I was at a meeting the other day and I heard the phrase — “He’s running on CPT” — to describe someone who was late for the meeting. A few people uncomfortably chuckled.
Most of us sat in silence as we tried to comprehend if we actually heard what we just thought we heard. The person being described as “running on CPT” was not Black.
I had not heard that phrase for over a decade and I had no idea it was still being employed — either equally or unequally.
If you haven’t heard that phrase before, “CPT” means “Colored People’s Time” and it is used to describe someone — historically someone Black — who is always running late and has no sense of time nor of the need to be on time. Is “CPT” still used and felt as an insult or has it been used so often and for so long it has lost its racial sting and is now merely trite and unfunny?