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From Love Island to drug-taking MPs

PICTURED: Michael Gove

WHY IS the black woman treated as undesirable?

There’s a brown girl in the ring, tra-la-la-la-la
A brown girl in the ring, tra- la-la-la-la
A brown girl in the ring, tra- la-la-la-la
She looks like a sore thumb in a Love Island plum…

To be honest, I wish she wasn’t there. Because the message that is being sent out in no unsubtle fashion, is that no one fancies black girls. This is the second Love Island series in a row in which no other contestants fancy the black girl. I can only imagine how black girls watching the series must feel.

Even my white mates are feeling extremely uncomfortable by the insinuation when they tune in to the programme. Indeed, I would not be sur- prised if conspiracy theories conclude that the whole point of the series is to scotch any suggestion that black is beautiful, particularly when the black in question is a woman.

Since time immemorial, or at least in the 500 years since white folks have presided over the black narrative, the battle royale has been fought over the white woman. History was rewritten for her and enslaved people were whipped within an inch of their lives for her on the pretext that every man – black or white – must desire her and the only way to protect her purity was to ensure that the black man’s ‘desire’ was punished on pain of death.

That is why 14-year-old Emmett Till was murdered so brutally in Mississippi in 1955 by a baying pack of white men who wanted to teach every black man a lesson not to so much as cast a shadow over a white woman.

Juxtaposed against the white woman’s ‘desirability’, even today, is the black woman’s ‘undesirability’. We only have to look at the number of black men who have chosen white partners (or who have been chosen by white partners) to know that love knows no colour lines and we have to prepare our sisters and daughters for a world in which they may appear to be ‘less desirable’ than their white counterparts. Of course, the truth is far from that.

The truth is that most black men desire black women. And many white men desire black women, too. But not the kind of black men and white men that you will find on Love Island where brawn and not brain is valued and where a brown girl is thrown in the ring, like at the slavemaster’s auction that the song refers to, unloved and unappreciated.

And yet, Love Island is a huge hit. We cannot erase the stigma of the unloved black woman. But we can rival it. Just in the same way as black people set up their own churches when we were unwelcome at the white churches in the 1950s and ’60s. Just as we set up our discos (and sound systems) in the ’60s and ’70s, when our music was beloved but we were unwelcome at the white discos.

They’ve got Love Island – why don’t we put our money and our heads together to cre- ate Lovers Rock, with a cast of hot young singles and take them to St Lucia for a summer romance and have a prize of £100,000 for the winning couple? Such a series from our perspective would put the black woman up where she belongs. Loved and beautiful.

Stop and search Tory leadership candidates

Am I the only one who thinks it’s time to stop and search Tory leadership candidates, instead of wasting time stop-and- searching young black boys? After all, many of the Tory politicians vying with each other in the race to succeed Theresa May as Prime Minister have taken drugs.

To see them openly admitting to have broken the law without a threat of legal action against them makes you wonder whether they are exempt from punishment. Far from being charged with an offence, these people are looking to be promoted. I think that is what we mean by ‘white privilege’.

I cannot see any young black boy admitting taking cocaine and getting promoted with a pat on the back as a result. I’m pleased to see that the only black guy in the race, Sam Gyimah – who has now withdrawn – has not admitted to any wrongdoing. I wonder if he could have got away with it if he had, in the way that Michael Gove, Andrea Leadsom, Rory Stewart and, apparently, Boris Johnson (who claims to have sneezed away his wrap) have managed to do?

As Buzzfeed News’ Elizabeth Pears (formerly of this parish) tweeted: “Many white middle class people do drugs, including those who make our laws, enforce those laws disproportionately, put black people in prison because of those laws, and those who write stories on all the above.”

I have no problem with paying the price of my wrongdoing. But do we pay the price for their wrongdoing?

Arise, Sir Simon

I have known Simon Woolley since before I could grow whiskers. That’s how far we go back. I will now have to call him “sir” rather than “Si” because he’s only gone and got himself a knighthood from the Queen.

Firstly, it couldn’t have happened to a nicer man. But also, he has put in a shift on behalf of Operation Black Vote (OBV), the charity that he co-founded to increase black and Asian representation at the polling booth and in parliament. Several of the black and Asian members of parliament have come through the OBV finishing school for prospective parliamentary candidates. Most notably Baroness Warsi.

That number will increase for many years to come. Largely down to the work of Sir Simon Woolley. Well done, mate.

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