Earlier this week, high ranking members of the right wing group Moms for Liberty surprised no one by appearing in photos with neofascist Proud Boys while displaying ‘white power’ hand signs. Now, between this scandal and recent failures at the ballot box, the group is desperately looking for someone to blame.
Moms for Liberty was founded in Florida in 2021 to oppose COVID-19 mask restrictions. When that controversy subsided, they moved onto organizing school library book bans on any material relating to race or LGBTQ+ identity. Over the recent election cycle, they endorsed a number of candidates to school boards, many of whom were decimated at the polls.
Despite describing themselves as ‘joyful warriors,’ members have been implicated with white nationalist hate groups in the past. More recently, Kentucky chapter chairs Mirna Eads and Karen Strayer were photographed with the Proud Boys. County chair Tonya Dodd of Tennessee was also at a meeting with a Proud Boys member (who was wearing Proud Boys attire at the time).
Nobody’s buying their lies.
In the fallout after the photos went viral, Moms for Liberty dismissed both Eads and Strayer (Dodd remains affiliated) and issued a statement on X/Twitter.
“Moms for Liberty is in no way affiliated with the Proud Boys and does not condone involvement with the organization,” the group wrote. “We repudiate hate and violence. We have been made aware that two Chapter leaders have recently demonstrated a lack of judgment and misalignment with our core values. Due to this, those leaders have been removed from their positions.”
Now, in a recent town hall in Georgia, the group blamed their election failures on bad media coverage and teacher’s unions (it couldn’t possibly be their own extreme stances). “All that other garbage you’re hearing in the news about us — they’re lies,” said co-founder Tina Descovich. In an attempt to turn the media tide, the group has opened a lawsuit against the Southern Poverty Law Center for labeling them as an extremist organization (similar to the tactic Libs of TikTok founder Chaya Raichick has embraced).
This recent scandal is not the first time the group has been implicated with fascism. In June of last year, the Hamilton County, Indiana chapter’s first newsletter featured a quote by Adolf Hitler: “He alone, who OWNS the youth, GAINS the future.”
After claiming that their use of the quote was misinterpreted, the group issued an apology. But at the Moms For Liberty conference days later, co-founder Tiffany Justice said (to cheers from the audience), “One of our moms in a newsletter quotes Hitler. I stand with that mom.”
Their more recent ‘blame the media’ approach will likely go over about as well as it did back then. Because posing for photos with neofascists is a pretty clear indication that the call is coming from inside the house.
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