The purpose of this reflection on scholarly teaching is to outline the difficulties arising when critical race theory, in its misappropriated and popularized form that dominates current discourse, is deployed as the sole educational framework in CSD education. We wish to offer an alternative framework, pragmatic humanism. The latter is expounded as a paradigm that can reap the benefits of critical race theory without succumbing to the absolutist claims of its popularized variant. It will be argued that pragmatic humanism is a useful framework for diversity teachers in CSD who are faced with an overwhelmingly White, conservative student body that may be reluctant to accept the realities of racism.