With an important mayoral race in Kenosha in 2024, we asked each of the candidates for a statement about Kenosha MassResistance.
Their statements are below in the order received.
We've been unable to reach Randy Delaney, who has declared his candidacy. We will update this page should he issue a statement.
Kenosha MassResistance announced its formation at the August 2023 KUSD school board meeting. It's leaders are Caleb Laitinen, Karen Mahoney and Blaise Mahoney and their actions are being assisted by an extremist from California, Arthur Schaper.
MassResistance is identified as a national anti-LGBT hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. SPLC has tracked extremism for decades in the United States and was instrumental in defunding the KKK.
Since its formation, Kenosha MassResistance has:
- falsely claimed there is pornography in KUSD schools;
- attracted the attention of dangerous extremist groups to Kenosha, including a group associated with bomb threats against schools/hospitals and a man whose book banning behavior is so extreme the courts awarded a Wisconsin school district a 4-year restraining order against him;
- called for the firing of KUSD school staff;
- suggested KUSD librarians could be imprisoned over books that make them uncomfortable;
- submitted multiple book challenges to KUSD. Their book challenges have heavily targeted books with LGBT content. They indicate they have not read most of the books they are challanging. None of the members of MassResistance have children in KUSD schools;
- distributed fliers in the community, falsely claiming school board members support pornography in schools, again featuring primarily LGBT content;
- attacked individuals on social media who have spoken up against them with false claims they are sexual groomers, meaning people who gain children's trust in order to sexually abuse them, and that they support pornography;
- falsely claimed on social media and at school board meetings to have been threatened and harassed by the Kenosha County Democratic Party and Forward Kenosha and falsely claimed to have filed a police report against the two organizations;
- targeted local churches and a religious organization that opposes their extremist tactics.
You can read more about their actions and why the extremism of MassResistance is bad for Kenosha here.
You can read more Kelly Hutchinson, who gained access to KUSD student directory information for thousands of students and his efforts to ban books here.
You can read more about their false claims of filing a police report against the Kenosha County Democratic Party and Forward Kenosha here.
You can learn more about how KUSD is handling MassResistance's book challenges here.
You can learn more about the process KUSD has in place for parents anxious about book content to control what their own child reads here.
"I was unware and never heard of MassResistance movement and had to google the group to learn what they are. After reading the information, it is obvious to me that they are a hate group and have no place in Kenosha or anywhere in this country.
"Kenosha’s citizens deserve to raise their children in a community free from the cruelty of hateful prejudice. The recent emergence of a Southern Poverty Law Center denoted hate group called 'Mass Resistance' has raised serious concerns across America. Groups like this which espouse hateful rhetoric, smear attacks, and mob mentality serve no purpose other than dividing communities. While there is a place for political discourse, the actions of groups like Mass Resistance detract from a government formed of the people, by the people, and for all people."
"While I may not have personal familiarity with MassResistance, I do hold a differing view. Now, let's be clear, I'm an advocate for age-appropriate books in our schools, but I'm staunchly opposed to book banning. Ray Bradbury and George Orwell, in their iconic works, have vividly depicted the dire consequences of such actions. Their words serve as stark reminders we can't ignore."
“MassResistance is a terrorist organization that uses genocidal tactics in an attempt to erase the legitimate LGBTQIA+ identities in communities across the globe to further their corrupt and anti-science right-wing agenda.”