The progressive Left movement has a new shining star. Her name is Mallory McMorrow, a young Democrat Michigan State Senator, whose fiery speech earlier this spring on the floor of the State Senate chamber denouncing conservative Republicans has gone viral. She is enjoying her 15 minutes of fame with interviews on liberal media broadcast outlets, a personal call from President Biden praising her speech, and a New Yorker article calling Ms. McMorrow a “role model for the midterms.”
The New York Times exulted: “If Democrats could bottle Mallory McMorrow … they would do it.” The Nation, a leading progressive publication, lauded McMorrow for providing “Democrats with a cogent example of how best to respond to the GOP’s cultural warfare.”
Ms. McMorrow has indeed done something novel for a progressive politician. Rather than coming across as the usual secularist critic of religious faith, McMorrow has embraced Christianity as she understands it and weaponized religion against her political adversaries. She has cleverly positioned herself as “a straight, white, Christian, married, suburban mom” who is mortified by what she considers to be Republicans’ hateful “fearmongering” against “marginalized” groups such as blacks, gays, and transgenders.
Ms. McMorrow is trying to appeal to white, suburbanite women, especially moms. She has in mind those who voted against former President Donald Trump in 2020 but might be leaning Republican in this year’s mid-term elections because of their mounting concerns about the country’s direction. The junior Democrat State Senator from Michigan is trying to coax these voters to forget all their worries like soaring prices, rising crime, baby formula shortages, their children’s education, and the flood of illegal immigrants entering the country.
Instead, Ms. McMorrow wants to turn the mid-term elections into a referendum on what she characterizes as the Republicans’ politics of “outright hate.” She self-righteously uses her professed brand of religious faith as part of her pitch.
Last April, State Senator McMorrow walked out of the Senate chamber, along with two other like-minded Democrats, in protest against the following invocation that Republican State Senator Lana Theis delivered to open the Michigan State Senate session:
“Dear Lord, across the country we’re seeing in the news that our children are under attack. That there are forces that desire things for them other than what their parents would have them see and hear and know. Dear Lord, I pray for Your guidance in this chamber to protect the most vulnerable among us.”
The invocation on its face simply asked for divine protection of vulnerable children and their parents from potentially bad outside influences. But State Senator McMorrow and her two comrades interpreted it as a thinly veiled attack on the gay and transgender communities. McMorrow castigated what she claimed were “closed-minded harmful words from a sitting Senator under the guise of a ‘prayer.’” She accused Republican State Senator Theis of engaging in “a vile misuse of that moment.”
Ms. Theis responded to the walkout with a stinging e-mail criticizing “progressive social media trolls like Senator Mallory McMorrow (D-Snowflake)” for being “outraged” that they “can’t groom and sexualize kindergarteners or that 8-year-olds are responsible for slavery.”
Ms. McMorrow took umbrage. She fired back with her no-holds-barred speech from the statehouse floor in which she declared that “I am the biggest threat to your hollow, hateful scheme. Because you can’t claim that you’re targeting marginalized kids in the name of ‘parental rights’ if another parent is standing up to say ‘no.’”
McMorrow assigned to herself the role of “a straight, white, Christian, married, suburban mom” who wants “every kid to feel seen, heard and supported — not marginalized and targeted because they are not straight, white and Christian.”
The subtext of State Senator McMorrow’s speech was that a white, heterosexual individual is not a true person of faith unless that person embraces the radical LGBTQIA+ and Black Lives Matter agendas.
Questioning the indoctrination of little children in public schools regarding such topics as white privilege, gender identity, and sexual orientation, in McMorrow’s world, is tantamount to hate-mongering. Indeed, last month she tweeted:
“Language matters. Beware now, too, of those purporting to protect ‘parental rights’ without deeply examining what they mean in their definition… It’s not ‘parental rights,’ it’s hate and discrimination.”
Language does matter, so long as it is used accurately. The language that Ms. McMorrow used in her speech on the State Senate chamber floor and elsewhere has been an exercise in gross distortions.
For example, Ms. McMorrow claimed in her speech that “the very notion that learning about slavery or redlining or systemic racism somehow means that children are being taught to feel bad or hate themselves because they are white is absolute nonsense.” This was a put-down of the contention by concerned parents that Critical Race Theory (CRT) is being taught in Michigan’s public schools.
But the fact is that CRT is being taught in Michigan’s public schools. None other than the superintendent of the largest school district in Michigan said so last year.
“Our curriculum is deeply using critical race theory especially in social studies, but you’ll find it in English language arts and the other disciplines,” the Detroit Public Schools Community District General Superintendent Nikolai Vitti said at a Detroit Board of Education meeting.
The director of diversity, equity and inclusion at Michigan’s Holt Public Schools called for excluding white students from so-called affinity spaces where only students of color would be permitted. The director made the counter-intuitive claim that such physical segregation constitutes “equity work in creating a more inclusive learning community.”
The Eaton Rapids school district reportedly purchased a curriculum for grades K-5 from an “anti-racist” company whose teacher training materials include a bullet point recommending that when “teaching about racial justice” teachers should “[D]ecenter white tears.”
The issue is not whether the injustices in American history such as slavery and Jim Crow segregation should be taught in the public schools. Of course they should, along with the corrective measures taken during the course of American history to remedy these wrongs. The issue is that school children today are being indoctrinated to believe that their racial identity is what primarily defines them, and that America is irredeemably unjust because it remains inherently racist. Parents have every right to object to such racially divisive indoctrination of their children.
Parents also have the right to object to sending their young children off to school for lessons about gender identity and sexual orientation only to have them come back home confused about who they are supposed to be.
In an interview with Newsweek, Ms. McMorrow falsely characterized such concerns as an “attack” on “LGBTQ kids to deflect and scapegoat so that people are so mad and taking out their anger on gay kids.” This represents the same thinking that has driven the Left to mislabel Florida’s Parental Rights in Education law as the so-called the “Don’t Say Gay” law.
The Supreme Court has concluded in a line of cases stretching back nearly a century that the “liberty” protected by the Constitution includes the right of parents to direct the education and upbringing of their children. In a case decided in 2000, the Supreme Court majority reaffirmed that “the interest of parents in the care, custody, and control of their children…is perhaps the oldest of the fundamental liberty interests recognized by this Court.”
Thus, parents have a constitutional right to insist that they be informed about and consent in advance to school instruction on sexually sensitive matters they fear may only serve to confuse, upset or even sexualize their children of tender age. State Senator McMorrow is flatly wrong when she charges that such parents and the politicians who support them are hatefully attacking gay and transgender kids.
Ms. McMorrow is the progressive Left’s false prophet, manipulating language to convince well-meaning people of faith that they are sinful racists and bigots if they do not subscribe to nicely packaged radical woke ideologies. Voters should not be fooled by such snake oil.