I think Junior completely understands the impact that racism has had on his family. I think he knows that because his family is Indian they don't get as many opportunities as white people because of their race. An example of this is when Junior throws his mother's book at Mr. P's face. I think that moment was like a moment of crushing reality for him. He realized his mother sat at that desk and read those books and look where she ended up. I think he threw the book because he felt helplessness and unfairness of not getting the same opportunities as everyone else because he's Indian. I think he wanted to be more, or better than his parents, and at that moment when he threw the book I think that just didn't seem like a possibility to him. Another drawing that shows his understanding is what he draws after Mr. P says, "You're going to find more and more hope the farther you walk away from this sad, sad, sad reservation." The drawing shows that he knew he wanted hope and opportunities but he also knew that he couldn't find hope or opportunities on the rez, so he had to leave. When he leaves and gets to "racist Reardan" which has the mascot of an Indian, I think he actually, truly sees for himself how racism has affected him and his family's lives. With his drawing, "White/Indian" he shows how much poorer he is than the typical white kid, just because he's Indian. Also when he's at school he describes how he's bullied with the picture of all the big kids cornering him and calling him racist names, he gets called those names because he is an Indian, but he also knows that they wont hit him because he's Indian, and Indian's are "potential killers". Junior realizes that his reputation as an Indian precedes him because of all the racist stereotypes that all the white people have heard. Even the teachers at Reardan are racist. Mr. Dodge thinks because he's an Indian that he can't possibly be smart. In his drawing of "a volcano vs. Mr. Dodge" he shows how outraged Mr. Dodge is that Junior tried to answer a question. Mr. Dodge doesn't want Junior to succeed because he's Indian, because Junior is Indian Mr. Dodge thinks that he can't possibly be smart enough to answer one of his questions. A whole school working against him is just another thing stacked against him, just because he's Indian. Junior also sees the reverse effects of racism, how angry and hateful everyone in the tribe is towards him. Only because he wanted to find a better educational opportunity for himself. He's seen as betraying the tribe, and as a "white lover".
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