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Moms for Liberty work like a genteel Stasi, rooting out dangerous thought

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Moms for Liberty work like a genteel Stasi, rooting out dangerous thought

Feb 12, 2024 | 7:00 am ET
By Diane Roberts
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Moms for Liberty work like a genteel Stasi, rooting out dangerous thought
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DeSantis receives a ceremonial 'Liberty Sword" at the 2022 Moms for Liberty national summit in Tampa. (Photo via Florida Governor’s Office/City & State Fla.)

The moms of Moms for “Liberty” are feeling a little touchy, put-upon, even diminished.

Their do-boy DeSantis crashed out of the presidential race like a drunk out of a second story saloon.

They’re losing school board elections.

They’re making idiots of themselves in the national media. Check out this MSNBC interview in which Moms co-founder Tiffany Justice simultaneously defends taking books off school library shelves while denying that Moms want books taken off school library shelves, unless they’re by Black writers or gay writers, or ones dealing with the Holocaust, coming out, sexual violence, racism, and good old heterosexual whoopee.

Justice and her sister suburban harpies claim they want to protect children’s “innocence.”

Moms for Liberty work like a genteel Stasi, rooting out dangerous thought
Bridget Ziegler via Facebook

For months now they’ve been forced to defend themselves against charges of rank hypocrisy: Bridget Ziegler, another Moms co-founder and member of the Sarasota County School Board, likes the odd three-way with her husband, former Florida GOP chair Christian Ziegler, and another woman.

We know this because 1. Bridget admitted it; 2. Christian filmed it.

The Moms keep frantically trying to distance themselves from Bridget, insisting she officially left the group in January 2021, and no, they don’t approve of her exotic proclivities.

Nevertheless, Bridget Z. remains one of their most high-profile champions, pushing book bans, embracing DeSantis’ “Don’t Say Gay Law,” and attacking trans people.

Sarasotans wish she would go away: “You have emotionally and psychologically damaged countless students, parents, and teachers with your hateful rhetoric,” said one man at a school board meeting. “Resign.”

But Bridget refuses to resign from the school board or from her perch on DeSantis’ hand-picked Disney oversight board.

Christian’s been canned; somebody’s got to make a living.

Evils of Social Studies

Still, though the luster may be coming off those clutch-able pearls, the Moms haven’t stopped fighting unionized teachers pushing inconvenient facts that may lead to actual thinking.

The menace du jour? Social studies.

The Duval County Moms chapter is pitching a hissy fit over what they call “government schools” teaching children to be “activists.”

The lessons they object to include such basic civics as “Good citizens learn about their community,” maybe “think about problems that need to be solved” and “go to community meetings and talk about issues.”

Shocking!

Funny thing, though: The Moms would surely admit they created their organization after thinking about problems they thought needed to be solved, and decided they’d go to community meetings to talk (or in their case, shout) about issues.

Social studies explore how history, culture, civics, values, economics, and the arts help shape our society; the discipline is foundational to functioning as an informed citizen in a democracy.

But the Moms don’t like democracy and they don’t like any academic subject that might challenge the religion of American exceptionalism.

Moms for Liberty work like a genteel Stasi, rooting out dangerous thought
Florida Education Commissioner Manny Diaz Jr. Credit: Florida Department of Education

Have a look at the Duval Moms’ twixxter page: a festival of white paranoia, misinformation, and transphobia. One scandalized poster blasts Michelle Obama for helping to lead an organization that helps eligible high schoolers register to vote.

Like Taylor Swift, Michelle Obama is a clearly radical operative working to destroy the nation.

The Moms work like a genteel Stasi, passing damning “information” on enemy teachers and “liberal” school boards to their most important ally, the state of Florida.

The state also hates social studies.

Education Commissioner Manny Diaz Jr. has been particularly energetic in reducing public school social studies to white nationalist propaganda.

Your moment of irony: Manny Diaz was once a social studies teacher.

‘Politically charged’

In a unit on American symbols, one elementary school textbook had said that while the convention is for people to stand during the national anthem, a teacher might “take this opportunity to talk about why some citizens are choosing to ‘take a knee’ to protest police brutality and racism.”

That language is gone.

Moms for Liberty work like a genteel Stasi, rooting out dangerous thought
Getty Images

Another lesson about Judeo-Christian influence on western civilization included the discussion question: “What social justice issues are included in the Hebrew Bible?” and suggests the Bible “includes guidelines for responding to poverty, famine, and injustice; it emphasizes respecting human life, giving generously, caring for strangers and refugees, and respecting property.”

The state objected to the phrase “social justice” — seems it’s “politically charged,” unfit for students, and must be erased.

The Moms congratulate themselves on their success in censoring and bowdlerizating materials that might suggest the world is complex, not always pleasant, and rarely simple, as well as any suggestion that America is not the best nation there ever was.

The kids may struggle with gender and race but can’t read books that deal with gender and race. The kids may wonder why racism persists in a country that never shuts up about “freedom” and “equality,” but they won’t be taught how the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow still haunts our institutions.

DoE deemed a lesson on how the killing of George Floyd and other instances of police violence against Black people sparked “a growing awareness of systemic racism” and led to the formation of Black Lives Matter.

The material did not take a side, pro- or con BLM, pointing out that some protests became violent and many Americans disagreed over whether the police needed to reform.

The language was factual, but that didn’t matter. DoE didn’t even bother to edit it: They just deleted the whole unit.

That’s what the Moms want. A void where facts used to be.

Minefield of wokeness

They object to the novels of Judy Blume and Toni Morrison, as well as innocuous books such as “Martin Luther King and the March on Washington” and “Ruby Bridges Goes to School” (about the first Black child to integrate an all-white New Orleans school in 1960), claiming those texts teach Critical Race Theory.

Moms couldn’t define Critical Race Theory if their lives depended on it. They just know it has the word “race” in it.

They would prefer white children to be clueless about race, from how this country formed itself on the labor of enslaved Africans to segregation to redlining.

Now it’s Black History Month, a minefield of wokeness, and the Moms are nervous.

Top Mom Tina Descovich sounded the alarm about a Black Lives Matter “Week of Action” curriculum some schools might use in February.

BLM’s suggested topics include “Empathy,” Loving Engagement,” and “Diversity,” but also “Trans-Affirming,” “Queer Affirming,” and “Black Villages,” which suggests that the nuclear family is not the only way to raise children.

In case those words didn’t sufficiently terrorize white parents, Descovich posted a photo of a Black person in a hoodie, fist raised.

Not very subtle, is she?

But the DeSantis regime and its frightened white supporters don’t value subtlety. Or consistency, integrity, or truth.

This is a state in which Republicans want to raise the age to become a stripper and lower the age to buy a rifle, ban abortion from the moment of fertilization, turn our universities into conservative re-education camps, and make our schools patriotic indoctrination centers.

The Moms are all in.

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