An antigovernment organization is currently going viral, but not on their official website.
Toby Morton, former writer for the show South Park, has added Moms for Liberty to his growing list of spoof websites, jokingly profiling the organization’s hateful attitudes toward minorities like Jews, Black people and the LGBTQ community on a website called momsforliberties.com.
Founded in January 2021 by Tiffany Justice and Tina Descovich, Moms for Liberty, a self-proclaimed “parental rights” advocacy group, was categorized as an anti-government organization by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The organization was founded in response to the effects of COVID-19 isolation on schools, initially fighting against policies that required students returning to in-person instruction to wear masks.
However, Moms for Liberty did not stop there. According to the SPLC, the group “quickly expanded its focus to include an extreme stance on what it considers the indoctrination and sexualization of children through gender identity, the acknowledgement and acceptance of the LGBTQ community, as well as inclusive school pedagogy and curricula, including Critical Race Theory, social emotional learning and books that the organization deems inappropriate.”
On their official website, Moms for Liberty explains its mission is “fighting for the survival of America by unifying, educating and empowering parents to defend their parental rights at all levels of government.” There are 285 chapters across the nation.
What moms are saying
Despite their official site appearing to be focused on creative positive educational environments for kids, according to the SPLC many chapter members have made hateful comments on education, especially regarding students who are minorities.
For example, multiple members have compared LGBTQ-identifying students to children with autism or other learning disabilities, with one mom even suggesting LGBTQ students should be placed in segregated learning environments away from heteronormative students so they “feel that they’re important enough that they’re being counseled.” The goal, she claimed, was to eliminate the discussion of LGBTQ identities and issues among the other students because she believes it is a disability that should not be disclosed in open environments.
But this is a misrepresentation of education for neurodivergent children. They are not completely segregated from other students to feel important but are given specialized education that meets their needs. In most schools, neurodivergent students participate in activities with other students when it is possible.
This imagined segregated learning environment, if put into effect, would isolate LGBTQ students and would require they come out to parents, teachers and other students when they, still navigating adolescence, may not even be sure about their identity or may not be safe doing so.
Another mom, during a meeting about a school library, was banned from entering school property in the Cabot School District in Arkansas after making this allegedly rhetorical statement: “If I had any mental issues, they would all be plowed down by a freaking gun right now.”
Moms for Liberty is known for supporting banning books that discuss “inappropriate topics,” which they define as race, LGBTQ representation and sexual content.
This is Your Time by Ruby Bridges is one of the books the group hopes to ban. Bridges was the youngest Black student to integrate into a white school in the American South, and she tells her story in this book. Critics want the book banned because Bridges discusses how a white mob harassed her while walking to elementary school and because the book depicts images of firemen spraying Black children with hoses during the Civil Rights movement.
Both instances are historically accurate events, yet Moms for Liberty pushed to have the book removed from educational settings for its display of “Critical Race Theory.”
Yet another group of Moms for Liberty members coughed during a moment of silence for Holocaust victims. The organization is known for having quoted Adolf Hitler in a newsletter earlier this year, saying “He alone, who OWNS the youth, GAINS the future.” They also have advocated banning books on Judaism and the Holocaust, including an illustrated version of The Diary of Anne Frank, which they described as “pornographic” for its depictions of the imagery the German teenager describes throughout the book, despite the original title’s use in schools for decades.
Who are the Moms for Liberty really fighting against?
Former President Donald Trump spoke at the 2023 Moms for Liberty Summit and draws the lines pretty clear in a campaign-esque speech where he describes “woke” liberals trying to take freedom away from patriotic Americans. He claims, “This left-wing cultural revolution is designed to overthrow the American revolution. … They took over our colleges and universities and then infiltrated our grade schools.”
Encouraging Moms for Liberty to continue working for their cause, he calls upon the organization to remain a united front against what he asserts is the “liberal agenda.” He says, “If patriots like all of us here today remain united, we will be unstoppable.”
The spoof website: Fighting hate with humor?
Littered with images of Hitler and swastikas, Morton’s spoof website offers a comedic yet frightening description of the organization’s beliefs. On his fake “Our Goals” page, he writes, “It is not liberty when the values and biases of one group are forced upon another. We seek only the freedom to impose our will upon others.”
Elsewhere on the page, under the subheading “Project Fascism,” Morton describes how diverse ways of thinking are the threat feared by the organization. With a mission statement echoing the sentiments of Nazi Germany, he says of Moms for Liberty, “Successful in repressing the thoughts of targeted communities, it is unlikely we will stop there. Eradication of writing and thinking of people who speak of LGBTQ and racial issues will be followed by handicapping, repressing and very possibly eliminating those people.”
This alarming description of the organization, although the website does not offer any official representation of the group, utilizes dark humor to expose the truth behind Moms for Liberty’s behavior. With no need to use marketable, appealing language, the joke (or perhaps truth) of the website is that Morton’s humor reflects what Moms for Liberty seems to stand for unironically.
Still, supporters and members of the group have spoken against these claims since the spoof site was launched. One viewer of the website even submitted a chat box message saying the site makes it clear that Morton wants to “ignore the children and create chaos.” They tell him, “You won’t win.”
So, what is this site accomplishing? Surely it is not OK for someone to use their public platform to joke about discrimination against minorities.
Morton told the Daily Beast what began as a project for his own humorous satisfaction quickly became an effort to “disrupt this hate group for as long as possible with billboards, pamphlets, background information and other tactics.” Essentially, the site is a medium through which viewers are shocked into learning the explicit, unadulterated truth about Moms for Liberty. Where viewers can see the truth within Morton’s jokes. He wants to show that for Moms for Liberty, these offensive and harmful statements are not funny at all but things organization members might really say if they could.
With the help of contributing viewers, he is compiling a list of “Fascist Moms in All 50 States,” which will soon be a map showing the members of Moms for Liberty across the nation. He hopes to raise public awareness about the organization and prevent members of this antigovernment group from running and being elected to local and state offices.
Mallory Challis is a master of divinity student at Wake Forest University School of Divinity. She is a former BNG Clemons Fellow.