Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Extremist Group Criteria

A mom delegated at a school board meeting in the states about the group, Moms for Liberty. Here's the Tiktok video (but also at the link in case - I wish TikTok embedded more reliably):

@nowthispolitics A mother in Wilson County, TN, read out some of the homophobic and demeaning messages her 6th grade daughter had received at school, simply for identifying as lesbian. The woman, Lindsey Patrick-Wright, was speaking out against a push, led by the far-right group Moms For Liberty, to ban several books in the school district. She also spoke out against a board member who had equated being LGBTQIA+ to mental illness and who had proposed a policy forcing teachers to notify parents if a student came out to them as transgender. #tennessee #LGBTQIA+ #school #news #momsforliberty ♬ [News] Music for news programs 10 mystery solving(1417504) - Takashi

Truth Matters commented:

"What kind of despicable animals take their political wars to the classrooms of public schools? Moms for Liberty my ass; they should be called Moms for Tyranny. Schools should be sanctuaries for learning, but the MAGA Cartel has turned classrooms into killing fields with their inaction on gun control. Not satisfied with that, they want to turn them into Christian Nationalist indoctrination centers, where hate, homophobia and racism is injected into the curriculum."

Earlier this month, The Hill explained how Moms for Liberty is an extremist organization started in Florida in 2021:

Initially focused on mask mandates and other Covid-19 restrictions in schools, the organization is now dedicated to fighting for the survival of America by . . . empowering parents to defend their parental rights. . . . More than half of the 500 candidates endorsed by the organization were elected to school boards . . . a major player in the war against so-called 'woke' instruction related to gender identity, sexuality, race and racism. . . .

"In contrast to the relatively mild agenda on its website, Moms for Liberty's social media posts, policies adn practices target teachers, school officials and the U.S. Department of Education; advance conspiracy theories; and spread 'hateful imagery and rhetoric against the LGBTQ community.' . . . The group's advocacy of censorship and legislation renders it impossible for historians to teach with professional integrity without risking job loss and other penalties. . . . 

What makes them an extremist organization? This is my re-working of the list in the article:

1. Opposition to Human Rights for All: They advocate anti-Muslim activism and "shutting down radical mosques, and believe "teaching children about sexual orientation and gender identity is child abuse, homosexuality is 'filth' and the transgender rights movement is 'demonic.'" 

2. Association: They have ties to the Proud Boys, Three Percenters, QAnon and white Christian nationalist. "Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio once boasted that Moms for Liberty is 'the gestapo with vaginas.'" They quote from Hitler and defend the practice: "Apologizing makes you weak."

3. Direct Threats of Harm: Some members have been barred from schools for being "so disruptive and disrespectful." Others have "threatened librarians with gun violence," and "told school board members, 'We're coming after you.'"

4. Straw Man Arguments: They paint boards and left-leaning political positions as acting in ways that just aren't happening in order to more easily argue against them and garner supporters. This is all the kitty litter claims. I've heard that claim about my own school, and walked from bathroom to bathroom. No sign of litter boxes! They claim teachers tell tomboys, "'It might be time to transition' in a coordinated effort to make children trans and gay to 'break down the family unit." I can't stress enough that this just isn't happening. Teachers who talk about any of this stuff in the first place just want kids to know that there are lots of types of people in the world - don't discriminate against them, and don't feel crappy about yourself if you're in a minority.

5. Dismantling Education: They aim to take books out of libraries and pressure teachers not to discuss certain topics, which will render the next generation less educated. An ignorant populace is more easily led. They have a very organized system of targeting specific books at once, and we can see this happening in our own school boards here. Four days after we had a delegate reading passages from The Bluest Eye, it was reported removed from a school in Florida. I don't think that's a coincidence.

We need to recognize these tactics in happening here, and make a concerted effort to call it out and stop it from growing. Jessica Wildfire pointed out the connection to stores with no mask policies:

"They’re going from 'my body, my choice' to 'my place, my rules.' It won’t stop. . . . More companies will start adopting these policies and banning masks at work. They might even start banning customers from wearing them. . . . Why would fascists care what we do with our bodies? Because that’s what fascism is. . . . It needs a rotating group of marginalized groups to target and channel the collective anger. When the public gets bored antagonizing one group, it’s someone else’s turn. Tag, we’re it."

It might feel good to be part of a group that's so cohesive in their hatred, but eventually, you end up being their target. 

1 comment:

Lorne said...

"It might feel good to be part of a group that's so cohesive in their hatred, but eventually, you end up being their target." Unfortunately, these people are rarely apt students of history, Marie. They feel that they have little to learn from its lessons.