Since anti-Muslim activist and fellow Williamson County resident Laurie Cardoza-Moore is once again in the spotlight due to the inexplicable platform she was given in the Tennessean this week with a propaganda-filled OpEd, it seems like a good time to help everyone connect the dots between who is clearly a far-far-far right extremist....and who's just using less amateurish language and tactics to cover up their extremist beliefs.
In 2015, Cardoza-Moore was nominated as the interim District 4 Williamson County School Board (WCSB) representative by Commissioners Kathy Danner and Gregg Lawrence.
"Mrs. Moore was able to articulate a wide variety of ideas including a return to classical literature, strong emphasis on developing critical thinking skills based on reading comprehension and the fundamentals of mathematics that have stood the test of time as well as the vital importance of teaching the Constitution," Lawrence wrote."
[This is a clear reference to "classical education" which is the far-right's agenda to push charter schools and tear down the public education system.]
It will surprise absolutely no one that Moore has been in the local Moms for Liberty facebook group from the very start, sharing her anti-CRT textbook links and commentary from time to time.
In 2021, Josh Brown was nominated as the interim District 4 WCSB by Commissioners Gregg Lawrence and Chad Story, who ran as a pair after Danner elected not to run again in 2018.
Brown shared on Facebook that he'd been endorsed in the 2022 race by Lawrence.
Lawrence was a biiiiig pusher of the Moms for Liberty battles against the elementary Wit & Wisdom curriculum, despite the fact that school curriculum is *nowhere* even near the scope of a county commissioner. He attended the Moms for Liberty anti-curriculum event in June 2021 alongside County Commissioners Barb Sturgeon, Chad Story, WCSB members Dan Cash, Jay Galbreath, Candy Emerson, and Franklin Ward 1 Alderman Bev Burger.
Here's a snippet from a 7/1/21 email from Lawrence, obtained by public records request:
"While I am not on the school board, as a County Commissioner and a citizen I care deeply about children in our community. They are the future of our nation. If I were on the school board, I would insist that the curriculum include 3 foundational principles:
Promote a love for American [sic] and the principles on which America was founded
In 2020 we witnessed some of the most violent rioting in American history with over $2 billion in property damage. One of the things these young rioters have in common is that they don’t seem to see anything worth preserving about America. Where did they get such an attitude? Many of them learned it from our public schools and universities. When you teach children that America is and has always been a fundamentally racist and bigoted nation, what else would you expect? No nation that promotes such self-loathing and destructive behavior can possibly expect to survive.
2. A heavy emphasis on the language in the Declaration of Independence:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights – that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” These words have really never been improved upon and they are the essence of what America stands for – that we are all human beings created in the image of God and therefore we recognize that we have ontological equality regardless of our gender or ethnicity. Does this mean that we gloss over the reality of the shameful American apartheid, no, but rather that we emphasize how far we have come towards this ideal.
3. Resilience and a Positive attitude in the face of Adversity
Resiliency training consulting has exploded in corporate America in recent years – mostly because the millennial generation in general has not responded well to adversity in corporate settings. Their educational background and the broader culture has not given them the tools to cope well when dealing with difficult issues. While we should absolutely teach the importance of ontological equality and fairness, there is also another reality- that if you want to do anything important in life, there will always be opposition, obstacles and even people who don’t like you but that by hard work and perseverance those things can be overcome. Teaching this will far better prepare our children for responsible adulthood than to teach the CRT doctrine of victimhood and intersectionality which is essentially “competitive victimhood”. Finding such a curriculum may not be easy – perhaps we should get creative and develop some of our own for WCS."
Lawrence is endorsed by Moms for Liberty's PAC, alongside newcomer Pete Stresser.
Other outspoken advocates against the Wit & Wisdom curriculum include local Franklin residents Brian & Chara Dixon, who recently hosted a meet & greet for Josh Brown (with Gregg Lawrence and Chad Story in attendance according to Facebook photos on Brown's campaign page.)
Chara Dixon is best known for her outspoken involvement with the local Moms for Liberty chapter, fighting against Wit & Wisdom - including this speech at their May "CRT 101" event which can be viewed on Moms for Liberty's YouTube channel.
Josh Brown was one of only TWO Board members to vote against the curriculum committee's recommendation on Wit & Wisdom, the other one being Dan Cash who has notoriously been the Moms for Liberty mouthpiece on the WCSB.
Brown said the committee's recommendation to only remove one book from the curriculum "didn't go far enough" for him.
In fact, one of his key campaign platforms this year is about "age appropriateness" and transparency in curriculum, which have been Moms for Liberty's (and Dan Cash's) main talking points since they spun up their disruptive antics here over a year ago.
Are you tracking yet?
He may not be wearing a Moms for Liberty t-shirt in public, but please don't be fooled: He's doing their dirty work on the Board and is running a thinly-veiled campaign using key phrases that let his base know whose side he's really on.
Brown is politically savvy enough to know that publicly aligning with Moms for Liberty is the kiss of death around here, and if we had to guess, likely doesn't agree with how amateurish and embarrassing they've been with their attacks against Williamson County Schools leadership.
But this much is crystal clear: He's making it known that he's absolutely aligned with their views on removing books from WCS schools and is parroting their same platform alongside Dan Cash.
The real question is if voters will be able to see past the shiny "R" next to his name on the ballot or look deeper into his agenda which is clearly not on the side of educators or our students from all backgrounds, beliefs, and communities.
When your main positions in 2022 are being "against" CRT and "for" age-appropriate curriculum, when not a SINGLE WCS TEACHER SAYS THOSE ARE THEIR REAL WORLD PROBLEMS, you're just waving a big ol' flag that you are, in fact, a Moms for Liberty ally....even if it makes them squirm to think of themselves that way.