ranting about PC
I'm usually a fan of being considerate with language. I favor many phrasings that others consider Political Correctness. I find that when people don't want to accept a new "PC" way to talk about something, more often than not they don't know much about the issue and don't really care to learn.
Someone took someone else to task recently for using the phrase "That's the pot calling the kettle black." The concern was expressed politely:
I'd be careful about using this phrase, for reasons that are associated with modern modes of thought. When you refer to "the pot calling the kettle black," in the usual usage, you're implying that being dark-colored is a bad thing.
But to me, this borders on egregious silliness. With all due respect for this person's intelligence, class, erudition, and articulate-ivity-ness, I have to say this is waaaay too PC for me. At some point we need to move modern modes of thought out of the dark ages (ba-bump).
In the first place, the negative implications of the pot's and kettle's blackness is an extremely minor part of the metaphor; the point is they are both the same -- neither is more X than the other.
Secondly, the traditional conception of white/black as representing good/evil is emphatically NOT a racist invention. It's a natural and almost universal idea extending from the fact that daylight (the Sun) brings light, warmth, life, safety while night/darkness represents danger, cold, the unknown, the eternal sleep of death, etc.
The sky, clouds, water, etc. -- light/white things are types of purity, cleanliness, the desirable, the beautiful.
Mould, corruption, mud/earth -- dark things are easily seen as types of death and/or evil.
The racist part: For years our predisposition to think of white=good/black=evil WAS used to excuse racist attitudes and practices WRT white/non-white peoples’ place in the world. There have even been brown people who thought that whites were somehow more blessed by God.
But since most people now recognize that as nonsense, I think we can give human beings credit for being intelligent enough to understand that the life/death aspects of light/darkness
do not apply when we're talking about skin color. IMO, we don’t have to throw away a racially-neutral metaphor just because some have abused it or don’t understand it. What’s next? Should we abolish certain use of the uses of "high" and "low" (high art, high road, high achievement, high hopes, low expectations, lowbrow, low score, low class, etc) because short people might think it means they're not as good?