A Republican lawmaker in Rhode Island is being criticized for suggesting in a Tuesday tweet that she lost a black friend to race and critical race theory.
State Representative Patricia Morgan, who is white, tweeted about losing her ‘black friend’ to race before suggesting teachers and politicians divide people over ‘skin color’ and refer to critical race theory.
“I had a black friend. I liked her and I think she liked me too. But now she’s hostile and unpleasant. I’m sure I haven’t done anything to her other than being white,” she wrote, “Is this really what teachers and our political leaders want for our society? To 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’m sure I didn’t do anything to her except be white. Is this really what teachers and our political leaders want for our society? Divide us because of our skin color? #CRT
—Patricia Morgan (@repmorgan) December 28, 2021
Morgan’s tweet shocked Democratic and Republican politicians, with critics calling the comments “ignorant”. Rhode Island State House Republican Minority Leader Blake Filippi said Morgan’s tweet was “absurd, juvenile and condemnable.”
Nellie Gorbea, Rhode Island’s secretary of state and Democratic gubernatorial candidate, called the comments “ignorant and embarrassing.
“Rhode Island deserves leaders who bring people together and don’t recklessly divide us,” she tweeted.
Morgan defended his tweet, recounting The Journal of Providence she thought it was in good faith.
“I’m sad that this is the way our country is, that we judge people by their skin color, not their character,” she said. “I didn’t think it was controversial.”
His comments also drew national criticism. George Takei, known for his role as Sulu in “Star Trek”, lambasted Morgan on Twitter, using lawmaker phrasing against her.
“I had a white friend. I loved him and I think he loved me too. But then Pearl Harbor came along and the white people became hostile and unpleasant. I’m sure we didn’t do anything but they still sent us to camps. And now they don’t want to teach about it because it makes kids uncomfortable,” he wrote.
I had a white friend. I loved him and I think he loved me too. But then Pearl Harbor came along and the white people became hostile and unpleasant. I’m sure we didn’t do anything but they still sent us to camps. And now they don’t want to teach that because it makes the kids uncomfortable. https://t.co/Pgvp9EoIEy
—George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) December 28, 2021
Critical race theory, an area of academia that frames American institutions and systems around race, has met with stiff resistance from conservatives across the country. At least 21 states have introduced bills to ban critical race theory from school curricula, and four states — Arkansas, Oklahoma, Idaho and Tennessee — have signed such bills into law. .
Morgan, the former minority leader in the State House of Rhode Island, unsuccessfully tried to pass a bill last spring banning schools from teaching that racism is built into American institutions.
Morgan told the Providence Journal that her efforts to get the bill passed were likely the reason she lost her friend. Morgan met the friend at a recent Christmas party and felt ignored by the person.
“I love my friend,” she added. “She’s funny, strong and smart. Every time we were together we had a great time. We enjoyed each other’s company.
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