Mom who complained about Amanda Gorman poem shared antisemitic conspiracy and praised Proud Boys

Mother who got poem yanked pushed QAnon and "Protocols of the Elders of Zion," an antisemitic conspiracy theory

By Tatyana Tandanpolie

Staff Writer

Published May 25, 2023 2:40PM (EDT)

Poet Amanda Gorman recites a poem during the Presidential Inauguration on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Gabrielle Lurie / The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images)
Poet Amanda Gorman recites a poem during the Presidential Inauguration on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Gabrielle Lurie / The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images)

The parent whose complaint prompted the removal of Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman's poem from the elementary school section of a Miami-Dade school shared posts to social media that praised the far-right Proud Boys and spread parts of an antisemitic conspiracy.

ABC News reviewed the posts of a profile appearing to belong to the parent, identified by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency as Daily Salinas, in a Thursday report.

According to documents obtained by advocacy group The Florida Freedom to Read Project, Salinas made the initial complaint about Gorman's poem, "The Hill We Climb," and four other texts on March 29. Bob Graham Education Center staff and a representative from another district school reviewed the complaint with two students of the kindergarten through eighth-grade school in April.

Salinas' complaint about the poem claimed that it was "not educational" and contained indirect "hate messages." Overall, her objections to the five contested books revolved around concerns of "indoctrination" and "critical race theory."

The committee, according to the records, opted to relocate four of the five books, including Gorman's title, to the section exclusively for middle schoolers.

Salinas' Facebook profile, found using personal details included in her complaint, featured a slew of right-wing posts, including one from August 21, 2021, voicing support for the Proud Boys and referencing a QAnon conspiracy theory. A separate, now-deleted March 31 post shared a summary of "Protocols of the Elders of Zion," a century-old antisemitic conspiracy theory. 

On Wednesday, Salinas posted an apology for sharing the antisemitic conspiracy after a left-wing activist group, Miami Against Fascism, found her page.

"I would like to apologize to the Jewish community for a post that I reposted earlier from someone else. I only read the word communism and went ahead to repost it thinking it was related to that," it read in part.

Salinas confirmed the post was hers and apologized again in a Wednesday interview with the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, which was the only news source she agreed to speak with about the matter.

"I'm not what the post says," she said. "I love the Jewish community."

The graphic Salinas shared about the antisemitic Protocols outlined how "Jewish Zionists" would achieve world domination, listing steps such as "Place our agents and helpers everywhere," "Replace royal rule with socialist rule, then communism, then despotism," and "Sacrifice people (including Jews sometimes) when necessary." 

She told the JTA that she hadn't read past the word "communism" before sharing, explaining that her gripe with communism stems from her being Cuban and adding that English is not her first language. After speaking with the outlet, she deleted the post.

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She also said that she spoke with JTA after declining other media requests so she could apologize, adding that she is a Christian and "We are super protective of the Jewish people."

She elaborated on why she filed complaints about two of the books, which were on Cuba, at the school's library, saying that the texts "don't tell the whole story about Cuba, communism, the dictators, their people that are dying and trying to come to America."

Other videos Miami Against Fascism found of Salinas depicted her with the Proud Boys and attending conservative parent group Moms for Liberty's protest at a school board meeting last year. She said that she was not a part of either group and had only attended protests they were involved in. A Moms for Liberty spokesperson confirmed to JTA that Salinas was not a member and denounced antisemitism.

In response to questions about why she filed the complaints, Salinas said that she was only sharing her "opinion" that the books did not "support the curriculum," adding that she only read portions of them.

"They have to read for me because I'm not an expert," she said. "I'm not a reader. I'm not a book person. I'm a mom involved in my children's education."

Gorman lamented the transfer of her poem online Tuesday, saying that she was "gutted" and later criticizing the parent who filed the complaint.

"So they ban my book from young readers, confuse me with @oprah, fail to specify what parts of my poetry they object to, refuse to read any reviews, and offer no alternatives…Unnecessary #bookbans like these are on the rise, and we must fight back," she said, calling others to donate to an Instagram fundraiser.

By Tatyana Tandanpolie

Tatyana Tandanpolie is a staff writer at Salon. Born and raised in central Ohio, she moved to New York City in 2018 to pursue degrees in Journalism and Africana Studies at New York University. She is currently based in her home state and has previously written for local Columbus publications, including Columbus Monthly, CityScene Magazine and The Columbus Dispatch.

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Amanda Gorman Brief Politics Proud Boys