A recent report by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) labeled Moms for Liberty, a Florida-based group founded by mothers seeking to reassert the role of parents in their kids’ education, as an anti-government “extremist group.”
An SPLC director previously met with the Biden Administration’s National Security Council counterterrorism director John Picarelli, raising concerns that the White House encouraged or was involved in the SPLC targeting Moms for Liberty.
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and members of the Florida delegation sent a letter to President Joe Biden urging his administration to respect parents’ rights to raise their kids and inquiring about the administration’s involvement with SPLC.
- “SPLC’s bad-faith designation of Moms for Liberty, as well as other parental rights groups, should come as no surprise, as SPLC is a corrupt and vicious tool of progressive radicals seeking to label individuals and groups with whom they disagree as hateful and/or extremist…. Is the administration using SPLC to assist in the U.S. Department of Justice’s targeting of parents?”
Joining Rubio were U.S. Senator Rick Scott (R-FL), and U.S. Representatives Bill Posey (R-FL), Neal Dunn (R-FL), Scott Franklin (R-FL), Daniel Webster (R-FL), Aaron Bean (R-FL), Greg Steube (R-FL), Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL), Kat Cammack (R-FL), Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), and Byron Donalds (R-FL).
The full text of the letter is below.
Dear Mr. President:
We write to express serious concerns regarding your administration’s recent contact with the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).
On June 6, 2023, SPLC published a report titled Introduction: 2022 The Year in Hate and Extremism Comes to Main Street. Among many things, this report smears parental rights groups that are concerned about the quality and content of their children’s education. Parents have rightfully been concerned about draconian COVID-era polices that resulted in severe learning loss, school activities rooted in critical race theory, and curricula that are inappropriate for young children. SPLC takes specific aim at Moms for Liberty, a Florida-based group founded by mothers seeking to reassert the role of parents in their kids’ education, calling them an “extremist group.” SPLC’s bad-faith designation of Moms for Liberty, as well as other parental rights groups, should come as no surprise, as SPLC is a corrupt and vicious tool of progressive radicals seeking to label individuals and groups with whom they disagree as hateful and/or extremist.
SPLC’s designation also follows your administration actions to target concerned parents for scrutinizing decisions from local education leaders. And indeed, there is reason to suspect your administration has been coordinating with SPLC on this matter. It was recently reported that Susan Corke, director of SPLC’s Intelligence Project, met with National Security Council counterterrorism director John Picarelli earlier this year. This meeting raises serious questions as to whether the White House encouraged SPLC to work on behalf of the administration to label parental rights groups and organizations as “extremist groups.”
Given these concerns, we demand answers to the following questions:
- What was the purpose of Director Picarelli and Susan Corke’s meeting?
- During this meeting, did the White House, in any way, encourage, incentivize, or pressure SPLC to label parental rights groups and organizations as “extremist groups”?
- Is the administration using SPLC to assist in the U.S. Department of Justice’s targeting of parents?
- Can the administration confirm that neither the White House, nor any federal agency, including the U.S. Department of Justice, is actively using taxpayer dollars to target parents?
- Does the administration agree with SPLC that parental rights groups should be labeled “extremist groups”?
Thank you for your attention to this matter. We look forward to your prompt response.