(WJZY) — A Rhode Island GOP representative is coming under fire on social media and at home for a tweet in which she claims she lost “a Black friend” because she’s white.
In an effort to denounce critical race theory in schools, Rep. Patricia Morgan tweeted Tuesday morning about her friend, saying she was sure that she “didn’t do anything to her, except be white.”
“I had a black friend,” Morgan wrote, “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”
Many Twitter users, however, were quick to respond to Morgan’s remarks, sharing criticism or skepticism of her claims.
One user, FuzzyDruid, wrote, “Can someone please solve the mystery of why Patricia’s totally real Black friend won’t speak to her anymore???”
Another user, PortiaMcGonagal, wrote directly to Morgan: “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.”
User TylerDinucci wrote, “yeah patricia I’m sure you didn’t do anything.”
Many pointed out that Morgan also sponsored a bill to restrict Rhode Island schools from teaching anything related to race.
Sister station WPRI reported that the 71-year-old representative is standing by her tweet, adding that she believes Twitter’s “algorithm” boosted the message.
“I’m wondering about the mechanism behind it,” Morgan told WPRI. “We know that Twitter can mute your tweets or promote them, they can change their metrics. … Very few Rhode Islanders are commenting on it, but I sure am getting a lot of California, New York, Oregon and Washington.”
“You know, normally I’m lucky if I get 20 people to notice my tweets,” she said. “So really, why would Patricia Arquette pick up my little tweet in Rhode Island?” she asked, referring to the celebrities who retweeted her post.
Many other users who were critical of Morgan’s tweet also began sharing their own stories using the hashtag #IHadAWhiteFriend, which began trending on Tuesday night.
#IHadAWhiteFriend. She liked me and I liked her too. One day at work she called me articulate and asked who helped write my presentation. She became hostile when I said, “No one. I have a master’s degree in this subject.” So sad.— twashi (@twashingon) December 29, 2021
#IhadAWhiteFriend. I liked her and she liked me too. But now she is hostile and unpleasant. I am sure I didn’t do anything to her, except insist she not touch my hair without permission just because I was wearing a different style. #IhadAWhiteFriend— PeaceNWarWithIN (@PeaceNWarWithIN) December 29, 2021
#IHadAWhiteFriend. We worked together & I even hired him to mow my lawn. But now he is hostile and unpleasant. Stopped coming for the biweekly service. I’m sure I didn’t do anything to him, except during February when I daily posted moments in American History about Black ppl.🤔— The JCKL (@millamoo) December 29, 2021
WPRI reported that Morgan received widespread condemnation for the tweet from political leaders and groups, too. Morgan also claimed she has “more than one Black friend” but declined to identify the friend in question from her tweet, saying it “wouldn’t be fair.”
Morgan and her “friend” recently met up at a Christmas party, WPRI reported.
“There was a coldness,” she said. Morgan claimed that she has not spoken to the person since, and that “she probably doesn’t even know about the tweet.”
Morgan said she wasn’t trying to seek attention for the tweet and that she “was expressing her sincere opinion.”
“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,” she said.