Having tracked Moms for Liberty since their beginning during Covid, I was interested to attend their second ever summit, gathering moms and parents from across the country who are committed to the upholding of parental rights in the US.
In the lead up to that summit, the group was slandered by left-leaning press, the activist and anti-Christian SPLC, and derided by Democrat politicians who owe their success and therefore their allegiance to special interest groups based on race and gender ideology.
Members of that press attended the summit, some as press, like at least one reporter from The Nation, and others who went undercover, like those for Media Matters who were oddly obsessed with the catering.
From the moment I first heard about Moms for Liberty I was intrigued. That moment was outside of my son's public school in Brooklyn, New York, at the end of his 5th grade year. One of the teachers approached me and told me she'd read my work against masking in schools and against school closures.
She handed me a flier for far-left mayoral candidate Maya Wiley, saying that they were required by the union to hand them out, and whispered that she and many of her colleagues were grateful for the people speaking out. They knew that devastating learning loss was happening to the students of New York, as they were witnessing it first hand.
"Do you know about Moms for Liberty?" She asked quietly. I told her I did not, and she connected me with her contact in the area, a woman on Long Island who put me in touch with the co-founder of the group, Tiffany Justice. I went on to interview Justice and hear about the initiative. As a mom, I was heartened to see parents teaming up to push back. I'd spoken to many parents across the country during the pandemic, and I knew there was a need for real advocacy. From Oregon to California to Texas, Pennsylvania, New York, and Massachusetts, parents were worried as they watched their kids fall behind, decline socially, lose friendships or or fail to gain them, and in several cases become suicidal.
One Puerto Rican mom I spoke to in July 2021 had moved her son from Oregon to Texas so he could play sports again. "I could see him drifting. It was scary," she said, noting "I personally know three families that have lost their children to suicide in Oregon." These were terrifying times for parents, and they were not being heard by their schools, legislators, or even in the media.
As a journalist for a conservative news and culture outlet, I was interested in this new kind of grassroots conservative activism led by moms who were made completely disheartened and profoundly angry by education leadership at every level. Locally, moms were being shut out, and at state and federal levels, parents were being glad handed and pandered to without any of their concerns being heard. Biden made his bed with the teachers unions, as he had for years, and the plans they pushed on parents and kids were absolutely destructive.
The mainstream, leftist media was initially opposed to initiatives from Moms for Liberty and other parents who demanded that schools open and kids get the education they deserve. As the lockdowns and school closures continued and remote learning went on, however, parents found new causes for concern with the public educational system. Teachers who had been indoctrinated in social justice, critical race and gender theory as part of their study toward degrees in education were filling students' heads with radical ideology about racial supremacy and gender swapping.
I had seen the implementation of critical race theory in my son's school, and the results were not encouraging.
Parents went to school board meetings to offer their concerns not only about masking and school closures, but about what was being taught. In return, they were called white supremacists, even though plenty of black, Asian, and Hispanic parents also attended meetings and made their voices heard. Biden's Department of Justice launched a plan to investigate these parents with the same tools used to investigate domestic terrorists. While President Biden kept making declarations about the need for high-speed internet in underserved communities, his administration was targeting parents for having the audacity to care about their children's education.
Collectively, the nation learned the extent of the implementation of these radical ideas in education. Thousands of schools had policies in place that encouraged teachers to keep students' gender identity secret from their parents. Schools had "transition closets" so that students could come to school and change into opposite gender clothing, including using breast binders and packers, away from their parents' watchful eyes. And it turns out, one of the cases that the Department of Justice was using as evidence that parents at school board meetings were unhinged and dangerous was one in Loudon County, Virginia, where a father showed up to a school board meeting to demand to know why the school board was attempting to cover up the fact that his daughter had been raped by a transgender student in the girls' bathroom at school.
Media took up the banner of parents-who-support-parental-rights-are-white-supremacists, and they haven't let it go, despite it being an obvious lie. This has reached such a fever pitch that anti-Christian social justice group the Southern Poverty Law Center has declared Moms for Liberty a hate group for being opposed to government in education. This was the primary talking point of the protesters outside the conference. One woman held up a sign reading "Defend Democrasy" on one side, noting that the SPLC declared Moms for Liberty a "hate group" on the other. It's a shame there weren't education advocates that could have helped this woman learn to spell.
Trans activists danced half naked, and when I filmed them they said I didn't have "their consent" to do so. They blasted music in my face, holding up an amp at ear level. I kept reaching over and turning it down, hoping we could actually talk. They were not interested in dialogue, just in screaming at moms who walked by.
Activists vandalized the Museum of the American Revolution where the group was holding an opening dinner, and surrounded a group of moms who were leaving the conference heading to dinner one night. Among the insults they shouted were that the moms were pretty. Beauty itself is offensive to these activists.
The small group protested for three days, never having more than 200 people (by my count, and it seems high) in attendance on the streets. But for The Nation, those few hundred people represented the "majority of the city." They claimed that "the people of Philadelphia have had to show up in force to reject a flood of hate oozing its way" into the city and to "defend" the "community from the violence being preached from chintzy pulpits."
Indeed, Philly is a protest town. I lived there for a time, and in that time I marched for gay rights, against the DNC, for Mumia Abu Jamal, and countless other things, where people linked arms through PVC pipes so they could not be separated. In my own experience, Moms for Liberty is the progression of fights for independence, rights, and liberty, and not in opposition to those causes. It is the activism and their ideology that has changed, and Moms for Liberty represents nothing if not a grassroots movement to ensure that America's future is led by educated citizens who stand for liberty and justice for all.
In their applause for the Philadelphia activist community, The Nation did not stop to mention the rampant crime in the city, or the fact that the public schools are an outright failure. When given the option of returning to the City of Brotherly Love from New York, I took one look at the schools and said absolutely not.
The Nation believes presidential candidates, all of whom are desperate for the suburban mom vote, should not have spoken at the conference. They believed that the city that is the birthplace of free speech in the United States should have canceled Moms for Liberty's booking at the Center City Marriott hotel, and at the Museum of the American Revolution. Instead, The Nation believes that the city's trans activists and Young Communist League should have been listened to.
If my time working at the Wooden Shoe, Philly's anarchist bookstore, back in 1993 was any indication, the communists and anarchists have no real idea what they're fighting for or against. Local politicians, forever in the pockets of unions and the Democrat party machine, issued their own statements against the Moms for Liberty, saying they "oppose this group's policy goals, which attempt to disregard history, ban books, and silence conversations about race, gender, and sexuality."
When I asked protesters outside the conference what books were being banned, they said they didn't know.
Moms for Liberty asks for age-appropriate books to be in school libraries and curriculums, asks that pornographic literature not be made available to children, asks for age-appropriate sex ed that does not purport that a child may have been born in the wrong body, and wants to prevent educators from teaching every event both present and historical through the lens of racial and gender oppression.
When parents express their concerns, they are mocked. Yet, when Governor Ron DeSantis signed the Parental Rights in Education Bill into law, a majority of parents in the United States were in favor of it. The Biden administration issued propagandist statements saying it was "anti-gay," but it was instead pro-parent, demanding that schools not keep secrets on gender identity of students from parents, and that sex-ed be age appropriate. It was a 3-page bill, but the left went nuts, claiming that parents had no right to know what their kids were learning, or have a say in it.
Parents pushed back. Moms for Liberty pushed back. They demanded accountability from educators who literally and actively encouraged gender transition, against teachers who made students say the Pledge of Allegiance to the Pride flag and didn't even have a US flag in their classrooms, from teachers who insisted that blacks students should learn that they can never succeed due to systemic racism, who told white students to feel shame over what they termed white privilege, and who claimed grades and being on time were racist.
The Nation refers to parents who believe in parental rights and equality as "fascists."
MSNBC propagandists had a similar take. "Moms for Liberty has fashioned itself into the tip of the spear of the Republican Party’s culture wars, and its members may have already been raising hell at a school board meeting near you," they write. Like The Nation, MSNBC also takes issue with the fact that GOP presidential candidates are presenting their platforms to the group. But what they don't say is that the moms who came from across the country to gather were far less interested in the presidential candidates than they were in having real life meet-ups with women they'd met at last year's summit, whose friendships had deepened over the course of the year.
And what they really don't like is that the moms are winning. Their common sense approach, willingness to campaign at local levels, position themselves on school boards where they can bring sanity and educational standards back to an educational system that values so-called social emotional learning over math scores and reading proficiency, earns them support among parents.
While the American Library Association seeks to prevent book readings of Christian children's books while making space for Drag Queen Story Hour, MSNBC can't believe that parents are organizing like activists or unions would, arming themselves with the same, highly effective tactics employed by their leftist opponents.
Media Matters took a similar approach, saying "In session after session, speakers offered a warped view of reality aimed at manipulating parents into believing they’re righteous liberators battling some ambiguous enemy located in public schools. They warned audience members that the teachers unions and other school officials that are 'indoctrinating our kids' are on a mission to do everything from grooming their children to securing 'world domination.'"
Yet, parents can tell you, as can many educators who oppose it, that what Media Matters calls "ambiguous" is actually very direct. And it's still going on. "Gender affirming" gear is made available to students in secret. The "gender bread" man is standard fare. Sex ed lessons are brought in from Planned Parenthood. And parents who stand up and fight for the educational integrity of their children's schools are put down by a media establishment that is intent on facilitating the perpetuation of the race and gender ideology that they, and the federal government, hold dear.
Yet it is not up to the media, and it is not up to the government to force parents to allow their children to be taught that race is a determining factor in success, or that babies may have been born in the wrong bodies, or to give children access to sexually explicit materials. These are concepts that are anathema to Christianity, to Islam, to Judaism. These lessons are not inert but value-laden, and it is up to parents to determine what values to instill in their children, not Media Matters, The Nation, MSNBC, or anyone in the corrupt and dysfunctional Biden administration. That's why parents come out, that's why moms gather, and that's what makes Moms for Liberty a force to be reckoned with.
If the group wasn't effective, the insults would not continue to rain down. If the work wasn't having an impact, the slurs would not be printed. Parents are unified in their intent to secure their children's education and to ensure they are raised with actual values as opposed to progressive leftist nonsense. When the media and government come for parents' rights, when they say the children belong to everyone, when they demand acquiescence instead of independent thought, they are speaking lies. It is up to all of us to speak truth to their power.
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Remind me next month