Posted by Amos on January 22, 2000
In Reply to: The pot... posted by ESC on January 22, 2000
: That "Black and White" thread got so curved that it hurt my neck to read it. So I am taking the liberty of starting another one. I, too, have felt the wrath of Amos. He accused me of being a drinker I believe. But you have to admit the man does turn a nice phrase. "I should like to believe that the rustle I think I hear in the echoing silence is the sound of dried leaves on the dead vine of prejudice but I have fears that it's merely Winter waiting for a Spring of luxuriant growth."Is that original?
: But any how I agree with Bob that we are getting way off the point of discussion. Is the phrase "pot calling the kettle black" a racist phrase? When the question was first posted, I said, "No. It's not a racist phrase. Then I did some research that lead me to believe that, well, maybe it is. I will repeat, in part, what I posted: ".Usually the source of the phrase is given as Cervantes' 'Don Quixote' and simply as 'The pot calls the kettle black,' but another version of Don Quixote comes out as: 'Said the pot to the kettle, get away black-face!'."
: I think an important question is, when did the black/white animosity begin? I know we all started in the Garden of Eden, but for a while thereafter we were on separate continents. When did we get together again and start hurling insults? Does this old saying pre-date racial slurs against blacks?
: As an aside, I want to note that many times people unknowingly use old phrases that are slurs. (See the entry about Dutch. Those guys have it rough.) For example, a few weeks ago I overheard one person thanking a second for a favor. She said, "That was mighty white of you." Now that's a phrase that should be purged.
: And another thing. Amos Jackson. Jim Brown. Richard Roundtree. ??
A few points:
1. The phrase is original
2. With all due respect to your religious beliefs I doubt many share your certainty that the creation story in the Bible accurately reflects the origins of the human species.
3. Perhaps those who are curious, as to the origins of black-white animosity, might consider, as one contributory cause, the fact that thousands of black African people were carried to these shores in chains, bred like cattle and treated worse that dogs for several generations and only in recent times have their descendants been reluctantly accepted as members of the human race - probably.
4. I trust you're not implying that I contribute under the names of Roundtree or Jim Brown.