|Colorblind ideology is the process by which race is considered a nonfactor in interpersonal interactions as well as in political and social processes. Meritocracy is the idea that individual talents and abilities, not race, should determine who is admitted to universities. Drawing on findings from two years of ethnographic observations in a graduate program at a major Midwest research institution, as well as interview data collected from current and former graduate students across the country, this paper shows how racial injury occurs within the context of colorblind ideology and meritocracy. Graduate students of color become recipients of acts of acute disrespect or micro-aggressions which significantly impede their progress, take up their time, and harm their psychological well-being. Micro-aggressions happen between graduate student peers; between white faculty and graduate students of color, but they also happen when graduate students of color assume positions of power vis-à-vis white students, such as while serving as TAs or running a committee. They are at their most damaging when they occur in the context of ongoing professional relationships which, because graduate school is a kind of “small town,” may have consequences for a student’s trajectory down the road and often overlap with intimate relationships. The final section of the paper talks about strategies for survival and overcoming, including building alterative communities, removing oneself from environments that harm them.