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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?

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

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

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!!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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!!!

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!

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!

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

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'.

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 21:00:41

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

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!!

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?

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'.

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

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 20:51:06

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

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 20:47:43

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

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.

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'?

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