Race for recognition

April 28, 2000

It is about time that Paul Gilroy ("Hearing around corners", THES, April 21) stopped using his limited time at the Greater London Council and his empirically and intellectually challenged interpretation thereof, as a bases for attacking anti-racist work.

The trouble is that while we might want to celebrate our changing identities and cultural processes, racism - absurd and anachronistic isn't it? - has a common, reductionist quality of wanting to "wog" us "diasporic communities".

Challenging that, unfortunately, means using and dealing with race. Doing that does not automatically make us black nationalists. It would be a pity if Gilroy's latest work sees him becoming an unofficial policy "wonk" for new Labour's emerging "third-way" racism, which is not only celebrating diversity and cultural difference, but also encamping back asylum seekers.

Neville Adams Silverleigh Rd, Croydon

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