(Todd A. Smith)

Rhode Island Rep. Patricia Morgan made a strong argument for the need for critical race theory in American classrooms although she intended to accomplish the opposite with her asinine tweet on Dec. 28.

Rep. Morgan tweeted, “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 politicians really want for our society? Divide us because of our skin color.”

Morgan wrote so many idiotic things in one tweet that it will take time to unpack each thing.

First and foremost, she divided people by color herself by calling her friend “a black friend.”

Why can’t her friend just be her friend who happens to be Black.

I do not separate my friends into color categories like White friends, Hispanic friends and Black friends.

Some just happen to look like me while others do not.

Like many Twitter users pointed out, how can a person live for decades on Earth and just have one friend of another race?

One would have to actively try not to hang out with people of different races for that to happen.

Or one would have to have racism in their heart to only like one person of a different race in a country as diverse as America.

While on the subject of friendships, how can one call someone a friend if they do not know if they truly like them or not?

If a person does not like you, then they are not your friend.

That person should receive the classification of acquaintance, colleague or peer, not a friend.

A wise person once said that a friend is a family member that you choose.

Anything that does not meet that definition cannot receive the description of a friend, or definitely not a close friend.

Furthermore, residents of Rhode Island have said that Morgan has led an effort in that state to remove all mention of racism from American history textbooks.

That is something that is a slap in the face to many Black Americans because of what we have endured in this country, or what our parents, grandparents and ancestors had to endure at the hands of Jim Crow and slavery.

The ancestors of today’s Black community gave their lives and their livelihood so that future generations would not have to endure the discrimination or humiliation that they endured.

To allow someone to erase them from history’s textbooks is one of the biggest insults ever to many Black Americans.

Like me, many Black Americans can name their family members who struggled because of the atrocity of slavery and the horrors that came during Reconstruction.

When I think of racism and slavery in America, I am not necessarily thinking about historical figures like Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, Nat Turner and/or Booker T. Washington.

Although they should receive all their just due in the history books, people like me think of people on their family tree who never made it to the history books.

To make light of the struggles of my great-great grandparents Sam and Cecilia Jones or my great-great-great grandparents Solomon and Celia Huff would be enough for me to end all my friendships with people who happen to be White, Hispanic, Asian, Native American or Pacific Islander.

Just think, if I made light of the Holocaust, wouldn’t a friend who happens to be Jewish have every right to lose respect for me?

That’s what happened to Morgan’s imaginary Black friend.

She did not lose respect for Morgan because her skin has a lighter shade than this supposed Black friend.

This invisible Black friend stopped looking at Morgan as a friend because she saw how much hatred and racism Morgan had in her heart towards her community.

That assumed amigo might have thought Morgan shared the thoughts of some White conservatives who have sought to limit Black access to the ballot box and decided to not associate with Morgan.

That former friend probably, rightfully, realized it was not her responsibility to reverse decades of racism, bigotry and ignorance from Morgan’s heart.

And like so many Black people, she probably found it tiresome trying to get through to such a hateful person.

Therefore, she stopped trying and probably realized that Morgan was never her friend in the first place because a White person with so much animus towards the Black community could never have a true friend that just happened to be Black.

More than likely is Morgan only knowing a Black woman in passing who might have smiled and spoken to her occasionally.

As a result, Morgan called the woman her friend when it became convenient for her to promote her racist anti-critical race theory crusade.

And that “friend” distanced herself from Morgan when she figured out Morgan’s modus operandi.

But all of that could have been avoided if people talked about race more and had honest conversations.

While critical race theory is a law school and graduate school course that has never gotten taught at the lower levels, teaching it could bridge the racial divide once and for all.

It is almost impossible to teach an old dog new tricks.

And a female dog as old as Morgan is probably a total lost cause.

Nevertheless, there is still hope for the next generation because youngsters often have a blank slate if not already corrupted by bigoted and hateful adults.

Just my theory.

And at this point, it is becoming critical to implement that theory to improve race relations in America.

Todd A. Smith
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