'May not be what you think': Jen Psaki exposes 'unapologetically extreme' Moms for Liberty group
During the Sunday, July 16, episode of MSNBC's Inside with Jen Psaki, Psaki took a few minutes to educate viewers on the increasingly popular political group, Moms for Liberty.
The Southern Poverty Law Center, according to NPR, has deemed the nonprofit organization "extremist," saying, "They really are seeking to undermine public education holistically and to divide communities."
Psaki began the segment saying, "Since the height of the COVID pandemic, schools, teachers, and administrators have all become the targets of right-wing anger. First it was the reaction to COVID restrictions, which then morphed into outrage over the teaching of race and identity, and outrage over CRT — critical race theory. Which rapidly turned our education system into the frontline of the right's ongoing culture war. That anger no doubt sparked the rise of organizations, now focused on taking over school boards, pulling books from the shelves, and changing curriculums in schools across the country. In fact, according to a 2022 report from a nonprofit that tracks censorship in America, 70 percent of those organizations were formed in about an 18 month period, beginning at the start of 2021. Among the largest of these new groups, which you may have heard of, is Moms for Liberty, and it's recently become something of a political powerhouse. Just a few weeks ago, they hosted five Republicans presidential candidates, including the frontrunners, Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis — they all came out for Moms for Liberty."
She continued, "Now, the group has declared itself a nonpartisan organization, and its name does sound innocuous enough — Moms — great, sounds good. Liberty — awesome, who doesn't like liberty? "Moms for Liberty" — as the mom of two young kids, that even sounds good to me. But, it's vague enough, that even some of its own members are pretty unclear as to what the group is really all about, what they're a part of. One mom who became treasurer of an Indiana chapter was even quoted asking, 'What am I apart of? I need to know these things.' Fair question. Well, I'm here to help. I'm here to help you. Because as benign as Moms for Liberty may sound, its agenda is unmistakably extreme. For instance, you may not know that Moms for Liberty has been helping to lead the movement in pulling books from the library shelves, including classics, like The Bluest Eye — great book. The Kite Runner — amazing book. As well as other books that deal with race, diversity and sexuality."
Furthermore, Psaki said, "The group has turned school board meetings into unruly shouting matches. As an attendee at one Florida meeting described, 'They turn around and scream at me that I am a commie, and teachers want to see all kids fail. This group brings out the worst in people.' The group says this work, all this shouting, is the work of 'joyful warriors,' is what they call it. Sounds a lot more to me like pretty aggressive harassment. And that behavior is not isolated, it's part of a bigger pattern. Chapters and members across the country have led campaigns targeting community advocates, school board members, and opposing groups. They've repeatedly sent intimidating messages, openly threatened officials, and even baselessly leveled charges of child abuse and sympathizing with pedophilia. Unbelievably, an Indiana chapter even put out a newsletter that quoted Adolf Hitler, saying, 'He alone who owns the youth gains the future' — that is a Hitler quote. And while they eventually apologized, the organization seemed to later regret that apology."
The former White House press secretary then rolled a video of a MFL member saying to an audience that she supports the mom who quoted Hitler in the newsletter.
Psaki went on to say, "Standing by a mom who quotes Hitler in a newsletter. People cheering for that. That's what you just saw," adding, "And as for their claim that they are just a group of concerned, nonpartisan moms who happen to care about liberty, consider this: One of the founders, who's name is notably emitted from its website, is a current Republican school board member, who is married to the now-chairman of the Florida Republican Party. In 2021, he told the Washington Post, "I have been trying for a dozen years to get 20- and 30-year old females involved with the Republican Party. But now Moms for Liberty has done it for me."
The MSNBC host sarcastically commented, "Sounds pretty apolitical," emphasizing, "So, below the surface of their friendly sounding name, and politically vague taglines, they're an unapologetically extreme organization that has built a long record of harassment and controversy, in a pretty short period of time. Some free advice out there for people who are not sure what the organization is about — whether it's called Moms for Liberty or Puppies for Ice cream — it's worth looking into the agenda of an organization before joining it. Sometimes, it may not be what you think."
Watch the video below or at this link.
NPR's full report is available at this link.
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