UPDATE: I have some corrections to make, I don’t want to spread any untruths!
- Kelis has since tweeted to clarify the incident happened in Spain after a flight from Gatwick
- A British passenger made the comments against the singer
- Incident DID NOT occur in Heathrow as I previously wrote (I blame my sources and Twitter confusion!)
- I hope this makes things clearer!
Kelis vented her anger via Twitter today after being racially abused at passport control whilst leaving Britain. The incident apparently occurred last month, but Kelis did not want to make it public as riots, triggered partly by racial tensions, flared in London.
The Acapella singer described the incident in a series of tweets. She claimed that she was waiting in line with her two year old son at
passport control in Heathrow, when a white, middle-aged man accused her of queue jumping. Kelis went on to say he then called her ‘slave’ and declared she was ‘probably a disgusting Nigerian’.
To make matters worse, the official behind the passport desk, apparently laughed, shook his head in agreement with the singer’s abuser and said “kunta kinte”, which is the name of a fictional character in an American novel about slavery.
Whilst it’s absolutely clear that the incident Kelis suffered was disgustingly racist, the singer went on to claim that racism was still rife in Britain as a nation, labelling it as “disgusting”.
She wrote: “It’s [Britain] 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.”
Kelis also conceded that racism was still at issue in her own country, the US, where black people could not vote until the sixties.
Personally, I agree with Kelis’s opinions in some respects – in Britain there is still in ignorant minority of people who are racist. However, as I wrote about in my recent blog post on the EDL protest and counter-protest, there are people, an overwhelming majority, that are fighting back against racism.
It’s very sad that Kelis, and probably many other people, have had to suffer racism in this country, but I hope that they see and believe that these views are held by a minority of very ignorant people, and not my Britain as a whole.
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What do you think of Kelis’s comments? Please leave your comments below!