As the right-wing group “Moms for Liberty” was caught quoting Adolf Hitler in its material in June 2023, it was also revealed as both an ally to other far-right extremists and a major player in anti-government efforts targeting Black and LGBTQ Americans.
An analysis by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD) highlights “Moms for Liberty,” saying:
“Moms for Liberty”, for example, has spearheaded the book banning movement, often disguising anti-student inclusion efforts as initiatives to protect children. A Tennessee chapter attempted to remove books about Martin Luther King Jr and Ruby Bridges from a 2nd grade curriculum, stating the books promoted “anti-American” and “anti-white” sentiments. In 2022, the American Library Association found that there were 1,269 attempts to ban books across the country: some of them were led by Moms for Liberty. A vast majority of the books were by or about LGBTQ+ people and/or people of color.
The ISD report tracked 203 incidents targeting drag events around the United States between June 1 2022 and May 20 2023.
“While public debate about what is appropriate entertainment for children, and at what ages, is absolutely legitimate and deserves fair hearing, the identified tactics only serve to undermine that discussion, with chilling consequences for free expression, and create fertile ground for a potential uptick in violence,” the group said.
The analysis, which also included groups like “Libs of Tiktok” and the Proud Boys extremist gang, was published on the heels of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) publishing its own analysis identifying “Moms for Liberty” as an extremist group bent on fostering “right-wing hysteria” and making Black and LGBTQ students feel unsafe, noting:
In July 2022, the organization’s Twitter account was temporarily suspended for violating the social media platform’s rule against hateful conduct. The post about California’s gender transition bill read:
“Gender dysphoria is a mental health disorder that is being normalized by predators across the USA. California kids are at extreme risk from predatory adults. Now they want to ‘liberate’ children all over the country. Does a double mastectomy on a preteen sound like progress?”
As has often been the case, “Moms for Liberty” has found common cause with other right-wing cohorts; the SPLC reported that the group has “not only developed but leveraged its close political alliances and ties to extremist groups.” A Vice News June 2023 report further identified chapters of the group around the U.S. forging relationships with extremist organizations ranging from the Proud Boys to the John Birch Society, the “Constitutional Sheriffs” movement, and Rod of Iron Ministries, a spinoff group from the so-called Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, a.k.a. the Unification Group or “Moonies.”
“There is a direct link between Moms for Liberty and other anti-American groups like the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers,” said Karen Svboda, the co-founder of Defense of Democracy, a separate organization dedicated to countering “Moms for Liberty” actions. “We are concerned that the connections between these groups will go quickly from acts of verbal terrorism and harassment to physical acts of violence. We have seen firsthand that Moms for Liberty will attack people and groups over social media, and these attacks almost always escalate.”