Letter: After Lawrence

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The Independent Culture
After Lawrence

Sir: So Eltham is real "white man's country"? ("Streets where race hatred is the norm", 25 February) It is true that ethnic minorities make up just over 4 per cent of Eltham's population. This does not prove that the people of Eltham are any different from people in any other part of the country. The ethnic minority population of the UK is also 4 per cent.

Racism is by no means a way of life in the Borough of Greenwich, which includes Eltham. Greenwich has evicted more tenants than any other local authority for harassment. We operate a 24-hour racial harassment hotline. In education we have adopted a policy of refocusing teaching and learning in our schools, as well as using theatre, to help bring home to children the impact of racism.

We have worked hard to combat all forms of racism in Greenwich - overt and institutional. We have done this because we recognise that there is racism in our borough, although we would argue it is no worse than anywhere else.

The council works every day with the community through its network of formal and informal contacts to eradicate racism. Your article may well jeopardise much of that work.

LEN DUVALL

Leader of Greenwich Council

London SE18

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