therefore there is no need to get there on time as it would not have started yet.

When living in the Caribbean and here in Britain I am flexible with how I apply Caribbean time. For eg if I am going to work I am always on time. But if I am going to a party and i know the organisers are guaranteed to be late (similar to another thread today where the OP was fretting about people always turning up on time for a party when she thought they should allow some time for the organiser to finish preparations) then I will be late to allow them to complete preparations. Whereas if the party is being held by people who are on time, then I will be there on time.

As for me whether i am in the C'bean or here in the UK, I start my own parties on time but bear in time that many people will arrive late and I don't let that bother me. As it is only a party. But the nanny who takes care of my child when she is late I get very upset because I don't want to be late for work!

I won't get drawn into whether it is a racist term to use or not, let's just say that the use of the phrase in the particular context will reveal the user's true intentions.

Alisvolatpropiis Sat 17-Nov-12 22:08:15

I'm not sure,I've never heard the phrase before. It's hard to say therefore.

That's not at all helpful I know.

TigerseyeMum Sat 17-Nov-12 23:39:12

My friend operates on West Indian time and I use the phrase with her and in context. I might use it outside of that relationship with people who knew me and my friend, or knew me well enough to judge my intention correctly.

I would not, however, use it out of these contexts as it could be construed as offensive. Especially as I work with a lot of west Indian people and if I said it I think it might raise eyebrows.

As part Greek I understand it but I don't think it's a great term to use unless said amongst friends.

sashh Sun 18-Nov-12 06:48:54

I've heard 'Deaf time', and that is culturally true.

A work coleague went to The Dominican Republic on holiday. they booked a tour and the rep said "Meet at X, 9 am Local time", so they got up early, went to wait to be picked up and about 10 am went to the office where it was explained 9am 'local time' means 12.00 noon.

iyatoda Sat 24-Nov-12 15:11:01

I say 'African time' not blackman time. For my wedding I recognised the fact that people from my culture are not very time conscious, so on my IV card I put time of wedding down as 12pm, when it was actually meant to start at 1pm!! Preist was hard core British and stressed to us that wedding going to start at 1pm regardless of wehther anyone turned up. My plan worked, people started turning up from 12:45!!

iyatoda Sat 24-Nov-12 15:11:58

'wedding will start at 1pm....@

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