The Controversial Moms for Liberty: Defending Parental Rights or Promoting Extremism?
Moms for Liberty, a self-proclaimed modern parental rights movement, claims to prioritize parental decision-making in education over government control. However, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a renowned civil rights organization, Moms for Liberty is labeled as an “extremist and anti-government” group in their 2022 report on Hate and Extremism.
Who are the ‘Mothers for Freedom’?
The SPLC describes Moms for Liberty as an extreme right-wing organization that opposes student inclusion. This progressive civil rights organization questions the motives and actions of Moms for Liberty, highlighting their opposition to race and gender inclusive school plans and their support for book bans.
The Origins and Leadership of Moms for Liberty
Moms for Liberty was founded in 2021 in Florida by Tiffany Justice and Tina Descovich, former members of Florida school boards who protested against face mask mandates and other COVID-19 restrictions in public schools. Bridget Ziegler, a former member of the Sarasota County School Board, also joined the organization. Although Ziegler is no longer officially part of Moms for Liberty, she still participates in some of their events.
The Mission and Allegations Against Moms for Liberty
Moms for Liberty claims to fight for parental rights and defend the United States by unifying and empowering parents. However, the SPLC accuses the organization of attacking the rights of minorities, spreading propaganda and conspiracy theories, and engaging in hate campaigns against the LGBTQ community. The SPLC argues that Moms for Liberty’s empowerment of some comes at the expense of others.
Reactions of Moms for Liberty to the ‘Extremist’ Label
Rhonda Garman, director of the York affiliate of Moms for Liberty, expressed pride in the organization’s classification as an extremist and anti-government group. Bridget Ziegler, the founder of Moms for Liberty, dismissed the SPLC’s report as a leftist attack without credibility or merit.
Moms for Liberty: Leading the Battle to Ban Books
Moms for Liberty has gained notoriety for its efforts to ban books from school libraries. The organization campaigns against teachers and librarians, accusing them of promoting inappropriate content related to gender, sexuality, and critical race theory. Their opposition to books by Martin Luther King Jr. and Ruby Bridges has sparked controversy.
Moms for Liberty’s Anti-Government Stance
Moms for Liberty has consistently opposed government policies, from COVID-19 health measures to school plans and public policies. The organization advocates for the abolition of the Department of Education and portrays public schools and teachers’ unions as adversaries. Their slogan, “we do not share parenting with the government,” reflects their anti-government sentiment.
Moms for Liberty’s Stance on LGBTQ Issues
Moms for Liberty has targeted the LGBTQ community, particularly in relation to gender identity and pronoun usage in schools. The organization has suggested segregating LGBTQ students and compared them to students with special needs. They have criticized changes to Title IX that aim to protect LGBTQ rights, including allowing transgender individuals to participate in sports and use preferred pronouns.
Moms for Liberty: Alliances, Financing, and Expansion Strategies
Moms for Liberty has formed alliances with prominent conservative figures and grassroots extremist groups. The organization has organized fundraisers and received financial support, including a significant contribution from Julie Fancelli, an heiress to Publix supermarkets. Moms for Liberty aims to expand its influence by endorsing school board candidates and establishing a presence in all 13,000 school districts in the United States.