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Lizeth I. Lizarraga-Dueñas

Lauren Mena Shook, Lizeth I. Lizarraga-Dueñas.

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.

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