White Lady Doing Racism Can't Help But Wonder: Where Have All The Black Friends Gone?
Patricia Morgan wants you to know that she had a Black friend. Morgan, who is a Rhode Island state representative and an actual person, tweeted this bizarre comment Tuesday morning:
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
Morgan is certain she didn’t do anything to her now “hostile and unpleasant” friend other than be the charming white lady she is. She somehow ascribes the fact that her friend won’t take her phone calls to “teachers and our political leaders” who apparently want to "divide us because of our skin color.” It’s as if her Black friend, who I assume has a name, received a text from Vice President Kamala Harris ordering her to “Hate Whitey.”
You’ll notice that Morgan ends her tweet with the hashtag #CRT for “critical race theory,” the new conservative Satanic panic. Now, call me a conspiracy theorist, but I suspect that conservative opposition to learning Black people’s unfiltered history in America might have something to do with why Morgan's nameless Black friend thinks she’s garbage.
According to the Daily Beast, Morgan co-sponsored a Rhode Island bill in March "that would have banned the teaching of "more than justcritical race theory in public schools." The bill, RI H6070, failed to pass in June but would have prohibited “teaching of divisive concepts” (you know, that slavery and segregation existed) as well as mandated that “any contract, grant or training entered into by state or municipality include provisions prohibiting divisive concepts and prohibit making individual feel distress on account of their race or sex.”
This bill was obviously intended to silence people of color, but the language demonstrates how clueless Morgan is to the level of “distress” she’s likely caused any Black person whose had the misfortune of working with her. (Rhode Island also has several Columbus Day weekend events, and that genocidal butcher is certainly “divisive.”)
Morgan told the Daily Beast she’s real sad that her Black friend doesn’t want to be her friend anymore, which by the way is perfectly legal thanks to the 13th Amendment. She said the Black woman who was probably never really her “friend” has become "a real proponent of racial identity politics.” Yes, because she has a racial identity and is naturally an advocate for her continued existence.
Although a former teacher herself, Morgan blames critical race theory for why kids aren’t good at math. She thinks educators waste time teaching students about less prominent Black leaders instead of major figures such as Frederick Douglass and Harriet Beecher Stowe, who’s not Black. She also incorrectly referred to Harriet Tubman as the creator of the Underground Railroad, which was not an actual railroad. Bluto Blutarsky from Animal House had a better command of history.
She’s not racist, mind you. She was “quite aware” that her friend was Black “but that didn’t matter because I liked her. I still like her.”
It’s not surprising that Morgan willfully refuses to understand why what she believed was a friendship has ended. She is likely just as annoying as ever, but her Black “bestie” was probably never in a position to tell her to go fuck herself. You pick your battles, but this offensive critical race theory bill was likely a slap in the face this Black woman couldn’t ignore for the sake of a false peace. Black folks don’t run the show in Rhode Island. Standing up for herself and drawing boundaries will cost her, but I’m impressed she was willing to pay the price of offending Morgan.
And of course Morgan drags Dr. Martin Luther King into this.
“We fought these battles already against discrimination and against segregation [for] Martin Luther King’s goals for us to judge people by the content of their character and not the color of their skin,” Morgan told The Daily Beast. “[Critical race theory] shuts down conversations about other reasons for disparities and other ways that we could work to change those disparities.”
Gee, what are some other reasons for racial discrimination other than racism? Maybe a wizard did it.
I’ve written numerous times about how white people like Morgan considered Dr. Martin Luther King “divisive” and a "rabble rouser” when he was actually alive. Nice white ladies got up into their feels when they learned their Black maids weren’t down with the social order. They blamed Dr. King and other civil rights activists for stirring up trouble.
Morgan’s Black “friend” made the right call. My only question now is why Morgan has any friends from any race.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. Once, he wrote a novel called “Mahogany Slade,” which you should read or at least buy. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."