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Of DEI and Denials: A Critical Discourse Analysis of Texas’ 88th Legislative Session

Emerging literature on anti-CRT, anti-DEI efforts in education suggest that these attacks represent a rearticulation of racial ideologies which seek to contain racial progress. Although crafting anti-CRT and anti-DEI policies is primarily conducted through discourse, few studies explore the specific discursive mechanisms used to justify these efforts as racially neutral. Using critical discourse analysis and insights from color-evasive racism, we examine the discourse of public hearings on anti-DEI and anti-CRT bills introduced in Texas’ 88th legislative session. We find that policy actors employ denials of racism and articulate three of the four frames of color-evasive racism. By examining the role of racism denial in legitimizing anti-CRT and anti-DEI efforts in higher education policy, we hope to attend to the specific roles of discourse in legitimizing racist policies and actions in education more broadly.

critical discourse analysis, legislative process, denials of racism, anti-DEI legislation, anti-CRT legislation
Education level
Document Object Identifier (DOI)

EdWorkingPaper suggested citation:

Shook, Lauren Mena, and Lizeth I. Lizarraga-Dueñas. (). Of DEI and Denials: A Critical Discourse Analysis of Texas’ 88th Legislative Session. (EdWorkingPaper: 24-924). Retrieved from Annenberg Institute at Brown University:

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