Now Uncle Tom looks like a militant terrorist

In all the years I have been active on race relations issues, I have never heard of Raj Chandran. Yet he is apparently the longest-serving member of the governing body of the Commission for Racial Equality. He attends meetings and has his expenses paid by the Home Office, supposedly to represent the aspirations of black and Asian communities.

As Sir Herman Ouseley leaves the CRE chairmanship, Chandran writes in the Daily Mail, appealing to his successor, Gurbux Singh, a local government officer, "to rein in the race crusaders".

Chandran tells us he is from Sri Lanka, a Tamil who has been "badly treated in his own country". He seems to assume that we are all here because we were being badly treated, whether we come from India or the Caribbean or somewhere else. But it was the grand design of the British government to issue invitations to the Caribbean people to come to Britain to correct the shortage of labour. Anyone who works in race relations ought to have digested this simple fact.

Not Raj Chandran, it seems. He believes that our lack of gratitude explains why whites resent us, attack us physically and generally kick us about. It is all our fault.

Chandran makes Uncle Tom look like a militant terrorist. As he sees it, we blacks have demoralised the police because we have complained about the Stephen Lawrence case. Officers in London are terrified "to stop and search suspected wrongdoers in case they are accused of racism". Terrified? Not too terrified, apparently, to stop the Bishop of Stepney or Neville Lawrence, Stephen's father, to name just two recent examples.

Chandran refuses to come off his knees. White Tribe, my documentary, was broadcast recently on Channel 4, and many viewers were shocked by the foul racism that exists in Dover and Oldham. Sometimes Chandran's words and phrases sound uncannily similar. On Home Office proposals to increase the employment and promotion of non-whites in public bodies, he says: "Is it any wonder that whites resent these planned laws because they feel non-whites are getting unfair advantages?"

He is equally hostile to laws, currently being shaped, to make institutional racism illegal. He writes a blank cheque for racists.

He trains his guns not on those guilty of killing Stephen Lawrence, not on those who set fire to young Michael Menson in north London, but on Sir Herman Ouseley. He dismisses Sir Herman's period in office thus: "What activists such as Sir Herman and the politicians who listen to them appear to have forgotten is that the white people of Britain have proved to be a most tolerant race, welcoming strangers to their shores in a manner that few other nations would have done." Oh, for the Asylum Bill!

He goes on: "All I can say of these immigrants, resentful of their lot, is this: prejudice is almost certainly worse back home." This man gives me a headache. Where? I ask. Jamaica, Trinidad, Tobago? Where is racial prejudice worse back home?

Then he lets us know what he wants for the future: that the CRE becomes "a white- friendly organisation". He wishes, you see, to bring it in line with the Daily Mail and all the other all-white or nearly-all-white institutions in British society.

Jack Straw will have to make the largest U-turn in history to give the likes of Chandran an ear. Listening to the radio a few nights ago, I heard Sir Herman warn the Home Secretary that he runs the risk of undermining the entire racial advance by kowtowing for the votes of Middle England. That is not quite accurate. There are pockets of old England wedded to the idea of racial superiority, and this comes from the working classes as much as it does from Middle England.

These backward forces have to be told clearly that those days are done, finished and will never return. I fear that a strong last gasp is at hand, with lynching and other forms of fascism. Chandran, as a Tamil, should know about persecution. I do not wish him well.

Darcus Howe is an outspoken writer, broadcaster and social commentator. His TV work includes ‘White Tribe’ in which he put Anglo-Saxon Britain under the spotlight. He also fronted a series called Devil’s Advocate.