Michigan Democrat calls on "straight, white, Christian, married, suburban mom[s]" to fight GOP

In a viral video, Michigan senator castigates Republican colleague over accusations of "grooming" kindergarteners

By Jon Skolnik

Published April 21, 2022 9:28AM (EDT)

A student holds up a sign against banning CRT holds up a sign as members of the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School Board meeting in Placentia on Wednesday, March 23, 2022 to consider banning the academic concept of critical race theory in the district. (Leonard Ortiz/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images)
A student holds up a sign against banning CRT holds up a sign as members of the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School Board meeting in Placentia on Wednesday, March 23, 2022 to consider banning the academic concept of critical race theory in the district. (Leonard Ortiz/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images)

A Michigan state senator blasted her Republican colleague in a viral speech for accusing her of wanting to "groom and sexualize kindergarteners."

State Sen. Mallory McMorrow, a Democrat, took to the Senate floor on Tuesday to castigate Sen. Lana Theis, who apparently alleged in a recent fundraising email that McMorrow that supports child abuse. 

"I didn't expect to wake up yesterday to the news that [Theis] had, overnight, accused me by name of grooming and sexualizing children in an email fundraising for herself," McMorrow opened. "So I sat on it for a while wondering: Why me? And then I realized: Because I am the biggest threat to your hollow, hateful scheme. Because you can't claim that you are targeting marginalized kids in the name of 'parental rights' if another parent is standing up to say no."

RELATED: The goal of the GOP's QAnon-influenced "groomer" troll: More political violence

Her speech comes as Republicans across the country pass bills to restrict the discussion of any LGBTQ+ subjects in the classroom, all under the dubious guise of protecting children from "grooming." 


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On the senate floor, McMorrow invoked her experience growing up as a Christian but feeling alienated from her church at the time because they rejected her mother for being divorced.

"I learned that service was far more important than performative nonsense like being seen in the same pew every Sunday or writing 'Christian' in your Twitter bio and using that as a shield to target and marginalize already marginalized people," she said. 

"I know that hate will only win if people like me stand by and let it happen," the Democrat added. McMorrow. "So I want to be very clear right now: Call me whatever you want. I hope you brought in a few dollars. I hope it made you sleep good last night. I know who I am."

McMorrow also noted that she is "a straight, white, Christian, married, suburban mom" who believes that white kids who learn about slavery or racism are not "being taught to feel bad or hate themselves because they are white."

RELATED: The "parental rights" movement is harming our children

On Wednesday morning, Theis responded to McMorrow's speech by saying that the Democrat "is not naïve about politics and fundraising."

"I know that because it took her mere minutes to turn her Senate floor speech into a plea for campaign donations," she said. "While Sen. McMorrow is on MSNBC preaching to her choir, I'll keep my focus on Michigan parents, who Democrats are seeking to undermine as the primary decision-makers in the education of their children."

McMorrow, 35, was elected in 2018 as the youngest woman to ever serve the Michigan state senate, according to The Detroit Free Press. She is currently running for re-election in the 8th District, which includes part of Lansing


Jon Skolnik

Jon Skolnik is a staff writer at Salon. His work has appeared in Current Affairs, The Baffler, and The New York Daily News.

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