An Indiana chapter of the group Moms For Liberty, which was labeled an “extremist group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center earlier this month, posted an apology on Thursday morning after publishing a newsletter fronted with a quote from Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.
“We condemn Adolf Hitler’s actions and his dark place in human history,” Paige Miller, the chairwoman of the Hamilton County Moms For Liberty, wrote in an update posted to the group’s Facebook page. “We should not have quoted him in our newsletter and we express our deepest apology.”
The newsletter, which is called “The Parent Brigade,” was originally posted on Wednesday afternoon. It featured a quote that Hitler used in a 1935 speech with capitalization for emphasis: “He alone, who OWNS the youth, GAINS the future.” The newsletter was updated with Miller’s apology on Thursday morning after condemnation from local leaders and reporting from the IndyStar newspaper.
The Hitler quote in the newsletter appeared on its front page directly above the statement Moms For Liberty’s co-founders, Tiffany Justice and Tina Descovich, issued in response to the SPLC’s report. In that statement, Justice and Descovich described the “extremist group” designation as “name calling.”
Justice and Descovich have vigorously disputed the SPLC’s characterization of their group, which is ostensibly dedicated to “parental rights” and has focused on fighting school programs aimed at promoting LGBT inclusion, awareness of racism, and diversity. In its report, SPLC, a civil rights organization that publishes research on hate groups, described “Moms For Liberty” — which was founded amid opposition to COVID restrictions — as an an “antigovernment” group while noting it has called for eliminating the Department of Education and has spread conspiracy theories along with “hateful imagery” and “rhetoric against the LGBTQ community.”
As she criticized the SPLC on a “Moms For Liberty” broadcast, Descovich specifically objected to being compared to someone who “was doing a ‘Heil Hitler’ sign.” Miller, the Hamilton County Moms For Liberty chairwoman who apologized for the Hitler quote, did not immediately respond to a request for comment from TPM and a question about whether she was concerned the group’s use of the Nazi leader’s rhetoric undermined its insistence it is not “extremist.”
During its brief existence, Moms For Liberty has become a growing force in right-wing politics, promoting hundreds of candidates in local school board elections and backing book-banning legislation in some red states. Moms For Liberty is also set to host a summit in Philadelphia at the end of the month that will feature appearances from multiple presidential candidates including former President Donald Trump, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, and Robert Kennedy Jr.
After posting the update and apology on Thursday, the Hamilton County Moms For Liberty Facebook group returned to its normal business, which apparently includes attacking a local school and performing arts center for hosting LGBTQ pride events and initiatives. One member of the group posted a photo of someone holding a pride flag emblazoned with an ominous question: “Who is hiding behind our children to influence our community.”
“It is not OK to use children to push this perverted narrative!!” the group member wrote.