GOP puts SPLC-supporting Dems on the spot

GOP puts SPLC-supporting Dems on the spot

GOP puts SPLC-supporting Dems on the spot

Last week, House Republicans made a move to show parental rights groups that the self-appointed authority on "hate" hasn't turned all of D.C. against them.

Moms for Liberty was formed in 2021 by a handful of Florida moms, including two former school board members, who were protesting COVID-19 restrictions in schools at the time. It has since expanded its activism to encouraging parents to speak against LGBTQ+ and critical race theory school curricula and now has more than 70,000 members in chapters across the nation.

But recently, because of its staunch conservative values, Moms for Liberty and other parental rights groups found themselves on the Southern Poverty Law Center's (SPLC) infamous "hate map."

In response, House Republicans last week filed a resolution stating that, among other things, "it is not extreme or hateful to believe that parents, not the government, should have the final say in their children's education."

The SPLC, founded in 1971 with the mission of ensuring that "the promise of the civil rights movement became a reality for all," has since become the self-appointed authority on "hate," opposing conservative groups like the American Family Association, Eagle Forum, Thomas More Society, and almost any organization with "patriot" or "constitution" in its name.

In its promotion of LGBTQ+ rights, the SPLC has tracked more than 1,200 groups it identifies as "hate" groups and has placed them with the likes of Ku Klux Klan chapters on the colorful, searchable online map to which Moms for Liberty was recently added.

O'Neil, Tyler (The Daily Signal) O'Neil

"This House resolution is very important," Tyler O'Neil, managing editor of The Daily Signal, told "Washington Watch" last week. "We've seen across the Left a lot of people demonizing moms and dads who go to their school board meetings making their voices heard. We've even seen the [Biden] administration going after them with the DOJ memo and the White House requesting the letter behind the memo back in 2021."

What the resolution could do

The House resolution will not change any law, but it could be useful in holding the White House responsible for what appears to be a strengthening relationship with the leftist SPLC.

"This would not force the SPLC to retract their smears, but what it would do is send a very clear message to America that the SPLC is lying here and that these parents … are not hate groups, that these are not anti-government extremist groups, as the SPLC says," O'Neil explained, adding that such groups "do not belong anywhere near the KKK on a list."

President Joe Biden, a professing Catholic, stood with the SPLC when he refused to condemn his FBI for a memo from its Richmond, Virginia office that urged its officers to look into the connection between racially-motivated violent extremists and "radical-traditional Catholics."

Instead, the White House cited the SPLC as justification for its suspicions of traditional Catholics.

And as O'Neil pointed out, the SPLC's influence is not contained to the White House or the FBI.

"We see the Department of Homeland Security cite them when it comes to media literacy and online, and I think we're going to see more of these connections," he said.

Just last week, SPLC Director Susan Corke was reportedly a guest at the White House, where she met with counterterrorism officials.

SPLC scrutinized

Moms for Liberty's addition to the SPLC hate map also drew a social media rebuke from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).

"The SPLC is a hateful, bigoted, and despicable organization," Cruz wrote on Twitter. "They're now attacking and labeling parents who want to have a say in their own kids' education. Asinine."

Meanwhile, with last fall's release of the SPLC's "Year In Hate & Extremism" report for 2021, which cited an increase in what it called hate groups, many are asking, "Where does this all end?"

The new resolution from the Republican-led House is not likely to affect any policy decisions made by Biden and the Democrats, but O'Neil thinks it does send a message that at least one branch of government is not cozied up with the SPLC.

"This would clearly send a message that Congress does not stand with these attacks," O'Neil said.

The resolution will also put the Democrats on the spot. If they vote against it, then they are essentially revealing that they view concerned parents as hateful extremists. If they vote for it, then they condemn the SPLC.

O'Neil does not expect them to take the latter route.

Still, he asserts that moms and dads who are "putting their foot down … do not deserve to be smeared as haters and extremists."