Letter:Racism is still an issue

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Sir: Those of us who research, teach and train about racial exclusion and discrimination against ethnic minorities, have known for a long time that this is still an issue ("You have been silent too long about racism in Britain", 31 May). We have noticed by the response to our courses, the enquiries that we receive, and the way in which funds are allocated to research, that it is an issue which some people are trying to pretend has been resolved. The evidence remains that it has not.

What has happened is that the grounds have changed - and perhaps the discrimination is more subtle. It does not feel any more subtle to its victims and if anything, the levels of direct violence against black and Asian people have risen. But few will give explicit warning that "blacks are not served" and coded language about culture and language or religion takes the place of reference to race and nationality.

There may not be one single racism, and it may be cloaked in a broader xenophobia, but it needs more people like Yasmin Alibhai-Brown and those she mentions, to remind us that not talking about it will not make it go away.


Senior Research Fellow,

Centre for Research in Ethnic Relations

University of Warwick