This article considers the transatlantic use of Critical Race Theory (CRT) frameworks to critically interpret racism in education internationally, and the possibilities and pitfalls this has for understanding racism in Ireland. It argues for the importance of CRT’s framework on a number of grounds, but echoes cautions against the assumed, or sole use of a white/non-white framework to understand situated anti-racisms ‘elsewhere’. This caution focuses on less on CRT principles per se, and more on typically derivative ‘nationalist’ policy appropriations of anti-racism. Education policy (and research) misrepresentations of systemic racism as happening in another place, or at another time function by deracialising and ignoring complex Atlantic and wider (neo)colonial relations. By exploring the ‘troubling movements’ of education’s emergence within Irish-Atlantic-Empire politics, the article encourages postcolonial animations of CRT praxis. It shows ways in which CRT can work transnationally with and beyond white/non-white dualisms, to challenge derivative ‘normative state’ dilutions of educational anti-racisms.