‘I don’t identify as black’

Kmele Foster joins Brendan O’Neill to discuss the racism of identity politics.

Topics Politics USA

Kmele Foster, co-host of the Fifth Column podcast, founder of Freethink Media and self-described ‘race abolitionist’, joins spiked’s editor for the latest episode of The Brendan O’Neill Show. They discuss the trouble with identity politics and the myth of rising hate in Trump’s America.

To enquire about republishing spiked’s content, a right to reply or to request a correction, please contact the managing editor, Viv Regan.


Christopher Tyson

9th July 2019 at 9:59 pm

There was a Q&A where I work, with one of my senior managers. The question of diversity came up and I suggested that there was too much of a focus on diversity. I said I did not support black history month, but I thought it was okay for people to support it in their own time, and I didn’t see why it should be supported in the work place. I’m black and my manager is white. She replied that she thought the policy was good and support for black history month, this was good for diversity and helped to make people feel at home. That was the end of the discussion. Odd that this white lady should over rule me so blithely? No it isn’t. She will have her own black diversity consultants and advisors and they will give her guidance and confidence. So decisions that affect all black people are made behind closed doors between self-appointed community leaders and white business and political leaders. This is profoundly undemocratic, it is corrupt and scandalous and it has been going on in the UK for 50 years and is regarded as the norm. There is amongst black people a misguided sense of loyalty to other black people which means that there is too little criticism and accountability of black political leaders and diversity technocrats, this allows these charlatans to prosper and they really are beginning to form a black aristocracy many receiving honours from the (white) state. They feel no need to respond to my criticisms, they are way too important for that, some irony there? Not really, these people are frauds and snobs, my tone may sound shocked but really none of this really surprises me anymore.

Michael Traynor

8th July 2019 at 4:18 pm

I had to rub my eyes before reading this again. he certainly looks black if he ins’t then i am off to Spec Savers.

Amelia Cantor

8th July 2019 at 11:08 am

If Kmele Foster doesn’t identify as black, they are being extremely shortsighted and unwise. In a society reeking with racism and white supremacist attitudes from top to bottom, what matters is how racists and other haters identify you, not how you identify yourself.

Jerry Owen

9th July 2019 at 9:02 am

Amelia Cantor
Can you explain what you mean by ‘reeking with racism and white supremacist attitudes from top to bottom’, with examples from say the top downwards ?
A friend of mine in London who I have known for many years who was born in Kensal Rise has told me that he now wants to move out of London because it doesn’t feel English to him anymore , I was surprised as he had never mentioned it before.
I told him that London feels less English each time I visit, and I don’t like it either.
Presumably you think we are both racists… the problem that you have to overcome is the fact that my friend is black.
Is he a black racist ?
The problem you have is that you see colour everywhere you look , you
see nothing else. MLK would be very disappointed in your blinkered outlook , MLK a man that should be a hero of yours knew that the content of a mans heart is what is important not his skin colour, clearly i have more in common with his thoughts than you do.
You show your arrogance in daring to presume how a black man should identify himself.
You look at a man’s colour and immediately decide how he should think and idnetify, I look at a man and make no judgement till I have spoken to him.
Amelia you are the supreme racist here.

Amelia Cantor

9th July 2019 at 11:04 am

What I “mean” is that the United States, like the United Kingdom, is reeking with racism and white supremacism from top to bottom. Communities of colour are imprisoned far more, earn far less, suffer far more from mental illness and “austerity”, are stereotyped, demonized and subject to racial profiling far more, and are treated as third-class citizens 24/7.

Fact. 100% fact. Your neo-liberal “color blindness” shtick is as racist as anything else dreamed up by the forces of white supremacy. It didn’t help communities of colour in the 1950s and it doesn’t help them now. Again, fact. 100% fact.

But don’t let reality intrude on your fantasies.

Jerry Owen

9th July 2019 at 12:42 pm

In other words you have no time for Martin Luther King.
Judging by your posts it is clear that you are simply an anti white racist full of unfounded bigotry and hate.
Just try for once to see people as people and not see people as black / white / brown it makes for a more harmonious world believe you me.

Amelia Cantor

10th July 2019 at 10:16 am

Just for once, acknowledge that communities of colour suffer far higher rates of imprisonment, far lower rates of employment, far higher rates of mental illness, far low rates of academic achievement. Hegemonic white racism has never been colour-blind and never will be. You and other self-proclaimed “colour blind” egalitarians are a useful idiot assisting the cause of hegemonic white racism. Perhaps you’re conscious of this, perhaps you’re not. Either way, you’re part of the problem, not part of the solution.

Amelia Cantor

11th July 2019 at 10:39 am

Martin Luther King was a cis-gender rapist and Christian. You’re damn right I have no time for him.

Jerry Owen

9th July 2019 at 5:22 pm

A Cantor
How does my ‘colour blindness’ make me as ‘racist as anything’ ?

Tor Teo

10th July 2019 at 2:00 am

White Supremacists/Authoritarians like, AMELIA CANTOR, believe you cant look at a black person without seeing their black skin and consciously acknowledging they are a member of the black race. They believe people who claim to not see color are in fact not seeing someone with brown skin and then are therefore racists by not acknowledging, sub-consciously or consciously, their race. Basically the denying of ones race is racists is their theory. The problem with their theory is its supremacists and authoritarian. It also presumes that all black people need/ want to have their race acknowledged on a constant basis. And that the primary characteristic, quality, feature or identity of all black people is that they are black. There really cant be any thought that precludes “black” otherwise youre a racists. The thought, “that girl is really pretty”, must include “black” otherwise you are racists. Or, “hey I really agree with this guy”. Again, it has to be a “black guy”. As you can see, the sociologists who created this construct is mentally ill. And the people who promote this ideology are supremacists. But they will never see it that way, because, they are mentally ill and supremacists. This is yet another device white supremacists like, AMELIA CANTOR, use to keep black people from ever escaping the black identity. Black people can never be people. They always have to be black people.

Amelia Cantor

10th July 2019 at 10:10 am

There’s this thing called a web-search. If you’re really interested in understanding how racist you are (which you’re not), search for “”color blindness” + racism or variants. (The Amerikkkan spelling is better because, for obvious reasons, the anti-racist community has been dealing with these issues for far long Amerikkka.)

You will then find an abundance of resources to explain why “colour blindness” is merely racism in other and sometimes even more pernicious forms.

Jon Barrow

29th January 2020 at 9:04 pm

I think Amelia Cantor is a troll/joke account. if not God help ‘her’ (or whatever). Btw the problems she identifies are partly majority – minority issues (and in which the majority outperforms the minority in the statistics she points to; it’s not always the case – I mean minorities don’t necessarily do less well). She’s also cherry-picking.

Tor Teo

10th July 2019 at 1:25 am

Race is a social construct created by leftists for the benefit of the plantation owner. There is no genetic or biological basis for race, There is less genetic variation between people who are black and people who are white than the genetic variation between white family members or black family members.

The vast majority of black folks are law abiding citizens, have jobs, are doctors, lawyers, accountants, business owners. The fact that you promote the ideology that blacks are third class citizens is indicative of your own white supremacists point of view. Youre projecting this point of view on all white people throughout the world. When in reality it is just you and those who exist within your ideological vacuum. This includes Richard Spencer who uses the same language you use.

Can you prove racism? Give an example of racism. Saying there is more arrests in high crime areas doesnt prove racism. It could prove “Policing for Profit”. Policing for Profit is usually found in low income areas where people can not afford an attorney. These areas are low income and color of skin is irrelevant. As more and more people like you protest police activity in low income black communities, more and more police precincts are de-policing these lower income neighborhoods. This leads to an increase in crime, lower or stagnant property values, and driving business out leaving resource deserts. What is the end game of protesting police? Is it never arresting a black individual? Where does the rights of the black criminal end, and the black victim begin? Its very supremacists of you to think the victim in a black on black crime has no rights to safety because a white supremacists like you is angry about how many blacks who commit crimes should be arrested. Your desire to place a ceiling on arrests is another example of your supremacists/inferiorists beliefs.

The fact that you deny a black person the ability to “not be black” is also a supremacists tactic. Plantation owners created race classifications to prevent blacks from being anything other than black. Throughout history Plantation owners and Democrats have passed laws that make sure blacks are black and cannot be anything other than black. This is very supremacists of you to uphold these laws which were ruled unconstitutional and a violation of an individuals civil rights.

The US government imposing a race classification at birth, which is still being done today, is in fact a violation of human and constitutional rights. Read the preamble to the US Constitution if you need proof that requiring a black person to accept a black classification is supremacists and unconstitutional.

Read “Can race be erased? Coalitional computation and social categorization” for some science behind why and how ending race classifications in the US would lead to less discrimination.

Youre basically referring to Kmele Foster as an Uncle Tom. One of the things that white supremacists, like yourself, like to engage in is when any free thinking black person who advocates for the end of race classifications (exit the plantation) then that person is a traitor to his race. Do you do this with any other race group? Or is it just with blacks? A white supremacists needs for all black folks to , in their pea-brained mind, think and act alike. And defection from the “identity” is prohibited. In fact you will take to social media to express your outrage.

If there is oppression in the black community it is a combination of self-oppression and oppression from identitarians aka white supremacists like yourself who incorrectly believe all blacks “are imprisoned far more, earn far less, suffer far more from mental illness and “austerity”, are stereotyped, demonized and subject to racial profiling far more, and are treated as third-class citizens 24/7.” When, in fact, the vast majority of blacks arent living in poverty or committing crimes. Nor are they getting shot by police.

I dont expect you to understand or agree with any of what I said. And this is why white supremacy will always exist. Because you are incapable of pointing the finger at the white supremacists aka you.

Jerry Owen

10th July 2019 at 4:16 pm

Tor Teo
I agree with much of what you say , unfortunately Amelia isn’t open minded enough to be aware of her bigotry. Racism is pretty much a thing of the past barely exists and it is of course illegal.
Amelia is fighting yesterdays battle , perhaps she needs to look out of the window !

Jerry Owen

10th July 2019 at 4:11 pm

A Cantor
Unfortunately I don’t think it is possible to unpick your mind , you just appear to be absolutely obsessed with colour, most ordinary white folk aren’t, and most ordinary black folk aren’t, it’s unhinged obsessives like you that are the problem.
Most people just want to be left alone, I would suspect most black people see you as a laughing stock ( I do ) fighting some imaginary battle that is long since over.
People of all colour’s have equality under the law.
Poor white communities exist as well by the way perhaps you could give them a thought.
The irony of you calling me a racist when I have friends of colour and agree with one of MLK’s famous scribes which you don’t shows just how bigoted you are.
Chill out Amelia life is short enjoy it.

Brian Findlay

10th July 2019 at 6:37 pm

Absolute nonsense.

Tor Teo

11th July 2019 at 12:49 am

AMELIA CANTOR black people are doing fine despite the fact that white supremacists like yourself think they are SPECIAL NEEDS. Why are you a white supremacists? What happened in your life that makes you think black people are dumb enough to need your help? Its simple. You are a low iq, racists, white supremacists. Go hang out in an all black neighborhood. Buy goods/services from black owned businesses. Do this everyday like I do. We dont need your help you low iq racists fool.

Amelia Cantor

11th July 2019 at 10:40 am

No, black people are NOT doing fine. Anyone who says otherwise needs therapy and/or to start taking their meds. Just take a look at the prison system or the employment figures or the rise of anti-black haters like Trump, Farage, Bolsonaro, Obran, Salvini, etc, etc, etc.

Tor Teo

12th July 2019 at 12:13 am

AMELIA CANTOR “Black people are not doing fine”. Youre such a dumb racists / supremacists. This is such racists and dumb statement. What gives you the right to judge all black people? You’re mentally ill. Go take your meds.

Emily Trafford

14th July 2019 at 3:48 am

Marin Luther King a ‘cisgender rapist and a Christian’! Which is worse?! According to you, the latter, I imagine! This has to be a parody!

Justin Bieber

19th July 2019 at 10:40 pm

Some communities of colour are imprisoned more than whites because they commit more crime – some communities of colour are imprisoned less than whites because they commit less crime

Lenita Perrier

31st July 2019 at 9:36 am

You’re right. “Color blindness” is a racist denial of reality. Race is a social construct for domination and oppression of black lives and bodies: of their thinking, feeling and doing. Bolsonaro and Trump are the new slave owners of present time, together with Farage, Boris, Le Pen, Salvini… YES, Black Lives Matter! If we do not identify it correctly we will fail again collectively and individually. You’re right Amelia Cantor and be sure that your critics know you’re right.

Richard Boggon

8th July 2019 at 5:11 am

I really enjoyed listening to this podcast. I found the interviewee Kmele’s views to be particularly refreshing and intelligent. Many thanks, Richard.

Winston Stanley

7th July 2019 at 11:02 pm

Some comments as they occur to me.

“They are reprobates, it is grotesque, they ought to have a gag reflex even.”

Surely Foster can grasp that he lives under a capitalist state in its material development. What is “moral” or “aesthetic” has changed according to the needs of the economic base. Once it suited the capitalist state to keep him as a slave and now they want to keep him as an “equal” worker-citizen. Whatever supports the economic base. It is not distinct per se, be he a slave or a free man, he is still an economic category just as he always was. Once he was supposed to think himself inferior, now he is supposed to think himself equal, if not superior, which is how everyone tends to think of themselves anyway in one way or another.

“It was the traditional idea”.

Brendan is an open liar and he knows it, when he pretends that equality is the “traditional idea”. He is a liar, because he knows that he is openly misrepresenting the status of non-whites in historical capitalist development. The capitalist state during its imperialist and colonialist period of development was openly “racist” just as it is now openly “anti-racist” b/c that is what now serves the expansion of its workforce and its accumulation of capital. BON knows that and he is simply lying to pretend that racial equality was ever the dominant “moral” thread. The thread was always money, and it still is, and BON knows that full well.

BON is a liar and he hopes to draw everyone else into his open lies. The pretence is that capitalism is a “moral” system and that it had a “moral” thread in its development, a thread that matches the “moral” content of the latest stage of capitalist development. He wants everyone else to be duped/ a liar along with him. He knows that it is all about money, which raises the question of whether that is all that it is all about for him, with his narrative. If not, then why not speak what you know?

Capitalism is about nothing but money, the accumulation of capital, and it has zero “moral” content in any “universalist” sense. Its “morality” reflects its needs according to its present stage of development. That “means” that blacks and whites along are just means to the accumulation of capital. There is nothing “noble” or “moral” about that, and BON should stop lying and trying to pretend otherwise.

“It began with the chatel slave trade”.

Very true, but BON is not listening. To him, it was always about “universalist morality” and not money, just as it is supposedly about that and not that now. I seriously doubt that BON heard a word that he said. BON is a capitalist state/ British state propagandist, an open liar just like the rest of them.


Winston Stanley

8th July 2019 at 12:16 am

Another comment as it occurs to me.

“b/c they look like you”

But does Foster think higher of other people b/c they think like him? Is this the same self-aggrandisement, a projection of the historically located self onto other people? Is it just another ultimately socio-economic category by which to declare oneself “superior”?

“I am superior b/c I think that people are superior if they think like me, that they are not superior. I am superior b/c I do not think that I am superior, and other people are superior if they think that they are not superior, only b/c they agree with me that they are not otherwise superior, except that they think that they are superior in so far as they think that they are not superior and this superiority that they share with me?” Which just happens to be the attitude that matches the present development of the economic base.

Just as whites were encourage to think of themselves as superior by their race back in slavery days, blacks are now encouraged to think of themselves as superior in so far as they do not think of themselves as superior. It is the exact same thing, superiority based on what suits the present economic development. It is just another slave mentality, a conformity, a self-worth based on what the economic system in its present development demands of one as the conformist attitude. “I am superior b/c I am a conformist universalist Proletarian with a modern Proletarian view of the world. We are all worker-citizens accumulating capital for the capitalist state.” Historico-socio-economic categories?

The delusion has changed only per accidens not in essence. It is still the same game, a pretence of “superiority” based on what the economic system prescribes. It is not “radical”, it is conservative. And it is the same naivety. Foster still thinks of himself as an economic category, as “superior”, as much as he might deny that. It is still essentially a mentality ascribed to an historical economic category.

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