Moms for Liberty founders Tiffany Justice (L) and Tina Descovich at the inaugural Moms For Liberty Summit on July 15, 2022 in Tampa, Florida. (Octavio Jones/Getty Images)
In the first ever edition of the Hamilton County, Indiana, Moms for Liberty newsletter, published on Wednesday, the group’s co-founders Tina Descovich and Tiffany Justice blasted the Southern Poverty Law Center’s recent decision to label the group a far-right extremist organization.That statement might have carried more weight if the top of the very same newsletter wasn’t adorned with a quote from Adolf Hitler.
The quote used in the newsletter was taken from a speech Hitler gave during a 1935 rally: “He alone, who OWNS the youth, GAINS the future.” It appeared just under the masthead for the “Parent Brigade” newsletter published on the group’s Facebook page on Wednesday night. It was first reported by the Indianapolis Star.The incident is the latest evidence that Moms for Liberty’s pretense of being a wholesome, grassroots movement focused on protecting students is slipping. Multiple recent VICE News investigations have uncovered a pattern of disturbing behavior by the group’s members, who have violently harassed and intimidated parents, school superintendents, school board members, and students who have stood up to them. The group also has close links to other extremist groups, notably the Proud Boys.In fact, this was not even the first time Moms for Liberty has been linked to this Hitler quote. In 2021, Moms for Liberty member Debra Cannon, who is a school board member in Central Bucks School District in Pennsylvania, posted a comment on Facebook featuring the same quote, alongside a second quote from the Nazi leader.
Following media reports about the quote, the Moms for Liberty chapter updated the newsletter with the following statement: “The quote from a horrific leader should put parents on alert. If the government has control over our children today, they control our country’s future. We The People must be vigilant and protect children from an overreaching government.”Then, on Thursday morning, the chapter chair, Paige Miller, issued an apology, writing on the group’s Facebook page: “We condemn Adolf Hitler’s actions and his dark place in human history,” she said. “We should not have quoted him in our newsletter and we express our deepest apology.” However, it appears that not all of the members of the group are as apologetic about the inclusion of the quote.“We have had a few questions around the quote from Adolf Hitler and why it was used,” Shelly Stewart, one of the co-founders of the Hamilton County chapter, wrote in a comment on Facebook on Thursday. “His quote is meant to shock and scare every liberty-loving adult. We the People must protect our children and keep government in check.”Stewart did not return VICE News’ request for comment. Moms for Liberty co-founders Justice and Descovich told VICE News in an emailed statement that the Hamilton County chapter “should not have quoted Hitler. Period.” They added: “Parents are passionate about protecting future generations from tyranny, but Hitler did not need to be quoted to make that point."
The inclusion of the Hitler quote came as no surprise to some who have tracked the actions of the Hamilton County Moms for Liberty group. One anonymous Twitter account that has highlighted the group’s troubling actions pointed out on Thursday that the founding members were photographed in front of the Betsy Ross flag, which has been embraced by far-right extremists.
“I am not surprised by anything they do,” the anonymous account holder told VICE News, highlighting the fact that the group hired a private investigator to uncover their identity and published their name online.“They are not original by any stretch of the imagination. They follow a playbook. I am surprised that chair Paige Miller issued a written apology. This is just another step in a trend where Moms for Liberty and other groups seem increasingly empowered to discriminate, attack, and display hate. My biggest worry is where does it stop?”Next week Moms for Liberty will host a national summit in Philadelphia, featuring Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, along with anti-vax conspiracy theorist-turned-Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.Want the best of VICE News straight to your inbox? Sign up here.