Internalized racism has historically been described in reference to the African American experience. Over time, the term has developed a broader meaning that encompasses the experience of other oppressed persons of color. Current psychological literature describes internalized racism in reference to many groups, including Native Americans, Asian Americans, indigenous peoples of Mexico, and others who incorporate into their thoughts and behaviors the oppressors' views of them, including negative attitudes, prejudiced beliefs, stereotypes, values, perspectives, and notions of racial superiority.

Internalized racism results from insidious institutional and social presumptions that those of Western European origin–who often live in safer neighborhoods, attend better schools, enjoy more lucrative job opportunities, and earn higher incomes–are superior because of their inherited predisposition and personal effort, whereas people of color–who often live ...

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