Florida mother behind ban on Amanda Gorman poem has Proud Boys links

The parent behind Amanda Gorman’s poem ban in a Florida school appears to have attended Proud Boys rallies and has previously posted antisemitic memes online.

The parent, first identified by the Miami Herald as Daily Salinas, made headlines this week after reports emerged of her effort to ban a series of books at the elementary Bob Graham education center in Miami Lakes where her two children attend.

One of the items removed for reading at the school was Amanda Gorman’s poem The Hill We Climb, which the youth poet laureate recited at Joe Biden’s presidential inauguration.

Reporting by various outlets into social media accounts appearing to be Salinas’s shows that she posted antisemitic content online, and appeared to have been present at Proud Boys events, and at a protest attended by the far-right organization Moms for Liberty.

In a series of screenshots tweeted by the group Miami Against Fascism, Salinas appears to be photographed in several Proud Boys events. In one photo, Salinas appears to be standing next to Enrique Tarrio, the far-right group’s neo-fascist leader who was found guilty of seditious conspiracy last month. “Freedom to choose,” said Salinas’s T-shirt.

In another post that featured a picture of Tarrio, Salinas appeared to hail the Proud Boys, writing, “Los mejores,” or “The best” in Spanish, adding, “My Proud boys,” alongside emojis of the American flag, a heart, a flexed arm and prayer hands.

Miami Against Fascism also posted pictures of Salinas’s apparent involvement with CCDF, also known as County Citizens Defending Freedom USA, a controversial Christian nationalist organization.

The outlet Jewish Telegraphic Agency also reviewed a Facebook account that appeared to be Salinas’s. The account featured a series of rightwing and antisemitic posts, including one about the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a fabricated Russian antisemitic text originally published in 1903 about a purported Jewish plan to dominate the world.

According to JTA, the post about the Protocols showed a list of steps on how “Jewish Zionists” would dominate the world.

In a statement to JTA on Wednesday, Salinas confirmed that the post belonged to her and apologized, saying, “I want to apologize to the Jewish community … I’m not what the post says … I love the Jewish community.”

Salinas also told JTA that she was not a member of either the Proud Boys or Moms For Liberty and said he had just been in attendance at protests when they were present.

Salinas went on to confess that she did not read the full text of Protocols beyond the word “communism”.

“I see the word ‘communism’, and I think it’s something about communism,” she told JTA, adding, “I didn’t read the words.”

Salinas added that she is Christian, has Jewish friends and enjoys watching the Israeli Netflix series Fauda.

She also revealed that she only read snippets of the books that she sought to ban at the education center. The books include The ABCs of Black History, poetry by Langston Hughes and books on Cuba, all of which she has criticized for “indirect hate messages”, references to critical race theory and gender indoctrination.

“They have to read for me because I’m not an expert,” Salinas told JTA. “I’m not a reader. I’m not a book person. I’m a mom involved in my children’s education.”

Maia Yang