SPLC, a social justice organization that was founded out of the civil rights era, ranked these moms alongside far-right extremists like the Oath Keepers.
Moms for Liberty has more than 100,000 members in more than 270 chapters in over 40 states. And they aren’t the only parent group on the SPLC listed as anti-government extremists.
To be clear, the SPLC has designated Moms for Liberty as an anti-government extremist group, not a hate group. That is separate from the center’s definition of a hate group.
However, they are a group with some heavy hitters like former President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis supporting them.
The SPLC wrote in its annual report, The Year in Hate and Extremism 2022, that the group is, “an anti-student inclusion movement that targets any inclusive curriculum that contains discussions of race, discrimination and LGBTQ identities.”
According to the SPLC, “Anti-government groups are part of the antidemocratic hard-right movement. They believe the federal government is tyrannical, and they traffic in conspiracy theories about an illegitimate government of leftist elites seeking a ‘new world order.’”
But Moms for Liberty co-founder Tina Descovich doesn’t see the group as “extreme.”
“Our mission is to educate, unify and empower all parents — all parents — to stand up for what’s best for our kids and the future of America,” Descovich said.
Moms for Liberty was created during the COVID-19 pandemic and founded by Descovich and Tiffany Justice, two Florida school board members.
“We are definitely a conservative organization, but we have all types of moms with all types of children in our organization. We have chapter leaders that are part of all political parties,” Descovich said.
The group supports several politicians, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who endorsed one of its members in a local school board race.
According to the SPLC report, Moms for Liberty endorsed 270 school board candidates last year and secured majorities in 17 boards.
“We’re in a place now where the wall between fringes and mainstream is coming down and we will see this kind of back and forth on who is designated as an anti-government extremist,” said professor Brian Levin, the director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism.
In response to the SPLC report, Moms for Liberty released a statement:
“Name-calling parents, who want to be a part of their child’s education as ‘hate groups’ or ‘bigoted’ just further exposes what this battle is all about: Who fundamentally gets to decide what is taught to our kids in school – parents or government employees?”
Levin said Moms for Liberty can try to appeal that listing.