R&B singer Kelis has lashed out at the British after experiencing racial hostility at a London airport.
Kelis was heading home to America after performing at a music festival over the weekend, when she says she was taunted for appearing to cut a line at Heathrow airport.
She claims she was called a “slave” and a “disgusting Nigerian” by a disgruntled traveler as she waited at a border control desk with her 2-year-old son Knight on Monday.
In a series of posts on Twitter, an angry Kelis writes, “We just landed and I had the midget with me. we get in the passport control line and apparently p*ssed 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)…”
“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 (a slave from the book, “Roots…”) and ranted and raved some more.”
But Kelis was even more shocked when none of her fellow passengers, or the airport official at the passport check point, reacted to the man’s racially-abusive rant.
She continues, “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 3 hours. 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…”
The incident has prompted Kelis to lash out at the ignorant attitudes the British have towards racism, insisting it will only get worse if the subject is not tackled head-on.
She writes, “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 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…? Maybe someone will start to talk about it from here.”
Kelis’ 2003 hit single “Milkshake” introduced her to the public as more than rapper Nas’ wife (he’s also in her video).