"I am in London all the time and today I'm gonna say that the racial issues in the UK are disgusting." Kelis

African-American singer Kelis is furious with Britain after saying that a man called her “Kunta Kinte”, during an argument over queue jumping at an airport and she said that Britain was “racially decades behind progression”, after posting the details on Twitter.

Kelis, 32, and most famous for her hit songs, Milkshake and Caught Out There, had finished performing at the Bestival on the Isle of Wight and was travelling home when the incident occurred.

On Twitter she said that a man accused her of queue-jumping and called her a “slave” and “probably a disgusting Nigerian.” (Belfast Telegragh: Kelis slams UK after ‘race attack’: Thursday, 15 September, 2011)

She said that the man insisted that she referred to him as “Sir” and also called her “Kunta Kinte”, after the slave character in Alex Haley’s book Roots.

Kelis said that an official behind the passport desk just laughed. She added, “All the while the entire line full of people I just sat on a plane with for almost three hours, over 50 people said nothing. Didn’t flinch.”

Kelis also said, “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. It’s racially decades behind progression because everything is swept under the rug. People don’t talk about it. People don’t fight about it.

This is England!

Kelis has certainly raised an important issue for modern England, where racism is rife but grossly under-reported by the mainstream media.

A Liverpool Echo report (Mum beaten with a stick in Toxteth street by racist thug: John Sutton: September 12, 2011) tells the story of Adele Samson, a 37 year-old mother of four, who was waiting for a taxi in Lodge Lane, Toxteth, after coming from her grandad’s funeral. She was propositioned by a passer-by and when she refused to go home with him he burst into a tirade of racist verbal abuse, and beat her with a wooden stick which left her needing hospital treatment and stitches after she was covered in bumps and bruises. The man only stopped attacking her because a taxi driver intervened.

The Hemlington Gazette (Parents attacked in Hemlington gang terror: Krysta Eaves: September 12, 2011) reported that a gang of white youths attacked Stephen Mazfari and his wife Maria Mazfari, just because they asked for their 5 year-old son’s ball back.

Gang ring leader, 18 year-old Daniel Brown began racially abusing Mr Mazfari, and then kicked and punched him, needing six stitches. His wife Maria was grabbed by her hair, as 23 year-old Jade Musgrave punched her, leaving her with a bloody nose and bruises.

Remarkably, Rachel Dyson, Brown’s legal defender said that despite his racist abuse and the attack he does not have “a deep-rooted problem.”

The Institute of Race Relations (IRR) revealed in a report that an average of five race murders has occurred in the UK every year since the race murder of Stephen Lawrence in April 1993 by a gang of racists. (Read Five racial murders per year says race institute)

The IRR also reported that in July 2010, a 15-year-old girl was racially abused and attacked by two other girls at a bus stop in Boston, Lincolnshire. She suffered bruises to her face and eyes.

A Muslim family in Ely, Cambridgeshire were sitting in their garden when their drunken white neighbour racially abused them and told them to ‘go back to their own country‘, whilst threatening them with a baseball bat and bashing in their fence.

Two brothers who were leaving a Mosque in Colne, Lancashire, with their 14-year-old nephew were confronted by a drunken white woman who followed them home shouting racist abuse such as ‘Get out of our country. This is our town‘ and spitting on them.

In August 2010, three men were taken to hospital after an Iranian owned takeaway in Bradford was firebombed at night.

In the same month shopkeeper Amandeep Singh, in Hemsworth, West Yorkshire was racially abused and called an ‘Asian animal‘, the attacker also threatened to rape his mother.

In another incident a man was exposed on a video racially abusing a bus driver and passengers on a Peckham bus, he called a woman a ‘black c**t’, and asked her for a fight before forcing his way off the bus by pushing the doors. (Read Racist attacks report reveal an increasingly unsafe Britain)

These stories are just a fraction of the racist incidents which happen to black and minority ethnic people in England, this is England in all its bare racist glory.

Kelis is right to say that racial issues in the UK are disgusting, and she is right on point when she says that people do not fight about it. It is time for that to change.

For further research:







2 thought on “Singer Kelis furious with Britain after airport “Kunta Kinte” race insult”
  1. Well done Kelis. Finally what I have been called a troublemaker for pointing out for decades.

    At least now someone has said it.

    The only thing I would have done differently is called the police and have the
    Perpetrator arrested for racial abuse.

  2. Readers,

    It is interested to note regarding this story that Runnymede Trust was quoted by the World Entertainment News Network (WENN)as saying, “It’s worth noting that we’re not a multi-racial paradise in the U.K. but there is a fight back here, and there are lots of ways in which musicians like Kelis can contribute to that. Things like the UpRise music festival in London – 10,000 people making it clear they are against racism.

    “But I don’t think we have got a huge amount to learn from America in terms of the racism that operates over there. We are struggling against racism in the same way as people are in the States. What’s interesting about it is you can be a star and be really famous and still not escape some of the racism that exists in both the U.K. and the States”

    The full story can be read here: http://www.contactmusic.com/news/equality-leaders-hit-back-at-kelis-racism-rant_1245035

    Interestingly, the headline reads, ‘Kelis – Equality Leaders Hit Back At Kelis’ Racism Rant’, giving the impression that Kelis was somehow wrong for criticising race relations in the UK because America is just as bad.

    The story also seems to be comparing ‘racisms’, the ‘we treat black people better than you’ mentality, which in my view harks back to colonial history which taught that the British treated Africans better than other slave-owning countries.

    Runnymede was wrong to criticise Kelis’s comments because many black people in the UK experience similar direct and indirect racism every single day.

    While I cautiously applaud the work that Runnymede does in promoting racial harmony, their desire to accomplish this should not play down or distract from the fact that racism in the UK still remains a significant problem.

    No amount of music festivals against race hate attended by only 10,000 people out of a estimated population of approximately 61,792,000 in the UK, is going to tackle the seriousness of racism in this country.

    Kelis expressed the thoughts of many black and ethnic minority people in the UK, instead of behaving defensively Runnymede should accept this fact and work towards eliminating these attitudes, which is going to be a huge uphill struggle.

    Let me finally add that the only race equality leaders in the UK are the black and minority ethnic populations who experience racism on a daily level. The media should be consulting us for a complete picture of race relations.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *