For centuries, medical and social scientists have been plagued by questions concerning the debilitating African-American disease, CP Time (or “Colored People’s Time”). Apparently striking in adolescence, CP Time renders your typical person of African descent literally incapable of ever being punctual. Victims are chronically at least 15 minutes late every day for work and may not show up to social engagements for hours.
Founder of American psychiatry Benjamin Rush first discovered this malady in 1781, claiming it to be “a fundamental weakness of the negro physick.” Many slave owners at the time just chocked it up to malingering and attempted to cure this deadly genetic disease with healthy doses of horse hide. Thomas Jefferson, along with many other slave owners, thought they themselves caught the disease from their slaves. Jefferson claimed to have contracted it from his slave Sally Hemings, reporting that on several occasions he couldn’t get himself out of bed for days on end after being visited by the woman. It was their own chronic tardiness that had detractors believing presidents Abraham Lincoln and Warren G. Harding were indeed part-Negro.
The mystery of CP Time has led to many far-flung scientific “theories.” Phrenologists believed that the African’s skull was too small to include the concept of time. Louis Pasteur was absolutely certain it was caused by a Negro-specific virus. Albert Einstein even thought there was perhaps an exclusively Negro dimension of time. However, it wasn’t until 1995, when scientists realized that those of mixed race were only on average five minutes late to work, that the causes of CP Time were known to be genetic.
Though the Genome Project has yet to identify a CP Time gene, the evidence is quite striking and the consequences can be deadly. Recent research has shown that those of African descent spend on average 5.7 years of their lives waiting for other blacks; Latinos, 3.2 years; Europeans, 1.2 minutes; and while South Asians lose 6.2 years, East Asians actually gain 5.3 years, chronically being early to work and social occasions.
Former Surgeon General Louis B. Sullivan stated, “This is a serious health crisis. Something needs to be done.”
Al Sharpton cried, “This is racist! Tawanna told the truth!”
While there still seems to be no cure in site, this past week encouraging news has emerged out of Georgia. The southern state is currently conducting early voting for this year’s election. While African-Americans only constitute 29 percent of registered voters, they have made up nearly 39 percent of votes already cast (74,961 out of 194,138). With Senator Obama garnering roughly 93 percent of the African-American vote, it can only be assumed that the Democratic nominee’s campaign is responsible for this medical breakthrough.
It is too early for scientists and the medical community to garner any meaningful data on the recent phenomenon. However, they are hopeful and are gathering information while trying to figure out what exactly about the Obama campaign that has African-Americans not only be on time but actually early for this election. We reached the senator for comment.
“I don’t know frankly,” Sen. Obama said, frankly. “I myself have been plagued by CP Time my entire life. I never understood it. I barely knew my Kenyan father, was raised by my white mother and white grandparents, went to Harvard, became a successful attorney, community organizer, and politician, and never smoked menthols, and yet I could never be on time for anything. My campaign will do everything within our power to find a cure.”
Geogia Republican Senator and owner of one of the largest real estate brokerage companies in America, Johnny Isakson, represents much white ambivalence about the news of a possible cure. “In all honesty,” Isakson said, “we in the GOP depended on blacks to show up on November 10 [for the November 4 election]. While as an employer, I’m excited to see my workers finally show up on time; but if this means that McCain could possibly lose Georgia, I’m afraid the price may be too high.”
Isakson’s feelings are not shared by most, however. With the global proliferation of rap music and the worldwide prominence of Oprah Winfrey, Denzel Washington, and Will Smith, outbreaks of CP Time have been reported in such far-flung places as London, Beijing, and Tel Aviv. In Tblisi, Georgia, government officials have abandoned designated times for meetings altogether. “Something needs to be done. Our government barely functions,” stated Iraqi President Jalal Talabani. “We are still waiting on a time table from the Bush administration.” CP Time may indeed be a worldwide pandemic. With Gov. Palin’s recent “shout out” in last Thursday’s Vice-Presidential debate, scientists have rushed to Alaska in search of a new outbreak in the “Last Frontier.”