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From AJ’s defeat to black Tory hopefuls

BATTLE: Anthony Joshua takes a battering from Andy Ruiz last weekend

NOT COMFORTABLE in our own skins

It is and it isn’t. It is shocking to hear that some of our children are resorting to lightening their skin to ‘fit in’ in an increasingly radicalised school playground. At the same time, it isn’t.

We shouldn’t be surprised by this madness. We should understand it. It’s the same madness that we were driven to. The kinda madness we saw on the streets of Brixton every single day before white folk moved in.

You still see it every now and then, and you can see the shock on the genteel folks’ faces when the madness stands right in front of them and won’t let them pass without exposing its behind and insisting that they give it a kick.

Who remembers the black woman who used to walk up and down Coldharbour Lane in Brixton every day with her face and hands literally painted white with Dulux matt emulsion.

And she used to stop white people and ask them if they thought she looked pretty.

Most of the white people used to give her a huge swerve as they saw her approaching, but undeterred she would swerve with them and sometimes jog down the road after them, shouting “AM I NOT BEAUTIFUL?” I haven’t seen that woman for ages. She may have died from lead poisoning. I just don’t know.

No, we shouldn’t be surprised. It is almost a right of passage for a young black girl to come home at around the age of five, having been told by her classmates that she cannot role play a beautiful princess like the rest of them because she doesn’t have blonde hair and blue eyes.

This is what happens to so many of our daughters. And that’s where the madness starts. Before you know it they are asking to go to school in a blonde wig like a Barbie doll.

It’s a madness but is it any different from me straightening my hair on an ironing board in my teens?

Arguably we have all suffered a madness. Particularly in our growing up years when we need to be protected more than ever from the madness.

What’s happened to AJ?

Dear oh dear oh dear, AJ what were you thinking – going into the ring with a ‘sumo wrestler’ and a Mexican at that. With God on his side.
Andy Ruiz probably used to be a laughing stock. With that physique, few people in the boxing game would have taken him seriously.

As your typical roly-poly, he would have been bullied in the school playground since he was in the infants and no doubt made a vow, deep down, that he would get his own back. Well, he’s only gone and done it, hasn’t he.

AJ on the other hand was more like the school HE man, the fittest boy in the whole neighbourhood, the one all the girls had their eyes on (tall, dark and handsome) and, it seems, he didn’t take Andy Ruiz seriously either. Big mistake.

Not because Ruiz is stronger or fitter or smarter, but because Ruiz had nothing to lose. Ruiz was fighting for his five kids. This was their payday as much as his.

He said that when Joshua knocked him down in one of the earlier rounds it made him even more determined.

Whereas Joshua, who earned £18 million from what should have been a walk in the park around Madison Square Garden, had more to lose – the WBA, WBO and IBF titles notwithstanding.

Having nothing to lose is clearly more potent than having a lot to lose.
Moreover, having God on your side, as Ruiz claimed he had, is far more preferable to not having God on your side, if as Ruiz said he owed it all to God, without whom he would not be the heavyweight champion of the world in three belts. So, if nothing else, AJ, go to church before the rematch.

There is, of course, a wider context to Joshua’s defeat. Quite apart from my wife being incensed at how he could have risked all three of his belts with a no-hoper (it is of course that very jeopardy that would have made the fight appealing to American prime time audiences, which is where the BIG money is), which is that now no serious contenders will have the least bit of fear for the man.

Similar to Mike Tyson after that old duffer Buster Douglas duffed him up. Prior to that you really did believe that Tyson was made of iron. But after enjoying the Japanese hospitality of his female hosts a bit too much beforehand, Iron Mike went into the ring like an ironing board - stiff and collapsible.

After that, even Danny Williams, who used to train out of the old dole office on Coldharbour Lane in Brixton, managed to knock Tyson out. I fear that this is the beginning of the end for AJ, which is devastating for all those youngsters who have looked up to him these past years and who he has inspired to come off the badness. That’s how deep this ting goes.


Sam Gyimah has thrown his hat into the Tory leadership ring

Black Tories now in the leadership race

You wait for ages for a black Tory MP to throw their hat in the ring to succeed Theresa May as party leader and hence Prime Minister and then, like buses, two come at the same time.

You might remember last week when bemoaning the fact the Tory leadership race was all white but not all right? Well, clearly they read The Voice and listen to my BBC Radio London Sunday programme because James Cleverly threw his hat into the ring (before removing it), followed a few days later by Sam Gyimah, the former Universities’ Minister.

With all due respect to those two gentlemen, both of whom I know, it is not unless Adam Afriyie or Kwasi Kwarteng or, possibly, Kemi Badenoch throw their hat in the ring that we can begin to talk of the possibility of a black prime minister any time soon.

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