Florida mother who tried to ban Amanda Gorman’s book has ties to far-right groups

A Florida woman whose complaints led to school restrictions over a poem read at Joe Biden’s inauguration appears to have ties to several far-right groups, including the Ron DeSantis-backed Moms for Liberty and the neo-fascist Proud Boys gang.

In a complaint requesting that her son’s school remove the books entirely, Daily Salinas claimed that the hill we climbed – Amanda Gorman’s book version of the poem she read at the president’s inauguration ceremony, and several other titles contained references to critical race theory, gender ideology, “indirect hate speech” and the “indoctrination,” especially of socialism, according to the documents. Shared by Florida Freedom to Read Project.

Her complaint led the school to restrict access to the book, along with The ABC’s of Black History, cuban children and love langston. A school committee moved the books to the high school section of the library, even though the books were recommended for younger readers.

Salinas told the Miami-Herald that she “is not about to eliminate or censor any book” but that she wants the materials to be appropriate and that the students “know the truth” about Cuba.

But he appears to have connections to or has expressed support for various far-right groups that have promoted sweeping restrictions against LGBT+ people and honest discussions of race and racism, according to a review of his social media history and online activity from Miami against fascism and The Daily Beast.

In August 2021, she was photographed alongside Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio during a protest against Covid-19 protections in Miami-Dade schools.

The following year, while wearing a Ron DeSantis T-shirt, he attended another rally organized by the Proud Boys to support far-right activist Christoper Monzon, a 2017 “Unite the Right” rallygoer who was allegedly beaten while campaigning for Republican Senator Marco Rubio. last year. Ms. Salinas was also photographed posing with Mr. Monzón and a small group of his supporters after he was released from the hospital.

That same year, Ms. Salinas also volunteered for the Governor’s “Education Agenda Tour,” which promoted right-wing candidates in school board elections as part of their efforts to change the state’s education system.

Video from a Miami-Dade school board meeting in July 2022 appears to show Ms. Salinas with the group Moms for Liberty disrupting the hearing to protest sex education textbooks that had previously been approved by the board. Footage shows police forcibly removing her from the meeting.

Moms for Liberty, a right-wing group that grew out of protests over Covid-19 guidelines, has offered calls rewards for exposing teachers who allegedly discuss “divisive issues” in schools, attacked The Trevor Project to support LGBT+ youth at risk of suicide and launched a barrage of book challenges.

The group also drew praise from Mr. DeSantis, who appointed one of its members to a board that now controls the Walt Disney Company-operated properties for its massive Orlando park campus.

the independent has requested comment from the group’s Miami-Dade chapter.

A review of Ms. Salinas’ social media history includes a Facebook post calling the Proud Boys “the best.”

“My Proud Boys,” he wrote in the April 2021 post, above a photo of Tarrio with other members of the group.

In March of this year, he shared a Facebook post promoting the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” a centuries-old piece of fraudulent anti-Semitic propaganda.

Salinas reportedly deleted the post after it was flagged on Twitter by Miami Against Fascism. She then posted an image of an Israel Defense Forces soldier with a caption that read: “People have never seen this. I love my Jewish people.”

“I want to apologize to the Jewish community,” he told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency on May 24. “I am not what the post says,” she added. “I love the Jewish community.”

He also co-hosted a Spanish-language podcast, “Hablando como los locos,” which posted an episode with the caption “Learn more about Kanye West, his controversy, his message” on December 5, 2022. Four days earlier, the rapper appeared on InfoWars by Alex Jones and praised Adolf Hitler.

the independent has requested comments from Ms. Salinas.

Entering the race for the Republican nomination for president in 2024, Mr. DeSantis has pushed sweeping laws to control public school education and the lessons and speech he finds objectionable, while qualifying reports on the impacts of such policies as a “hoax” and a fabricated “false narrative” by the press.

The state is at the center of a national trend of challenges against books and materials in libraries and schools, as the governor continues to falsely insist that no books have been banned as he launches his 2024 campaign.

A trio of state laws enacted in the past school year include what opponents have called the “Don’t Say Gay” law, which bans classroom instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity in all grade levels, and laws restricting discussions about race or racism. , and order how schools list the books on their shelves. Collectively, teachers and schools have been forced to remove materials for fear of legal action without clear guidance, or have faced increased threats and challenges from activists emboldened by the legislation.

Last week, Penguin Random House and several prominent authors and families filed a federal lawsuit against a school district where activists have questioned dozens of books, mostly related to or written by people of color or LGBT+ people.

In Escambia County alone, nearly 200 books have been challenged, at least 10 books have been removed by the school board, five books have been removed by district committees and 139 books require parental permission, according to a group analysis. Free Expression PEN America.

In Florida’s Clay County, at least 100 books were pulled from shelves after challenges by a single person, PEN America found.