Friday, September 23, 2011

"Racial issues in the UK are disgusting," says US singer Kelis

Via Deeper than Twitter
US singer and Grammy nominee Kelis landed in the UK on September 12 and had a memorable, and quite racist immigration experience with her son. She took it to twitter.

“We just landed and I had the midget with me. We get in the passport control line and apparently pissed this one man off cause he thought I cut the line. Which wouldn’t be far fetched of me but this time I actually didn’t (not entirely anyway) well the point is from 0 to 60 this fat red faced sweaty “man” (I use the word man loosely here) started calling me a slave and told me to call him sir and how I was probably a disgusting nigerian. He called me kunta kinte and ranted and raved some more.

The man behind the passport desk laughed, shook his head in agreement I guess, and said “kunta kinte”. All the while the entire line full of people I just sat on a plane with for almost 3hours, over 50 people said nothing. I mean literally nothing. Didn’t flinch.

We all no I’m no saint, so I retaliated. Not the way I wanted to or how that pig deserved. But #1 my gorgeous baby boy was literally sitting on my hip and #2 I’m a believer. And we are better.

Sposed to be anyway, it made me think. This person was aprox a 50 year old english man. I didn’t say anything at the time of the riots in London for a lot of reasons. But I am in london all the time and today I’m gonna say that the racial issues in the uk are disgusting. Its racially decades behind progression because everything is swept under the rug. People don’t talk about it. People don’t fight about it. Not mentioning a problem doesn’t make it go away.

I bring it up now because as an american it is abundantly clear that my country has a smorgas board (spelling?) Of disgusting racial problems. We are the poster child for racial inequality even still with a black president. But its NO SECRET! And that I can fight against. I can try to prepare and teach my son. Because its out there. But you can’t fight for or against something no one is willing to talk about or even admit exist. Everyone wants to be politically correct. But who really cares? And what does that help. I could go on and on. I won’t. But maybe someone will start to talk about it from here.”

The Mayor of London has written an open letter to Border Agency staff after American singer Kelis alleged she was subjected to racial abuse while travelling through a London airport.

Boris Johnson said he was 'appalled' by the star's claims that she was called a 'slave' and 'kunta kinte' by a white member of the public, comments which she says made a passport control officer laugh.

Read more:

Update: Kelis has revealed that her recent racist attack did not happen in the UK, but in Spain. In a response she says : "I landed in Spain and that's when the fat pink faced British guy who was on the plane with me called me a slave and (told me) to call him sir. It was at passport control. I didn't think to make that clear at the time because I was shaken and furious. Now you know." Check out the full story here.


  1. Before people react, I'd like to say that Kelis is an idiot. She's been trashing the UK the last month and then corrected herself by saying she meant that Spain was racist, not the UK. This racist incidence happened in Spain; yet, she's been bashing the UK the last month.

  2. I don't know if Kellis is an idiot, but her mix up of is kind of confusing and a little stupid. How could she get two different countries so messed up? It's not fair for her to say people in the UK or disgusting if it didn't happen there. She should submit an apology to the UK and rewrite her rant asap.

  3. I'm amazed that people are concerned about her mix up...other than what happen to her. To me that says a lot! You would think you would be angry about what happen to her while with her kid... Well i guess it matter the place more than the disgusting words that was said about her. The hell with's a mistake... but what happen to her is more important i think.... Por Favor!!!!!!

  4. She ruins her credibility when she can't remember the country that racist incident happened in--the country!!!

  5. How does one confuse Spain with England?

  6. Truth2011, thanks for comments. And Ankhesen Mié I wrote an update. It seems she was to furious to make that clear.

  7. She says a man from the UK was racist to her whilst she was in Spain. No need for you guys to over react.

  8. I think she made a great point in stating that political correctness does nothing to help expose the problem of racism. Neither does "sweeping it under the rug" helping, as a good healthy but tactful confrontation with a racsit/abuser is all that's needed.
    Remember: racists, all of them, are nothing but bullies. Sooner or later, you're going to run into someone who's not going to take shit off from anyone, regardless of "who" your are!

  9. The whole incident seems quite confusing to me, especially the Kunta Kinte reference. Roots was not such a big deal in the U.K. you need to have more than a passing interest in African American culture to have bothered to read the book or watched the series and that would suggest a degree of enlightenment that would make it unlikely that you would use the term as an insult. There are many other racist terms that reguarly fall from the mouths of English bigots but I have never heard that one used. The lack of reaction from the 50 Spanish people perhaps came from them not understanding anything other than someone was getting cussed out for cutting in line. Cutting in line is considered a mortal sin in England but is usually greeted with furious tutting and not strange racial slurs.
    I'm sure the white guy was a dick and something happened but it is racist to judge England's attitude toward race on this one innacurate story of a red faced a-hole. Apparently England has the highest proportion of mixed race families of any country, I'm not saying its all happiness and rainbows but that is an indicator of something.

  10. Well its great to be back...


    I suppose I shouldn't be surprised on the stance you would take on this, I think truth2011 is my new best friend..

    I mean just from reading what she posted it's quite clear that she is not one to take seriously, as said before mixing up two completely different countries makes her credibility go down a couple of notches also she apparently can not spell either. I agree with the other post, maybe the guy was a loser, but if she reacted the way she said she reacted how could a group of people not intervene and put an end to the madness. Also I'm sure she could have handled the situation more maturely, by simply not responding, or maybe laughing it's obvious that the guy was an idiot as well and did not have a clue what he was talking about. Seriously why even stoop to his level, or even acknowledge his presence. He is a buffoon who is not even worthy of my response, tell that guy to go kick rocks and let that be that. Kelis seriously needs a geography lesson.

    "I'll rebel against powers and principalities, all the time. Always, I will"
    Paul Thomas Anderson

    Negroamor4u long time, but I just got to Afghanistan so connectivity has been bitch...

  11. Rebel American….well I see you have traded me in! Well as my mom always says a real friend will always be! Nice to have you back brother. But do be careful in Afghanistan. I know you think you’re superman and! Just be cool over there brother… But I still don’t get why you think she should not be taken seriously? To me that makes no sense… It’s like everyone is so fixated on her not saying the right place instead of what happen… And that baffles me…. The hell with where… What about what was said to her? I don’t think she would just lie for the hell of it… But I’m sure you side with the guy who was running his fat mouth!! Lol! And how would you have handled it ??? Oh and as we say in Spanish traidor!! Trader!!! Lol! I lost my spot because I don’t agree with! hahaha!

    Well you know how I think so it is what it is. But I do realize that I don’t know everything. And I realize that my thinking can be very emotional at times. But I do understand what you and others have said. It makes sense and cool! But I guess for me I was thinking more so about what happen. I was not really all that interested in where! Once I read what she said it just took me to another place. Because I know all too well that these kinds of things do happen. And hey who am I or anyone else to tell someone how to react to ignorance!!!!!! I’m not sure if I would have punched the man if he had said that to me. I would like to think I’m more clam than that….but one never knows until they are in it. But I do know that I have a very smart mouth and I know how you use it very well.. So I would like to think I would have had a few choice words for him.. Not getting loud or anything like that… but I know how to slice with my words…

  12. But I must say I have had a few very interesting weeks. One was very nice and eye opening.. I was with friends down town Chicago at a hotel. We were having a few drinks…well they were I don’t drink…can’t hold! But we all were just having a good time. Laughing and just talking… there was a Black couple sitting in a nearby table and they kept watching and laugh as we had our fun. So I asked them if they wanted to join us…and they said yes. Once they opened their mouth I knew they were from London. So that opened up a lot of conversation. We all talked and laugh and shared stories of what it is like being Black in America. And what it is like being Black in London. And it never surprises me because our lives were so parallel. But there were so many differences as well. But not to the point that I could not relate a vis versa. But it was just nice meeting new people and coming to an understanding that sometimes you think you see and understand things and you really don’t.

  13. Ok so we stayed there for about 3 hours talking and drinking. So we all were about to go.. and they asked me where I was going. I told them I was going to stroll down the Magnificent Mile… high end shopping area. No I did not spend any! So I ended up being their tour guide for the next three! Shopping and parties meeting many of my friends. Ended up driving them to St. Louis Mo… about 275 miles away from Chicago. Just so they can say they went somewhere other than Chicago. Plus I got to see my family members as well… It was nice and we had a lot of fun. They were leaving on a Saturday so I drove them to the airport. So we exchange information and said we would keep in touch. I left because I couldn’t park there… I’m on my way home and I get a call from them asking me to come back and pick them up. I was like why?? Well Steve ended up losing his pass port and could not get on the plane. So I knew there was nothing they could do until Monday. So they were going to go back to the hotel.. But I offered my home to them and they accepted. I told them why spend money you don’t really have and you can stay for free. Plus they had been to my house everyday anyway. They were so grateful because they said they really couldn’t afford it anyway. I played host to people I really just met less than a week. But the point here is that there are so many really cool people from all over. And once you get to talking to them you can learn a lot. Your views are sometimes challenged and that’s ok. Because with learning come even more self confidence. Basically I learned that there is always more to what I see. I learned that sometimes I am too passionate about what I think and feel. And that sometimes it narrows my view of seeing the whole picture. Now don’t get me wrong I still believe in what I believe in. But I have a wider view now…. And I’m now more willing to think beyond what I see…

  14. As a black male living in the UK I would have to concur with Kelis statement. Rather than trying to dissect and reconstruct her motives or thought processes, her state of mind or the context in which her comment was made, the fact is that her that the words she uttered contained truth.

    Living in Britain in a recession, when ethnic minority employment is increasing at triple the rate of white unemployment, with the re-emergence of far right groups, with the racist British National Party having had representatives elected to the European Parliament and having members on local councils in London and the North of England, the fact that there are laws against discrimination (which have a limited definition of discrimination) to deter discrimination in some limited circumstances makes Britain far from discrimination free. I am certain that people face the same problems in the US. as a lawyer I know that legal protections are not that great and are not enforced in the overwhelming majority of cases.
    In fact I recently wrote a novel which has now been published, based on a number of race hate murders that have taken place in Britain (Angry People Smiling by Peter Ashley), a novel that will hopefully challenge and may even change the way you think about bigotry. Based on factual cases and tells it like it is. (The murders of Rolan Adams, Stephen Lawrence, Rohit Duggal, Imran Khan and many more) Discrimination is a problem in all major economies and should not be excused. Ever. Nor should it be dismissed because of the messenger.
    Calling Kelis an idiot as some posters have is simply shooting the messenger without trying to find out if there is any truth in the message. And there is truth there.
    To finish, I would like to ask a question of those who have simply shot the messenger... Have you played the ultimate race card, with your skepticism now allowing you to be dismissive of the problems of the racist reality?

  15. Kelis might have been the victim of discrimination. Having read my country's (the USA) bulletin on Spain, I wouldn't be surprised if Spaniards did say those words to her. She doesn't help her case when she confuses two different countries that have two different languages and with two different looking people. Pointing out that she loses credibility because she can't remember where it happened isn't indeed shooting the messenger.

  16. There are a number of British ex-pats who live in Spain. I can imagine that a lot of them have racist motivations for their expatriation (i.e. too many dark-skinned people in England esp London)and choose Spain as it is known to be quite racist towards darker-skinned people. The red-faced Brit who was rude to Kelis probably knew he could get away with saying what he did in Spain.

  17. Anonymous it’s good to read that someone sees what I seen when I read about what happen to Kelis. Some say she loses credibility for making a mistake in where it happened. I say not! I say that because it really doesn’t matter where it happens. But more so that it happen! Instead of trying to understand what she was say some seem as though they were picking her story apart. What it comes down to is that fact that these things do happen all the time. It happens here in the USA and I’m not surprised when it happens abroad. Black people need to understand that we have always been the so called enemy. Not that everyone hates us…but there are so many people who are just plain ignorant. It is a reality that we Black people must accept. Some seem to want the acceptance of the white man. You don’t need it, you just need to accept you. And as I read a lot of these replies I realize that some don’t. And the sad part about that is that they don’t even see it. I don’t need to mirror my life after the white man or any other man. I love who I am and what I look like…and don’t care if others do. I’ve been to Spain at least 4 times and being a brown skin brother I saw how they looked at me. And I heard things that they said because they had no idea I’m part Latino. So I was able to do a lot of laughing, but also me being quick with my tongue I said what I wanted to… Also there were some really good people there as well. I don’t know if it was because I was from America or not, but some really treated me well. The Blacks there were really cool. So it is really a matter of whom you come across. But I’m in no way blind by whom people really are. In London…which I love there are many Black people everywhere. And I know as well as you do that there is major racism in London. From the Football teams on down… And I know that a lot of Black people who have positions are afraid to speak out against racism. Mainly I think because they are afraid of losing what they have. But if we keep that attitude nothing will ever change. Black people in London complain but no one really does anything. I was telling my friends who lives there that the other day. And they agreed with me that there is a lot of talk but no one doing anything.

  18. That's the key, Ms Kelis..Recognizing the issue. No matter where this happened, it happened.

    Here in America, despite the still simmering racism, we at least still acknowledge and address our racial problems even though they seem to be light years away from resolution.

    I also have had cousins spend time in the UK and they flat out told me not to go, and this was back in the 1990s. In fact, I told my wife I will never set foot in the UK. I have read horrible accounts of blacks, parkistanis and other people from north Africa and the middle east being abused by police and randomly attacked by strangers.

    My wife and I went to Italy, France and Spain recently and we encountered no problems, except for me being stopped randomly in the Rome airport by a police officer. He did a quick check of my passport and sent me on my way. I can't be mad at a man for doing his job and treating me fairly.

    Now people have told me that if you are a tourist, you will be treated differently than if you are an immigrant. I noticed in one northern Italian city there were a lot of Sengalese. I really wanted to stop and speak with these brothers and ask them about their experiences firsthand. However we were short on time. Next trip we go over I intend to do that.

    I came across this blog by accident while searching for something else, and it is excellent

  19. My question is did the media get ahold of this story and twist it ? Spain /UK okay so we are told the man was from UK is that a fact and was Kelis in Spain or the UK at the time of the alledged rant? Personally I really dread reading anything anymore that get posted on the net -- facts are not thoughly checked out anymore by the net media was as the old school of Journalism -- facts had to be checked before the story could hit the presses. These days the Media coverage is all about who can get the story out the fastest on the net ...


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