Maurice Cunningham is a specialist on dark money and its infiltration into education debates. As he watched the response to the Uvalde massacre of babies, he noticed the missing voices of the “mama bears.”

He writes:

Right Wing “Mama Bears” Hibernate on Uvalde

They’re fearless on Fox News—Tiffany Justice of Moms for Liberty, Erika Sanzi or Nicole Neily of Parents Defending Education, Keri Rodrigues of National Parents Union—self-proclaimed “mama bears” fiercely protecting their cubs from a public school education. But murder and traumatization in our schools caused by assault weapons? The mama bears hibernate. And there’s reason.

Parents for Education has had nothing to say about Uvalde but it has sent out four email blasts from Neily and Sanzi since the massacre in Texas—fundraising letters! They playact rage about a legal theory not taught in K-12 and promote terror of innocentLGBTQ teens. But on real terror, silence. This is defending education?

Moms for Liberty mustered a quick Facebook reaction of the ‘thoughts and prayers’ genre then went back to its specialties: demonizing vulnerable transgender children, book banning, and putting bounties on teachers’ heads.

Right wing papa bears are absent fathers on gun violence. Take Ian Prior of the Virginia privatization operation Fight for Schools. He plays an outraged parent on Fox News but this Republican communications pro isn’t touching any fight for schools that might involve making them safe for educators and children.

None of these individuals nor their phony parent groups can diveinto the fight to keep guns out of our schools for a simple reason: they are dependent on far right funding including the Koch network and the extremist Council for National Policy. Among the CNP’s members are Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president and CEO of the National Rifle Association.

No, there will be no criticism of the NRA from these “parents’ and “moms.” That would not only be condemning an ally, it would be spitting in the faces of the money givers.

National Parents Union, Koch and Walton funded, has a separate problem. NPU depicts itself as representing people of color, an approach that masks its corporate nature. So NPU president Keri Rodrigues produced a public letter to President Biden, laying much of the blame for inaction on Biden himself—a curious position for a member of the Massachusetts Democratic State Committee. As to denouncing Republican intransigence to any action on gun safety? Speechless.

NPU, a charter and privatization front, is fighting the Biden administration on regulation of charter schools. Privatization schemes are almost wholly dependent on Republican votes.

Real mama bears fight for kids, not oligarchs.

These groups aren’t speaking out because they can’t. They’re part of the problem. Follow the money.

Maurice T. Cunningham is author of “Dark Money and the Politics of School Privatization.”