One cannot discuss the themes of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian without discussing race and racism. When Junior attends Reardan, he encounters a lot of racism. Not only does he deal with microaggressions and racist comments from his white classmates and the father of Penelope, the girl he likes, he also notes that Reardan's school mascot is an Indian. Furthermore, on a systemic level, racism and the attempted genocide of the Native peoples of North America are direct reasons for the way Junior and his family live: on a reservation, stricken by poverty and alcoholism. These are remnants of the systemic violence against a entire population.