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What is structural racism and why does it matter? Most people think of racism as a matter of private personal prejudice, as a product of intentional acts of deliberate discrimination by aberrant individuals. Yet while this direct, referential, and personal racism does indeed still exist, some of the most destructive forms of racism today are embedded inside social structures-housing, jobs, voting, education-and public policies have enormous racial effects even when they have no evident racial intent. The result is a variety of conditions coalescing to create cumulative vulnerabilities for communities of color. This primer-the first devoted specifically to the topic-will introduce readers to the nature and extent of structural racism through an accessible text that will be a crucial guide to understanding and combating inequality in America. Asserting that racism is primarily a matter of power, not simply a product of prejudice, the authors reveal how the focus of antidiscrimination law on individual and intentional racist acts fails to address the collective and cumulative quality of racial subordination. Anti-racist remedies are needed to reshape the structures of social opportunity, not merely repair damages done to individuals. The Runner and the Trackis a defining work of scholarship, deeply attuned to the present even as it advances an agenda essential to creating a just future.