Of Pots and Kettles and the Much Maligned Color Black

Guillermo Calvo Mahé and Diana Marcela Cardenas Garcia, December 25, 2018

Reflections on Christmas Day, 2018, on a beautiful morning in a celestial city set high amidst the central range of the Colombian Andes, “Manizales del Alma”.

Ironic how a little bit of truth goes such a long way towards distorting the whole truth and helping a false statement seem reasonable on its face, logical pretzels leading down twisted paths to illogical conclusions. Truth matters so little today where a clever quip makes up for a false statement’s deficiencies and comedy is meant to insult rather than to entertain. We’ve permitted ourselves to be manipulated into a mean, polarized People with little empathy for those with whom we don’t agree. Something to think about as we celebrate Sol Invictus and the humble birth of a prince of peace. What might he have to say about who we’ve become?

Perhaps black ought not to be considered a color, it is in fact the total absence of pigments while ironically, given today’s identity politics, white is all inclusive. Irony rules the day. The United States has always been xenophobic and racist, perhaps a residue of the shock Native Americans must have felt as they slowly lost their hemisphere to wave upon wave of white invaders from the East. But history is hypocrisy’s legacy so those whites became the good guys, the purportedly red men (and women and children), the real victims, became the villains, and blacks, the third element, well, they never really fit in comfortably into the narratives, largely because of the “peculiar institution”: crafty New England entrepreneurs selling captured blacks as slaves to gullible Southerners; history writ much the same way then as it is today, as (with a few exceptions) it always has been.

Today, Democratic Party villains responsible for the current immigration crisis are being painted by today’s perverted corporate media as the heroes and saviors of the “tired, … poor, … huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of teeming shore[s]”, refugees they in fact created, rendered homeless and stateless by the nefariously uncaring international policies of the Clinton — Obama presidency, i.e., those streaming into the United States from Honduras and Guatemala and El Salvador and into Europe from Libya and Syria and Yemen and Afghanistan and the Ukraine. “The wall, the wall, Trump’s immoral wall” scream the pundits and reporters from television and computer screens and the tabloids that major newspapers have become, utterly ignoring the reality that the concept was one originated by Democratic president Bill Clinton and avidly supported when it was their idea by Democratic Party leaders such as (gasp!) Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi and Barrack Obama. Immigrants are, as they always have been, mere political tools to be used when convenient and discarded when they’ve served their purpose, usually, the corporate media most to blame. Immigration reform is an illusion because it serves no valid political purpose, only useful to both major political parties (like abortion and gun control) as a wedge issue: Pots and kettles in an orgy of calling each other black, with the color black, appalled, unable to respond.

This Christmas day, United States Army Major Danny Sjursen, perhaps the most courageous member of today’s military, published an article in Truthdig entitled “Jesus Christ Would Be Appalled by America’s Immigration Policy”. The major, an active duty officer and a former West Point history instructor, is the author of a legitimate history of the United States presented online in series (see, initial installment, American History for Truthdiggers), the most honest attempt to portray real history since perhaps that gifted us by Howard Zinn (see, A people’s History of the United States), or that reflected in Gore Vidal’s series of historical novels known collectively as the Narratives of Empire. It is an important read. He reflects, without satire, on the irony of purported Christians celebrating the birth of the one they deem their savior, while turning their backs on those with whom he would have felt most kinship, using them as mere political fodder, … bipartisan iniquity.

Somehow, of course, the global immigration crisis, and especially that being played with by both major United States political parties on the Southern border, is all the Russian’s fault, it must be , everything is, everywhere. We, like the white European colonists, are blame-free and must be portrayed that way in history. Golly, gee, shucks and gal-darned. Thank goodness we write the history. Well, except for people like Major Sjursen, and Howard Zinn, and Gore Vidal, damn them to Hell!!!

Said the shepherd boy to the mighty king:

Do you know what I know

In your palace warm, mighty king?

Do you know what I know

A child, a child shivers in the cold

Let us bring him silver and gold….[1]

Well, those unelected elites who rule us and their corporate media tools know the silver and gold part all too well.


When will we ever learn, when will we, … ever learn[2]?”


© Guillermo Calvo Mahé and Diana Marcela Cardenas Garcia; Manizales, 2018; all rights reserved. Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia although he has primarily lived in the United States of America (of which he is a citizen). Until recently he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales. He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies). He can be contacted at guillermo.calvo.mahe@gmail.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at www.guillermocalvo.com. Diana Marcela Cardenas Garcia is a Colombian social communicator and journalist who collaborates with Dr. Calvo on diverse civic, social and political projects.

[1] Lyrics to the popular Christmas song, “Do You Hear What I Hear,” written by Gloria Shayne Baker & Noel Regney during the October 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.

[2] From “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?” the first three verses written by Pete Seeger in 1955 and published in Sing Out! Magazine with additional verses added in May 1960 by Joe Hickerson, who turned it into a circular song (Wikipedia).



Guillermo Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia.

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Guillermo Calvo Mahé

Guillermo Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia.