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'What if they were black?'

SHOW: Frankie Cocozza

THINKING ABOUT the hungry shenanigans of wannabes, has-beens and never-will-be celebrities on Channel Five’s Celebrity Big Brother, it occurred to me that there are some things white people do that black people, simply because they are black, would not be allowed to get away with.

Take someone like Frankie Cocozza, who first came to the public attention’s on ITV’s X Factor, baring his backside to the nation. Bad behaviour combined with drug allegations soon saw him axed and on the road to paparazzi and tabloid heaven.

Rather than frowning at his reported sexual antics, the general feeling, it seemed, was that he was a harmless, naughty teen with raging hormones. Imagine if was black.

If he had even made it through the first rounds of X Factor with that voice, I suspect he would have been described as an aggressive sexual predator.

Thinking about it, there are numerous situations where a change of colour of the person might bring about a change in opinion. For instance, white women with attitude are ‘strong willed’, or they are ‘empowering themselves’, or being ‘assertive’.

Big hair, ultra tacky jewellery, barely there clothes, over the top make-up on a white woman would equal ‘gaudy’, whilst big hair, ultra tacky jewellery, barely there clothes, over the top make-up on a black woman would equal ‘ghetto’.

If a black child goes missing, there is a two-inch mention in a local paper. A cute blonde-haired blue-eyed child goes missing, he or she will show up on every national newspaper for months.

A classic is walking in a group. Nine or 10 white teens can walk down the street together and no one will bat and eyelid. Four or five black boys together would be considered a gang.

An absolute no-no is for black people to go to work in a bad mood. A white employee may get excused because ‘they’re just having a bad day’. But, a black employee, on the other hand, can never have a bad day, as he or she would be regarded as aggressive with a bad attitude.

The Government can legislate against discrimination until the kingdom comes, but can never legislate against deep-rooted beliefs.

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