Racializing undocumented immigrants in the age of color-blindness: Millennials' views from Kentucky

M. Cristina Alcalde

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


This study examines millennials' views of Latino immigrants in Kentucky, a new settlement state in the US South. I suggest that whereas eighteen-to twenty-year-old students in a university setting condemn the institutional and generational racism they identify in their communities, and perceive their racial and immigration attitudes as more open and tolerant than those of previous generations, discussions about immigration reveal fissures in ideas and practices that aspire to be inclusive, open and tolerant. Examining the disconnect between professed ideas and expressed beliefs underscores that current formulations of color-blindness are neither a clean break from past racism nor fully capable of tolerating contemporary differences. I point to the racialization processes at work in the common sense connection between "illegal" and "Latino" to reveal the limits of belonging within this color-blind world. In this context, race matters and racism against Latinos is the norm rather than the exception for past and current generations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)234-257
Number of pages24
JournalLatino Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Macmillan Publishers Ltd.


  • US South
  • color-blindness
  • higher education
  • immigration
  • race
  • undocumented

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science


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