Less than 24 hours after she complained on Twitter about losing “a black friend” because of critical race theory, Rhode Island state Representative Patricia L. Morgan had garnered thousands of reactions from around the world, with many of them mocking her, correcting her, or begging her to delete her tone-deaf tweet.
“I had a black friend. I liked her and I think she liked me, too,” she wrote. “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”
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
In an interview with the Globe on Tuesday, Morgan, a West Warwick Republican, stood by what she posted. She declined to identify the friend she’d tweeted about, but said she had noticed the friend becoming distant. At a recent Christmas party, things became really noticeable, Morgan said.
“I just felt we weren’t friends anymore, because she doesn’t want to be friends anymore,” Morgan said in an interview. “I’m positive it’s because of my skin color. And that’s a shame.”
She told the Globe that the negative reaction to her tweet was yet more proof of the insidious nature of critical race theory.
“Twitter is a cesspool anyway,” Morgan said.
Still, within hours, celebrities from far beyond Rhode Island’s borders had started weighing in:
I had a white friend. I liked him and I think he liked me, too. But then Pearl Harbor happened and whites became hostile and unpleasant. I am sure we didn’t do anything but they sent us to camps anyway. And now they don’t want to teach about this because it make kids feel bad. https://t.co/Pgvp9EoIEy— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) December 28, 2021
You just divided the country with your tweet. Are you that unconscious? There is sex rape , slavery, murder, incest and sex in the Bible. Are you going to ban reading that?— Patricia Arquette (@PattyArquette) December 28, 2021
Reactions were still pouring in a day later. Some questioned her logic:
If you don’t believe in judging others by their skin color, then how come you assumed your former friend has a problem with you because you’re white? If she was white would you think that? If not, you just judged her by her skin color.— Yell in a War (@jelenawoehr) December 28, 2021
1. Takes a lot of guts to admit you only had ONE Black friend.— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@mmpadellan) December 28, 2021
2. Your highlighting that fact probably didn't help you keep that ONE Black friend.
3. Probably didn't help that you voted to forbid the teaching of American history that makes your White friends "uncomfortable."
Some pointed out that critical race theory does not mean what she thinks it means:
This listing is from Stanford's Law School...— The Scholarly Mouse 💉💉💉 (@songlibah) December 29, 2021
Yes, you LITERALLY have to be in college/university to take this course.
What YOU are improperly labeling Critical Race Theory is nothing more than *accurate American history*
There are obvious chunks of the story missing here.— 🦇 Des M. Astor, Queen of Blood (Author)🦇🔞 (@TheRealDesastr) December 28, 2021
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.
Except your CRT bill clearly doesn't understand what CRT is. You've fallen into the "CRT is anti-white" trap of ignorance. Here's an example of how CRT would actually be employed in teaching. Have a look and then tell me where CRT is being divisive. pic.twitter.com/F0zmG0ZFMx— Steven Trustrum (@StevenTrustrum) December 28, 2021
The manufactured panic in 2021 over what they call “CRT” in one tweet. Provoke outrage with outlandish stories. That smear Black people. That employ the White supremacist mantra of White people as the primary victims of racism. All the while denying the existence of racism. https://t.co/XWUvwF9Wsf— Ibram X. Kendi (@DrIbram) December 28, 2021
Others suggested there may be other reasons why her friend had become cold and distant.
Sweetie, you might think you claimed her as a friend. She never claimed you. There was something she read in you that said she couldn't actually have a real conversation with you about race. Know how I know? Been Black in predominantly white spaces all my life. We know you.— Portia 🧑🏾🎄Vaxxed and Boosted 🧑🏾🎄McGonagal (@PortiaMcGonagal) December 28, 2021
you absolutely did not have a black friend. you had someone who has since stopped letting you refer to her as your black friend— g sus (@punishedgsus) December 28, 2021
How many times do you think Patricia said, "But you're one of the good ones" to her friend before she got sick of it?— Danielle Froom 🏳️🌈 (Sad Girl Solstice Version) (@DawFfraw) December 28, 2021
It is difficult to lose a friend. The fact that you are using them as a prop in a weird, mean tweet where you also decide to use them as a representation of their entire race rather than an individual probably is part of why they no longer want to be around you— Amanda Deibert🍾🥂🏳️🌈 (@amandadeibert) December 28, 2021
Some read between the lines to explain the tweet to the masses:
"I had a black friend".— Dude_In_The_Desert 🌵 (@t_arnpreeest) December 28, 2021
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
I think I can help you here. She's mad at you because you've tried to gin up a moral panic about something you call CRT, in the process fomenting anti-Black racism. That's something most Black people, and many white people, don't like. You're welcome.— Jeet Heer (@HeerJeet) December 28, 2021
I, too had a white friend. But now she is hostile and unpleasant. I am sure it wasn’t me. All I did was tell her that she benefited more from affirmative action programs than me.— Ernest Owens (@MrErnestOwens) December 29, 2021
Is this what happens when white people find out about white privilege?#IhadAWhiteFriend https://t.co/2ThNAYOEM9
Rhode Island activists and politicians joined the fray, calling on Morgan to rethink her position, apologize for her tweet, or even resign:
I like you, as well. I did speak with him. I disagree with judging others by their skin color and don't want our children being compelled to judge society and themselves by race.— Patricia Morgan (@repmorgan) December 28, 2021
The strength of our state is in our diversity. @PatriciaMorgan is the former minority leader of the RI House and her comments are ignorant and embarrassing. Rhode Island deserves leaders who bring people together not recklessly divide us. https://t.co/hh1N8o5amf— Nellie Gorbea (@NellieGorbea) December 28, 2021
And plenty of people offered a simple suggestion: Just delete the tweet.