Some parent rights groups listed as ‘hate groups’
Parent rights groups, including Florida-based Moms for Liberty, are the latest to be added to a list of “hate and anti-government groups.”
Among other things, a new report from the Southern Poverty Law Center has added it to their “Hate Map” as part of the release of their “Year In Hate and Extremism 2022” report.
In previous years, groups to be listed were related to neo-Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan. The addition of anti-government groups has increased the list from 733 ‘hate groups’ in 2021 to 1225 ‘hate and anti-government extremists’. groups’ for 2022.
Moms for Liberty was founded in early 2021 by conservative women in Florida and has rapidly expanded its presence across the country.
It has received national media attention for its efforts to combat COVID safety measures in schools, ban books, limit discussion of race and LGBTQ identities, and populate local school boards with conservatives.
Moms of Liberty co-founders Tiffany Justice (left) and Tina Descovich (right) rejected the decision to label their organization a “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center
A new report from SPLC added Moms for Liberty, among others, to their ‘Hate Map’ as part of the release of their ‘Year In Hate and Extremism 2022’ report
According to the new SPLC report, schools are on the “receiving end of stepped-up and coordinated hard-right attacks.”
Parent rights groups appear to have experienced exponential growth “spurred by the right-wing backlash on COVID-19 public safety measures,” according to SPLC.
They are described as having “grown into an anti-student inclusion movement targeting any inclusive curriculum that contains discussions of race, discrimination and LGBTQ identities.”
“At the forefront of this mobilization is Moms for Liberty, a Florida-based group with strong ties to the GOP that has been identified as an extremist group by the SPLC this year,” the report reads.
“They can be seen at school board meetings across the country wearing shirts and carrying signs that read, ‘We are NOT cooperating with the GOVERNMENT.’
“The group hijacks meetings, preventing officials and parents from carrying out their normal duties.”
The report goes on to claim that groups like Moms for Liberty have “similar rallying cries” to those who “opposed school desegregation.”
“Inciting supporters around supposed ‘parental rights’ and ‘family values’ is nothing new — similar rallying cries were adopted by those who opposed school desegregation during the civil rights movement and by the moral majority of the 1980s,” it said.
Moms for Liberty was founded in early 2021 by conservative women in Florida and has rapidly expanded its presence across the country
Moms for Liberty received national media attention for their efforts to combat COVID safety measures in schools, ban books, limit discussion of race and LGBTQ identities, and populate local school boards with conservatives
“These political slogans have been used repeatedly because they are effective and consider organizing far-right activists as something done solely out of genuine concern for children.”
It added: “But Moms for Liberty activities make it clear that the group’s primary goals are to fuel right-wing hysteria and to make the world a less comfortable or safe place for certain students – primarily those who are black, LGBTQ or who come from LGBTQ families.’
President and CEO of the SPLC and SPLC Action Fund, Margaret Huang, celebrated the report as a way to “deal with” and “expose” extremists.
“Taking on the most hateful factions in our country is critical to dismantling white supremacy and advancing the civil rights of all people,” Huang said.
We expose a concerted effort by hate groups and extremist actors to terrorize communities and take control of public institutions by any means necessary.
“These groups descend on Main Street America and disrupt people’s daily lives, all too often with dire consequences for communities of color, Jewish people and the LGBTQ+ community.”
The SPLC is one of the most widely recognized investigative organizations tracking hate and extremism in the United States.
But have been criticized for labeling some groups as extremists when they are merely taking a political stance.
Tiffany Justice and Tina Descovich, co-founders of Moms of Liberty, criticized the decision to label their organization a “hate group,” saying Fox news that they are committed to empowering parents.
President and CEO of the SPLC and SPLC Action Fund, Margaret Huang, celebrated the report as a way to ‘deal with’ and ‘expose’ extremists
“Two-thirds of Americans believe the public education system is on the wrong track today. That is why our organization is committed to empowering parents to be a part of their child’s public school education,” they said in the statement.
“That is our fundamental goal, which started just two years ago when teacher unions closed students out of school during the pandemic.
“Parent empowerment remains our mission today and that has fueled the growth of our organization – spreading like wildfire to now 45 states across the country.”
The co-founders went on to say that “calling names” of parents who want to be part of their children’s education as “hate groups” or “bigorous” further exposes “what the battle is all about.”
“Essentially who decides what our children are taught in school – parents or government employees?” they said.
“We believe parental rights don’t stop at the classroom door and no amount of hatred from groups like this will stop that.”
Moms for Liberty joins 11 other right-wing parent rights groups in its annual report.