American professor complains that time is ‘racist’
An American associate professor of women’s, gender and Africana studies at Rutgers University, says that time is racist.
Published: April 16, 2019, 6:47 am
In an interview with NPR affiliate WSIU-FM, Brittney Cooper claimed that Africans have a reputation for being late, because the notion of time itself was a white construct.
“Typically, we talk about race in terms of black and white issues. 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.[…]
“But today I want to talk to you more about the political nature of time; for if time had a race, it would be white. White people own time,” Cooper said.
African time or Africa time in parts of Africa and the Caribbean, is a more relaxed attitude toward time. This is sometimes used in a pejorative sense, about tardiness in appointments, meetings and events.
This includes the less rigorously scheduled lifestyles found in African countries, especially as opposed to the more clock-bound pace of daily life in Western countries. As such, it is similar to time orientations in non-Western cultures.
African cultures are often described by anthropologists as “polychronic”, which means Africans do not manage time in a strict sequence.
According to Ghanaian writer Ayi Kwei Armah, strict Western notions of time do not suit Africans.
“One of the main reasons for the continuing underdevelopment of our country is our nonchalant attitude to time and the need for punctuality in all aspects of life. The problem of punctuality has become so endemic that lateness to any function is accepted and explained off as ‘African time’,” said another author.
American entrepeneur Dave Hecker on his visit to Ghana, noted that the term “Africa Time” was widely used to describe tardiness, although he said he personally preferred GMT or “Ghana Maybe Time”.
In October 2007, an Ivorian campaign against African time, backed by President Laurent Gbagbo, received international media attention when an event called “Punctuality Night” was held in Abidjan to recognize business people and government workers for regularly being on time.
The slogan of the campaign is “‘African time’ is killing Africa – let’s fight it.”
Reuters reported that “organisers hope to heighten awareness of how missed appointments, meetings or even late buses cut productivity in a region where languid tardiness is the norm”.
Legal adviser Narcisse Aka—who received a $60 000 villa in recognition of his punctuality, “is so unusually good at being punctual that his colleagues call him ‘Mr White Man’s Time'”.
Recently international journalists in the UK were kept waiting by the king of Ghana’s largest ethnic group who was visiting Alexandra Palace in north London at the climax of a Ghanaian trade exhibition, Ghana Expo 2003.
The journalists had been informed that Otumfuo Osei Tutu II from the Ashanti would arrive at the exhibition at 11:00 GMT. His arrival time was then changed to 14:00, but the king did not show up until two hours later when the journalists had already departed.
The BBC’s Africa Live programme aired a progamme to demand whether “poor time-keeping” was Africa’s worst enemy?
All rights reserved. You have permission to quote freely from the articles provided that the source (www.freewestmedia.com) is given. Photos may not be used without our consent.
Consider donating to support our work
Help us to produce more articles like this. FreeWestMedia is depending on donations from our readers to keep going. With your help, we expose the mainstream fake news agenda.
Keep your language polite. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in, for example, Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.
If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violations of any law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.
If your comments are subject to preview by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.
We reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.
TripoliAfter a period of failed Tunisian negotiations under the auspices of the UN and UNSMIL's Stephanie Williams, which led to discord among the participants and exacerbated relations between the Government of National Accord (GNA) and Khalifa Haftar's Libyan National Army (LNA), there is renewed hope in Libya for the gradual restoration of constructive dialogue through economic arrangements.
PretoriaIn South Africa, in recent weeks, dozens of trucks have been set on fire with Molotov cocktails, cargoes looted, drivers injured, killed, in a fresh wave of particularly brutal attacks. The road transport industry is "under siege", according to the South African press. Most of the assaulted drivers are foreigners.
TripoliA criminal Libyan politician and his Islamist gang are getting ready to run the country and threating the West and Europe. How did that happen?
France and the United States may want to support him, but the price will be a new round of escalation in the conflict.
TunisThe UN-recognized Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) is often criticized for its links to radical political Islam.
TunisThe Libyan Political Dialogue Forum started on November 9 in Tunisia. This forum was organized by the UN Support Mission to Libya (UNSMIL) headed by Stephanie Williams, former US chargé d'affaires in Libya.
PretoriaFarmers in the Eastern Free State say the horrific murder of Brendin Horner could have been prevented if a detailed report had been considered in which the suspected members of transnational stock theft syndicates had been identified.
Paul RouxIt is clear that a slow war is being fought against South Africa's white farmers and this slow racial war is increasingly also being taken to towns and cities. The murder of a white farm manager, Brendin Horner (21), serves as proof that the South African government’s rural safety plan is failing.
The oil deal in Libya discloses the rampant fight for power and oncoming political changes.
Tens of thousands of motorcycle riders took part in a protest against the country’s gruesome farm murders on Saturday. In Cape Town, an attempt by motorcyclists to deliver a petition to the parliament building led to clashes between police and protesters, with a black officer assaulting a white motorcyclist and another drawing his gun on an unarmed protestor.