A Republican lawmaker is at the center of yet another Twitter controversy.
On Tuesday (December 28), Rep. Patricia Morgan of Rhode Island tweeted that she’d lost a Black friend due to critical race theory.
“I had a black friend. I liked her and I think she liked me, too. But now she is hostile and unpleasant. I am sure I didn’t do anything to her, except be white,” Rep. Morgan wrote. “Is that what teachers and our political leaders really want for our society? Divide us because of our skin color? #CRT [Critical Race Theory].”
The tweet sparked immediate backlash, spawning the hashtag #Ihadablackfriend — created by journalist Michael Harriot — that began trending on the social media platform.
I had a black friend. I liked her and I think she liked me, too. But now she is hostile and unpleasant. I am sure I didn’t do anything to her, except be white. Is that what teachers and our political leaders really want for our society? Divide us because of our skin color? #CRT
— Patricia Morgan (@repmorgan) December 28, 2021
“There are obvious chunks of the story missing here,” one Twitter user wrote. “CRT is about learning actual history and why people have an advantage for having white skin. None of my friends are asking me to hate myself. That’s not the issue. They want me to be aware/learn & do what I can to help.”
Human rights lawyer Qasim Rashid also joined the conversation on Twitter, tweeting about how Morgan unsuccessfully sponsored a bill earlier this year that would have restricted the way schools teach the role of race in American history.
“Politician who sponsored a bill to ban teachers from teaching about America’s history of racism thinks her Black friend doesn’t like her because she’s white,” he wrote. “The astounding & perpetual right wing politician need to be a victim while actively harming others.”
We should get #IHadAWhiteFriend trending
I, too had a white friend. But now he is hostile and unpleasant. I am sure it wasn’t me. All I did is speak truthfully about the history of the country we live in.
— Michael Harriot (@michaelharriot) December 28, 2021
Despite the criticism, Morgan defended her tweet to a local media station on Wednesday (December 29).
“I didn’t think it was controversial,” she told WPRI. “I am sad that there are so many people in our society today that think that it’s not sad, that think that it’s a reason to criticize me because I am sad that our country is being pulled back into racial strife, instead of searching for real solutions to the issues.”
“Dr. Martin Luther King said he wanted a country where people were judged by their content of character. That’s what I am fighting for. How can that be controversial?” Morgan added in a separate interview, per the Providence Journal.
“I had a black friend”.
Singular. Not multiple. One.
“I liked her, and I think she liked me”.
My intentions were pure. Not so sure about hers.
“Now she’s hostile & unpleasant”
Stereotypes of black ppl being angry & violent.
“I’m sure I didn’t do anything”
I’m the victim here
— Dude_In_The_Desert 🌵 (@t_arnpreeest) December 28, 2021
— Holly Robinson Peete 💃🏾♍️ (@hollyrpeete) December 29, 2021
“You voted for John McCain because Barack Obama is black.” pic.twitter.com/8RvwPjiSAg
— LiNC😷LN PARK (@linc0lnpark) December 29, 2021
— John Pavlovitz (@johnpavlovitz) December 29, 2021
#IHadAWhiteFriend. We worked together. When she discovered I had a bi-racial daughter and a black husband she asked me, “Why’d you marry a black guy? All the white guys pass you by?” We never talked much after that. https://t.co/5qEHzCgkqM
— 🌴 Jane 🌴 Queen Wockachickenboom 🌴 (@Gisudaraz) December 29, 2021
Whew, the #IHadAWhiteFriend hashtag is a full collegiate course in what it’s like to be Black in America. Kudos to @michaelharriot for getting the conversation started. Well Michael and the lady who tweeted about how she “had a [B]lack friend til CRT made them mean or something.
— Joy-Ann (Pro-Democracy) Reid 😷 (@JoyAnnReid) December 29, 2021
#ihadawhitefriend Sadly she is now disgruntled and intolerable in her behavior towards me. When she commented that I reminded her of a maid she had when she was young. I informed her that she resembled balled up homework & told her Sophia Petrillo wanted her wig back. Oh well. pic.twitter.com/md59Pxj5dG
— Wakanda’s Director of Policy 👑 (@MotownPhylly) December 28, 2021