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Mon, Feb

Dear Lord, We Will Not Let Venal, Mud-Slinging, QAnon-Inspired Hate Win

SAY WHAT?

SAY WHAT? - Offering a fiery master class in how to fight back against GOP bigotry and fear-mongering, Michigan Democratic state Sen. Mallory McMorrow just excoriated a slimy GOP colleague who, wielding her party's rabid, pervert-themed smear of the day, charged her support for LGBTQ kids, teaching history and recognizing the reality of American racism is JUST LIKE wanting to "groom and sexualize kindergartners."

The deranged attack by lawmaker Lana Theis is part of a loathsome national trend by Republicans who, seeking new weapons in a ceaseless culture war, now glom onto labeling anyone who disagrees with them or their vision of a fascist Christian theocracy a pedophile, a fan of pedophiles, or a "groomer" for pedophiles, just like QAnon says.

One visible practitioner of this dubious art is dimwit Klan Mom Marjorie Taylor Greene, who opposed SCOTUS Judge Kentanji Brown Jackson by declaring any lawmaker supporting her "is pro-pedophile just like she is." Dems, she babbled, are "the party of pedophiles...the party of princess predators from Disney... the party of...their identity, and their identity is the most disgusting horrible evil thing happening in our country" - one more reason we love the nuanced discourse of participatory democracy so much.

Then last week ungodly theocrat Lana Theis opened her state's legislative session with a "prayer" that followed Greene's screechy lead. "Dear Lord," she began, "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." In response, at least three lawmakers, including McMorrow, walked out; given those "forces" are teachers and those "things" are equal rights for all no matter your belief system, one argued, “To pervert the Senate Invocation in this way is beyond the pale.” Theis, seeking to raise a few bucks and bigot votes, doubled down. In a campaign fundraising email, she ranted "enlightened elites" support "gender-bending indoctrination" and "race-based education," singling out "progressive social media trolls like Mallory McMorrow (D-Snowflake) who are outraged they can’t groom and sexualize kindergartners or teach that 8-year-olds are responsible for slavery." She got one thing right: McMorrow was some pissed - that a crypto Nazi was trying to "marginalize me for standing up against her marginalizing the LGBTQ community." She put on her uncharacteristically no-glam hairdo and take-no-prisoners tone, and had at it.

Tuesday, she gave an impassioned speech to the Senate about the email. "I sat on it for a while, wondering why me," said McMorrow, a  former industrial designer and new mom who has advocated for greater parental support in workplaces. "Then I realized, I am the biggest threat to your hollow, hateful scheme. Because you can't claim you're targeting marginalized kids in the name of 'parental rights' if another parent is standing up and saying no." She offered  "a little background on who I really am": A "straight, white, Christian, married, suburban mom" who grew up in the church, learned from her own mom "service is far more important than performative nonsense like being seen in the same pew every Sunday," and believes kids should know about slavery and systemic racism - not to make them feel bad, but because they did and do exist, and "every single one of us bears responsibility for writing the next chapter of history. We decide what happens next." Citing "what faith and service...calls for in this moment," she ended with, "I know that hate will only win if people like me stand by and let it happen...We will not let hate win." A weary populace applauded her. Their common plea: "Dems, be like her."

 

(Abby Zimet has written CD's Further column since 2008. A longtime, award-winning journalist, involved in women's, labor, anti-war, social justice and refugee rights issues. Email: [email protected])

 

 

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