How far-right groups like Moms for Liberty can 'spiral quickly out of their control': historian

How far-right groups like Moms for Liberty can 'spiral quickly out of their control': historian
Moms for Liberty co-founder Tina Descovitch (image via screengrab)

Moms for Liberty, founded in early 2021 and based in Melbourne, Florida, has been together less than three years. But the far-right MAGA group has had a major influence on Republican politics.

Supporters have been hailing Moms for Liberty as champions of "parental rights," while critics have attacked them as extremists who tend to single out Black and gay books for removal from public schools.

In an article published by Slate on August 29, Adam Laats — a history professor at Binghamton University in Upstate New York — stresses that right-wing activists trying to control school curriculums is nothing new, and that their approach can have terrible consequences.

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"Everyone loves moms," Laats argues. "Everyone. And that's a problem for groups like Moms for Liberty. The group revels in its inflated reputation as a 'national powerhouse,' but its century-old playbook has always had a fatal flaw. As the 1970s story of Alice Moore shows, white conservative mothers have always had great initial political success, but that appeal tends to spiral quickly out of their control."

Laats cites West Virginia resident Moore during the 1970s and Texas resident Norma Gabler during the 1960s as examples of right-wing activists who went after textbooks that offended them.

"Moore attracted huge support, seemingly overnight…. As Alice Moore quickly found, however, her meteoric success came at great cost," the professor explains. "Her inflammatory language about public schools and teachers led to a spate of bombings and shootings…. Moore disavowed the violence, but she couldn't escape the fact that her rhetoric had directly caused it…. The lesson for Moms for Liberty is clear."

Laats adds, "It is easy to get quick support by standing up for children and parents' rights. It is simple to spread alarm about teachers as 'groomers' and the possibility that white children might feel guilty about racism. But that support can be dangerous."

READ MORE: 'Extremist' Moms for Liberty group hit with IRS complaint probing nonprofit status: report

Read Slate's full article at this link.

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