FIRST ON THE DAILY SIGNAL—Republicans in the House of Representatives have filed a resolution defending parental rights groups such as Moms for Liberty after a leftist group branded them “extremist” and put them on a “hate map” alongside Ku Klux Klan chapters.
The resolution, which Rep. Lisa McClain, R-Mich., filed Thursday, declares that “it is not extreme or hateful to believe that parents, not the government, should have the final say in their children’s education.” The resolution comes a week after the Southern Poverty Law Center added Moms for Liberty, Parents Defending Education, Army of Parents, No Left Turn in Education, and others to its “hate map.”
“It is abhorrent that a group like the Southern Poverty Law Center can include a benevolent, freedom-loving organization like Moms for Liberty to their so-called ‘hate map’ just because they are defending the rights parents have in their child’s education,” McClain told The Daily Signal in a statement Thursday. “I am disgusted and outraged that the radical Left is getting away with actions like these, and I believe it is time for Congress to stand up and reaffirm the dignity of education and expel the woke nonsense that has taken over America’s classrooms.”
The resolution aims to push back “against the labeling of attempts by parents to ensure school curriculum and sports are age- and sex-appropriate as extreme.”
McClain’s resolution states that “all students should feel welcome in their classroom, but radical far-left ideas inappropriate for minors should not”; that “it is not extreme or hateful to believe children as young as 6 should not be subject to discussion about sexual orientation or gender ideology in the classroom”; that “it is not extreme or hateful to believe biological men should not compete against biological women in sports”; and that “while issues dealing with the history of slavery and racism should be taught in the classroom, courses centered around the false believe that America is systematically, structurally, or institutionally racist should not.”
The resolution states that the House of Representatives “supports parents having a say in their child’s education” and opposes “allowing biological boys and men to compete in biological girls and women’s sports; the weakening of Title IX protections; and labeling parents as extreme and hateful for wanting to keep inappropriate material out of their child’s classroom.”
Six Republicans joined McClain in co-sponsoring the resolution: Brian Babin and Keith Self of Texas, Jeff Duncan of South Carolina, Daniel Webster of Florida, Mary Miller of Illinois, and Clay Higgins of Louisiana.
If the resolution passes the House, it will not become law, but will state the opinion of the chamber. If Democrats vote against the resolution, they may reveal an animus against the idea that parents should have a say over their own children’s education.
The SPLC report, released June 6, claims that “schools, especially, have been on the receiving end of ramped-up and coordinated hard-right attacks, frequently through the guise of ‘parents’ rights’ groups.”
The SPLC condemns these groups as an “anti-student inclusion movement that targets any inclusive curriculum that contains discussions of race, discrimination, and LGBTQ identities.” It warns of Moms for Liberty that the group “can be spotted at school board meetings across the country wearing shirts and carrying signs that declare, ‘We do NOT CO-PARENT with the GOVERNMENT.’”
The SPLC report does not once mention the Left’s aggressive promotion of sexualized material for children in schools and at other venues. It does not mention the “Drag Queen Story Hour” movement or the fact that many of the books that parents demand be removed from school libraries include pornographic content. It does not mention how many on the Left champion the idea that children should be able to identify with a gender opposite their biological sex, hide that identity from their parents, and even obtain life-altering drugs without parental consent.
Instead, it acts as though the parental rights movement emerged in a vacuum, or worse, is motivated by hatred.
As I wrote in my book “Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center,” the SPLC routinely smears mainstream conservative and Christian organizations as “hate groups,” using the project it developed to monitor the Ku Klux Klan and placing them on the “hate map” alongside Klan chapters.
The SPLC released its 2022 “hate map” last week, including parental rights organizations on a list of “antigovernment extremist groups.” The Daily Signal’s analysis found that the map exaggerates hate in the U.S. by at least 267%.
Even left-leaning allies of the SPLC, such as former ACLU President Nadine Strossen and Military Religious Freedom Foundation President Mikey Weinstein, have criticized the SPLC for branding Alliance Defending Freedom a “hate group.” ADF has won numerous cases before the Supreme Court, including Masterpiece Cakeshop in 2018. It currently represents Lorie Smith of 303 Creative.
A gunman used the “hate map” to target the Family Research Council for a terrorist attack in 2012. A few years before that, then-SPLC spokesman Mark Potok said “our aim in life is to destroy these groups,” referring to organizations on the “hate group” list.
The Biden administration has worked with the SPLC in the past, and the SPLC attack on concerned parents echoes the Biden White House’s collaboration with the National School Boards Association in branding concerned parents “domestic terrorists.”
The NSBA sent a letter to the White House drawing that comparison, leading the Department of Justice to issue a memo investigating parents. The DOJ ultimately rescinded the memo, and the NSBA apologized for the letter, but the SPLC’s move—along with recent moves from the Biden administration—echo the NSBA story.
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