One of the founders of critical race theory said he has been receiving an overwhelming amount of death threats over the educational idea, which has embroiled the nation in a fight over its implementation in schools.
Richard Delgado, 82, told Axios he has been "inundated" by callers criticizing him for being one of a group of researchers who established the basic tenets of critical race theory in the late 1970s and early '80s.
"We get some of the grossest telephone messages that you can imagine," said the University of Alabama professor. "Some of the stuff is hard to believe. It's full of venom."
Delgado has been accused of eating children, hating white people and seeking to destroy the U.S, Axios reported.
The Hill has reached out to Delgado for comment.
In addition to creating the basic idea of critical race theory Delgado and his wife, Jean Stefancic, also published a study in 2001 called "Critical Race Theory: An Introduction," which has served as a major guide for school boards looking to implement the theory into their curriculum.
School boards across the country have erupted over the theory, with opponents calling it racist against white people and a way of framing every matter through race and oppressed versus oppressor, which they argue is misguided. Supporters say it helps teach children about a long history of racism in the country that permeates through institutions and practices today, and ultimately boosts the practice of equity by looking at these systems through the critical lens of race.
In response to the backlash over the theory, nine states have banned critical race theory: Idaho, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Arizona and North Dakota, according to the Brookings Institution.
Critical race theory has created rifts between school board leaders, educators and parents. After contentious debates, some involved have issued threats or hateful messages to each other, prompting the National School Board Association to send a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice, asking for them to investigate the threats.
The association later apologized for the letter after congressmen and others criticized the Department of Justice for investigating American parents, concerned about their children's education, as domestic terrorists.
The idea has led to more equity training and discussion. Washington State passed a law establishing a professional training day for school staff to learn more about diversity, equity and inclusion, while some professors and teachers have decided to teach the New York Time's 1619 project, a similar concept to critical race theory, which frames the founding of America through slavery and its effects.