Exposure to racism made undergraduate Latino students internalize self-hatred, CU Denver study finds

Professor wanted to conduct study following increase in racist rhetoric after 2016 presidential election

A Colorado professor wondered how racist rhetoric stoked by the 2016 presidential election was impacting Latino students, so he conducted academic research that found exposure to racism often led to self-hatred and acceptance of the offensive cultural beliefs lobbed at young Latinos from politicians, the media and their community.

“Although most people might intuitively know that racism negatively affects Latino undergraduates, the findings of this study provide empirical evidence of racism’s impacts,” said Carlos P. Hipolito-Delgado, an associate professor of counseling at the University of Colorado Denver. “Little by little, it begins to chip away at that sense of self.”

Hipolito-Delgado’s interest in studying the subject piqued during the lead up to the 2016 presidential election and after Donald Trump referred to Mexicans as rapists, drug dealers and criminals. In Colorado, white supremacist and other extremist organizations have been more emboldened now than in past years, data show, and the incidents of hate and bias in the state is rising dramatically, experts said. 

The study’s participants, 350 first-generation Latino undergraduate students from colleges across the country, took a survey designed to determine whether exposure to racism and encouragement to accept and assimilate to racist notions were predictive of internalized racism.

[Read the full story on the Denver Post]

Carlos Hipolito-Delgado’s study featured in Denver Post