Maria Isabel Ayala, a Sociology professor at Michigan State University, interviewed 50 Latino students (27 male and 23 female) at Midwestern University and was displeased to discover that most attribute their accomplishments to self-reliance and hard work. She alleges that Latino students perpetuate ‘colorblind racism’ and adhere to a “free market, meritocracy, and laissez-faire ideology.”
With the support of a $25,000 grant from the Michigan State University Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives, this recent study was published in the Journal of Latinos and Education.
One of the interviewees, Carla, stated, “everyone is equal and we all have the same experiences… I have [worked hard] and I deserve it.” Another interviewee, Sebastian, told the professor, “I guess all the mistakes have been just me… I am self-reliant,” when discussing his successes and failures as a student.
According to Campus Reform, Ayala introduced her findings by claiming the students’ belief in meritocracy is a symptom of a broader societal problem.
“It comes as no surprise that Latina(o) college students rely on [colorblind racism] to rationalize their college attainment… some of the tenets of colorblind racism are the refusal of the existence of white privilege, a lack of awareness of institutional racism and its implications, as will as the rejection of social policies (e.g., affirmative action).”
Ayala has not responded to any of Campus Reform’s questions regarding her study.
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