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.
"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."
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.