So-called ‘parents’ rights’ groups such as Moms for Liberty are anti-government extremists, says SPLC

By | June 7, 2023

USA Today reports:

The Southern Poverty Law Center is for the first time labeling Florida-headquartered Moms for Liberty and 11 other right-wing “parents’ rights” groups as extremist groups in its annual report, released Tuesday.

Moms for Liberty and the other organizations are being designated as “anti-government extremist groups,” based on longstanding criteria, explained SPLC Intelligence Project Director Susan Corke. Corke said the grassroots conservative groups are part of a new front in the battle against inclusivity in schools, though they are drawing from ideas rooted in age-old white supremacy.

“[The movement] is primarily aimed at not wanting to include our hard history, topics of racism, and a very strong push against teaching anything having to do with LGBTQ topics in schools,” Corke said. ”We saw this as a very deliberate strategy to go to the local level.”

The new designations are detailed in the SPLC’s annual 2022 Year in Hate and Extremism report.

The 12 new groups brought the total number of active extremist groups included in the 2022 report to 1,225 nationwide. Of those, the SPLC designates 702 as anti-government groups and 523 as hate groups. That’s almost flat from 2021 when the SPLC counted 1,221 extremist groups. [Continue reading…]

Vice News reports:

Since the group’s founding in Florida in 2020, its influence over local and national Republican politics has grown exponentially: It’s now a nation-wide movement with 260 chapters that claims to be a “grassroots” group working to protect students and defend parents’ rights. Its members are leading the charge on book-banning campaigns across the country and the group says it has helped install 275 of its favored candidates on school boards in 2022 alone, dozens of whom don’t have any children attending public schools in their districts.

The group’s methods, however, belie the wholesome vision it tries to project. VICE News has spoken to students, administrators, parents, superintendents, school board members, and teachers who have faced vicious attacks by Moms for Liberty. Their stories paint a picture of a group that conducts orchestrated harassment campaigns against individuals, that’s resulted in many fearing for their safety and, in some cases, their lives.

“The greatest impact that Moms for Liberty is having is imparting fear, within the teachers and the educators and in the parents,” Laura Leigh-Abby, co-founder of Defense of Democracy, a nonprofit group advocating for inclusive education, told VICE News. “The true impact they’re having is really not calculable, because I’m seeing teachers who are afraid to speak out because they don’t want to be targeted.” [Continue reading…]

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