It is, of course, wrong and unforgivable that an idiot at an airport had a go at Kelis. The Mail's coverage doesn't actually help, either:
American singer Kelis has launched into an angry Twitter tirade against Britain after she was allegedly subjected to racial abuse in a London airport.The Mail's standfirst - which is all most of its readers will have read before leaping down to the comment forms - neglects some of the fine detail which appears further down. The "disgusting Nigerian" comment, for example, which is just horrible.
The 32-year-old was waiting at passport control at one of the capital's airports when she was apparently labelled a 'slave' by a middle-aged white man.
I think we might have to take issue, though, with Kelis' decision to use this one incident as an exemplar of race relations in 21st Century Britain:
'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.Hmm. So, Kelis could have said things at the time of the riots, but didn't. Perhaps because the riots and looters were from a wide range of backgrounds?
'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'm sure the organisers of Love Music Hate Racism, or RISE, or Kick Racism Out Of Football, or all of the other groups fighting racism in all sorts of fields will be surprised to hear that there's no fighting against xenophobia; likewise, given how often the Mail runs stories about how much "political correctness" there is in the UK, with its going mad all the time, I doubt the right would entirely recognise a Britain in which casual racism doesn't create a storm.
There's too many people like the guy behnd Kelis at the airport. And I don't think we can deny her right to be pissed off and angry. But later on, when people responded "aren't you American? Isn't there a bit of a problem there, too?" she ploughed on:
'[Americans] 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.'Isn't pretending the British don't talk about racism a bit... well, of lazy stereotyping?
[Thanks to Michael M]