Extreme activists on the political left have harnessed and fomented the social unrest of the past year to expand and strengthen a network of like-minded political groups across America, including here in Alaska.
Loosely connected, these entities have a shared philosophy when it comes to hot-button issues like race relations, law enforcement, human sexuality, immigration, abortion, education, and the First and Second Amendments.
These groups have been around for a while, but today they are increasingly mobilized in smaller, traditionally conservative communities.
One such organization is the new Mat-Su Moms for Social Justice (MM4SS). Launched last June in the wake of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis, MMFSS is not just for mothers. Any activist willing to community organize around leftist political ideologies is welcome.
The MM4SS Facebook page notes that the organization began with three friends who “wished to bring members of their community together to support and elevate the Black Lives Matter movement.”
The group is part of a larger organization called Moms for Social Justice (MSJ) with chapters around the country, including in Chattanooga, Washington D.C., Phoenix and Southern California.
Like their sister organizations, the Mat-Su chapter targets certain issues and then mobilizes members to enact incremental changes.
Last summer MM4SS participated in at Black Lives Matter march that brought an estimated 1,000 protesters into downtown Palmer. Today MM4SS claim to have more than 300 active members, spread across the Mat-Su.
Their commitment to the Black Lives Matter ideology is reflected in a belief – reiterated on Facebook – that systemic racism is “entrenched in our state.”
Like other Black Lives Matter affiliated organizations, the Mat-Su group holds that racism has infected most social institutions, including the Palmer Police Department. While MM4SS has offered no evidence of systemic racism among local police, it remains firmly committed to reigning in the men and women serving in blue.
Gaining influence over local police is the most pressing issue at hand, MMFSS has broader plans to reshape the conservative Valley.
On May 11, MM4SS was scheduled to give a presentation, asking the Palmer City Council to let them form a community-run police advisory board in order to address this so-called rampant racism. Hundreds of residents turned out to protest the idea and MM4SS cancelled their presentation at the last minute.
While gaining influence over local law enforcement is the most pressing issue at hand, MM4SS has broader plans to reshape the conservative Mat-Su Valley. It’s Facebook page includes posts celebrating transgenderism and praising a new LGBTQ clinic in Anchorage. They have also issued posts in support of the Equality Act – legislation now before the U.S. Senate which would fundamentally change federal law to include “gender identity and sexual orientation” among the legally recognized “non-discrimination” classifications. This would mandate that Americans facilitate behavior and events associated with the LGBTQ movement in private establishments, schools, churches, business, health care, entertainment and many other areas. On the abortion front, the Equality Act could be used to force healthcare professionals to facilitate abortion on demand.
With regard to the Second Amendment, MM4SS perpetuates a common line of reasoning among progressive politicos. Namely, they blame guns rather than criminals for violence inflicted on society. In a recent post focused on mass shootings, the MMFSS claims that violence is “woven into the fabric of our country,” and it questions how America can “move forward as a nation when we continue to behave as though ‘rights’ are more important than lives?” The post goes on to suggest that conservatives care more about their gun than “people falling victim to its use.”
“As moms, we can only hope that we are raising our children with more empathy and imagination than seems to be the norm,” the Facebook post states.
Six weeks ago, MMFSS published a revealing post about what the group thinks of fellow Mat-Su residents.
The group is also quietly working to introduce what it calls “social justice” themed books in local public libraries across the Mat-Su. The types of books MM4SS most admires is abundantly clear from a recent post celebrating books it recommends for Women’s History Month.
“To start us off, we wanted to be sure to include a book featuring women (including trans women) and non-binary folks who have and ARE changing the world,” the MM4SS Facebook post proclaimed in recommending the book: “Modern HERstory: Stories of Women and Nonbinary People Rewriting History.” They call the volume “an inspiring and radical celebration of 70 women, girls, and gender nonbinary people who have changed – and are still changing – the world, from the Civil Rights Movement and Stonewall riots through Black Lives Matter and beyond.”
The Mat-Su, with its reputation for large families, vibrant churches, and a long tradition of electing conservative candidates across all levels of local and state government, might seem like an awkward place to establish a hard left activist group. In many ways it is.
Six weeks ago, MM4SS published a revealing post about what the group thinks of fellow Mat-Su residents. The post was in response to a town hall meeting in Wasilla where hundreds of locals turned out to address issues with their state representatives.
“We didn’t quite know what to expect…” the post begins, “though we had a few vague expectations.”
The post continues by deriding attendees for not masking and lamenting, “This, unfortunately, is par for the course for our valley representatives and those who support them.”
It goes on to charge area residents for exhibiting a “lack of care and concern for others” because they are disturbed about threats to personal liberties which MM4SS mockingly says are “apparently, in grave danger of being taken away by the evil government.”
“Of course, given the overwhelmingly conservative demographics in our area, we expected to hear such comments,” the post continues. “What we didn’t quite anticipate was the intensity of many of the speakers’ anger and fear, or the complete echo-chamber that the room became.”
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MMFSS then derides Mat-Su residents for cheering and clapping “whenever a speaker expressed their distaste or outright hatred of the federal government or their support for the second amendment with lines like, ‘we have the second amendment to protect the first.’”
“The legislators ate this up and mostly sat with amused smirks on their faces, when they weren’t pandering to the audience with their answers,” the post claims.
Clearly angered over the popularity of some Mat-Su legislators, the post goes on to attack this affection.
“One constituent expressed to Senator Mike Shower that he, ‘loved him like a brother.’ Rep. DeLena Johnson spoke about how great it was to be back in the valley among ‘people who think like us.’”
So disturbed by the gathering, MM4SS activists left the meeting early and refused to participate in the discussion, claiming that “as it became clearer with each constituent who stepped up to the microphone that this was not the right forum for our questions about specific education and police reform bills or how our legislators might encourage more vaccinations in our area.”
The post then diverges into conjecture, claiming that MM4SS “would have certainly been boo-ed out of the room and probably threatened as well. This may not have been the right forum for us, but it underscored the dire need for us to make our voices heard just as loudly as those who spoke and were cheered on by the audience.”
While MM4SS may have cancelled its planned presentation on forming a community oversight board for the Palmer Police, the group continues to have designs for Palmer and the greater Mat-Su area. They are organized and committed to enact incremental change, one step at a time.