Pamela Fox revisits the group "Mom's for Liberty" and their recent surge in popularity while supporting right-wing, anti-LGBTQ policies.
In 2021, I wrote a piece about the then emerging conservative parents organization, based in Florida (of course!), that helped to usher in all kinds of backlash to K-12 schools that taught “critical race theory” and its ‘harm’ to their mostly White children who were learning the factual histories of slavery and structural racism. At the time, this organization chose school board meetings as their preferred political arena, where suburban moms (and some dads) objected to mask mandates during the Covid-19 pandemic and simultaneously became aware of what their children were reading. They called for the heads of teachers and school administrators who were responsible for teaching the truth about our nation’s past and present and began organizing their own school board candidates to replace these seasoned professionals. Their ranks rose quickly due to assistance from right-wing media promoters–MFL founders were invited onto the Rush Limbaugh show in early 2021, ”appearing on Fox News at least 16 times and [on] Steve Bannon’s War Room at least 14 times.”
Two years later, MFL has truly hit the big time due to their expanded shaming of Leftist ‘sins,’ particularly regarding sexuality: LGBTQ+ ‘groomers’, Trans storybook hours for children and drag shows, sexually explicit (i.e “pornographic”) books in school libraries that must be “banned,” and have defined “[g]ender dysphoria” as “a mental health disorder that is being normalized by predators across the USA.” Moms For Liberty now claims to have “275 chapters in 45 states with nearly 115,000 members.” The New York Times noted that “funding sources remain mysterious but seemingly plentiful," especially since the Republican Party has fallen in line with their aims.
Their latest triumph? Hosting the “Joyful Warriors National Summit” in Philadelphia right before this summer’s Fourth of July, featuring a slew of high and lesser profile Republican candidates running for President along with numerous speakers. Their sponsors ran the gamut from The Heritage Foundation and Advancing American Freedom to nonprofit organizations such as “Protect Our Kids,” “Save Our States,” and “Advocates Protecting Children.” But one seismic-sized wrinkle has taken some of the “joy” out of these right-wing warriors. In a MFL newsletter from Hamilton County, IN, a member inserted a quote from Adolph Hitler: “He alone, who owns the youth, gains the future.” While the chapter initially “defended the quote,” they swiftly apologized. But Tiffany Justice, one of the MLF founders, fought back, arguing “Never in a million years did this mom think she supported Hitler,” …“That was maybe naïve, but the death threats we’re getting now — you should see the things people send me. They want to put a bullet in my children’s head because I’m a Nazi.”
But many of their supporters are themselves quite militant. The Southern Poverty Law Center has deemed Moms For Liberty “an anti-government organization,” due to their newer tactics: “They … use their multiple social media platforms to target teachers and school officials, advocate for the abolition of the Department of Education, advance a conspiracy propaganda, and spread hateful imagery and rhetoric against the LGBTQ community.” One woman affiliated with MFL in 2022 threatened a school librarian, stating, “I’m telling you, if I had any mental issues, they would all be plowed down by a freaking gun right now.” She “was indicted for terroristic threatening towards the faculty and staff of her school district.” Another protester at an Indiana school board meeting brought a gun, which fell out of his pocket, and was arrested. Additionally, the Southern Poverty Law Center has documented that some MFL chapters have been associated with the Proud Boys, whose members have posed for pictures with the hate group.
But all is not lost. Quite recently, politically liberal or progressive parents have begun to organize their own activist groups in response to Moms For Liberty. Here are a few links to read and share:
Red, Wine, & Blue: they claim to be “not political” in the Purple state of Virginia, but their agendas are quite clear: “Reproductive Freedom”; “Voting Restrictions”; “Public Education”; “Gun Violence”; “Book Ban Busters.” For more information: redwine.blue
The Florida Freedom to Read Project: focused on their children’s rights to read books in and out of classrooms and libraries. For more information: fftrp.org
Support Our Schools: Their mission statement seeks a “kinder and more inclusive education” for their children, stating “We believe that all children, regardless of socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability or religion are entitled to a modern education in a safe and inclusive environment.” For more info: supportourschools.com
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