Narrator: Mr. Perez didn’t have the heart to tell Tony that his chances of getting into the local college were not good because you need three high school science classes. If you take Pre-Algebra freshman year and regular Algebra sophomore year, you’d have to take all three science classes in your last two years of high school. After meeting with Mr. Perez, Tony talked to his friend Jason, one of the few white students who attended the same junior high school as Tony.


Are we gonna be in Algebra class together?

Tony: I guess not. They’re making me take Pre - Algebra because of my placement test scores. It’s the new policy and I don’t have a choice.


Those te sts are messed up. Guess you can’t do much about it if those are the rules.

Narrator: Jason didn’t tell Tony that he had just overheard his white friends in the hall saying, "since mostly whites got into Algebra class, it proves they must be smarter." Tony then talked to his friend Nary, who is Cambodian, and one of the few Asian Americans at the school.

Nary: I have to take Pre- Algebra, too. I don’t have the brains to pass the regular Algebra class anyway. Who needs advanced math, anyway? I can get a better grade in home economics.

Narrator: As the day went on, Tony realized that most white students had, in fact, gotten into Algebra, while most students of color were assigned to Pre-Algebra. He felt angry, disappointed and embarrassed about his test s cores. He wasn’t sure if there was anything he could do. His excitement about beginning high school quickly began to fade.

Copyright: Racial Justice Leadership, by Terry Keleher, Race Forward

A Guide for Analyzing Different Levels of Racism

Instructions: Answer the five questions below. List in each box, examples of the level or racism you think is occurring in the scenario or situation you’re analyzing. You don’t have to identify every possible example because it’s important to leave ample time to address the last question.

1. What are examples of Internalized Racism (racism within individuals)?

2. What are examples of Interpersonal Racism (racism between individuals)?

3. What are examples of Institutional Racism (racism within institutions and systems of power)?

4. What are examples of Structural Racism * (racism among institutions and across society)?

5. What is a proposed solution that could produce institutional change in this scenario?


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