I just happened to stumble across this post about the phrase "the pot calling the kettle black" from Miguel Cervantes' Don Quixote, which happens to dovetail very nicely with yesterday's post about blackholes' apparent racism. It's a little wordy, but it's worth it:
...not long ago I was delivering a training module on conflict resolution to the staff of a large government agency. In my talk, I included the time-honored saying, "the pot calls the kettle black." Afterward, the African American woman who was the leader of the training program (a good friend of mine, incidentally), came to me in something of a dither. "Do you realize what you said?" she asked. "That is very offensive to black people." I was taken aback. I explained to her that this little saying is from Miguel Cervantes' Don Quixote, one of the most famous novels of all time, and that it is the perfect metaphor to use in discussing conflict resolution, in which a principal objective is seeing the other person's point of view. She was unmoved by my explanation, saying "I don't care where it came from, this is clearly a racist remark, and I know it offended many in our audience." I said, "Look, Linda, the saying refers to a pot and a kettle hanging on hooks over a fire. That's the way they cooked in medieval times. It means that both pot and kettle become blackened by the fire. The analogy is that when you criticize someone else while ignoring your own faults, this is like the "pot calling the kettle black." Both pot and kettle are black. Of course, she simply responded that it doesn't matter what the real meaning of the saying is, it is the perception of the audience that counts.
I'm not even sure what to say, but it does make me a quite sad that there are people out there, in our great country, that have been afforded the same opportunities and liberties as everyone else, who still choose to remain ignorant to the facts and continue to play the victim.