On the weekend of June 29 – July 2, two different groups of activists gathered at the Marriott in downtown Philadelphia. One group spent the majority of the weekend outside the building protesting and chanting while the other group spent the weekend inside the building listening and learning. One group drew chalk drawings of male private parts and curse words on the pavement outside while those inside took copious notes as they listened to educators, politicians, influencers and historians share their expertise. And finally, the group outside shouted menacing epithets, harassing the other group as they entered the hotel to engage in a weekend of constructive dialogue.
Clearly these two groups have different ways of manifesting themselves and their objectives. The group inside the building is called “Moms for Liberty'' and the event under protest was the 2nd annual “Joyful Warrior Summit.”
As a proud member of Moms for Liberty, I hold a biased perspective. I am not only a member, I founded the Chatham County Moms for Liberty chapter in March 2022. Obviously, I am committed to their mission, which is why I find myself equally dumbfounded and dismayed as I listen to and observe the way in which certain activist groups distort and misrepresent our organization. When the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) goes so far as to add Moms for Liberty to its list of “anti-government extremist” groups, is it any wonder that organizations like MoveOn.org, Act Up and the Young Communist League are put on notice to start gathering and busing paid activists to protest our events? No doubt, we have the SPLC to thank for the unhinged protestors thrusting their middle fingers in our faces every day as we arrived and departed the conference. I think it’s fair to say that both groups could agree that “Moms are Number 1,” so we chose to believe that’s what holding up those fingers in front of a group of moms meant. If nothing else, they were passionate about showing us that single finger.
Moms for Liberty’s expressed mission is “fighting for the survival of America by unifying, educating and empowering parents to defend their parental rights at all levels of government.” So when we hear the mainstream media and all its sycophants parrot the same talking points that we are “racist, fascist, homophobic, bigots,” please forgive us if we struggle to piece together the disconnect between who we know we are versus who they think we are. How did these two groups find themselves in such vastly different realities? Ironically, the answers seem to be tied to the very reason Moms for Liberty was founded in the first place.
To be clear, I have no doubt these protestors believe they are saving the free world by upholding their sincerely held convictions. What concerns me is the information upon which they are building these convictions. After all, what exactly were they protesting? Parents learning about our country’s history and how it can help us understand where we are today? How to navigate legal challenges when advocating for our family? What it takes to run for and be on a school board? Had just one of the protestors displayed a sincere curiosity to join us inside the building, as they were welcome to do, they would have learned that these were just some of the many strategy session topics offered at the summit to help fix our broken education system.
Moms for Liberty is known for the effective use of Freedom of Information Act requests to push the school districts to disclose information they would otherwise shield from the public. Subsequently, they have unearthed alarming evidence supporting the theory that school boards and administrators are more interested in the indoctrination of our children than their education. They care more about their government agenda than what parents have to say. Turns out, as reading and math scores are plummeting all around the country, public school-sponsored social justice and political activism are on the rise. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion budgets are exploding while teachers lack the necessary resources for basic reading and math instruction. Clearly, this is not a funding problem, it’s a priorities problem.
Yet, studies show, 73% of Americans want schools to get back to teaching the basics. The quest to return to basics is the beating heart of the Moms for Liberty movement. The group inside that hotel are only asking for the pendulum to move more to the middle. We are simply asking to restore some balance to a system that has long been veering off into an agenda prioritizing “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion” over teaching fundamental reading and math skills.
Politics – left or right – should be removed from our children's education. At no time in human history have government-run schools ended well for society as a whole. Children shouldn’t be taught what to think, but how to think. When I witness these groups protesting what they believe to be true because of what they have been taught to think in their schools or mainstream media, I’m reminded of the Orwellian doublethink slogans generated from The Ministry of Truth being broadcast throughout the city in the dystopian novel, 1984: “War is Peace! Freedom is Slavery! Ignorance is Strength!”
Here is the real truth: Our schools belong to both groups who showed up at the Philadelphia Marriott. Moms for Liberty seeks to hold our schools accountable for the sake of all children. This way none of us are at risk of having government propaganda intrude on the sacred responsibility of parenting our children.