Letter: Anti-racist Eltham

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The Independent Culture
Letter: Anti-racist Eltham

Sir: My father did not change his name when he arrived in England in 1947. Many others in his position did: and as a child I remember the feeling that he conveyed that "name-changers" were somehow taking an easy way out.

David Aaronovitch's piece (Comment, 2 March) about low-level pernicious racism and xenophobia, as evidenced by the extent to which immigrants have felt moved to anglicise their names, was subtle, perceptive and timely, and it squared 100 per cent with my own experience.

So I am saddened at the response of your correspondents (letters, 4, 5 March), which, together with your decision to publish, seems only to confirm David Aaronovitch's view that in this country overt racism is the tip of a much bigger and just as harmful iceberg of less conscious, ill-informed prejudice.