Michigan state Sen. Mallory McMorrow raised more than $1 million after a video of her rousing speech aimed at hateful Republican “nonsense” went viral earlier this year, according to campaign finance filings reported Thursday by Politico.
In April, McMorrow — an Oakland County Democrat who represents Berkley, Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Clawson, Rochester, Rochester Hills, Royal Oak, and Troy — was falsely accused in a fundraising email sent by Republican Lana Theis of Brighton of being a pedophile who was “outraged” that she “can’t groom and sexualize kindergartners” or teach that “8-year olds are responsible for slavery.”
The outrageous claims were a reference to Republican backlash, fueled by the QAnon conspiracy theory, against the teaching of racial inequality and LGBTQ+ issues in schools. Last year, Theis introduced legislation that would prevent K-12 schools from teaching so-called “critical race theory.”
In response, McMorrow took to the state Senate floor to issue a searing rebuttal.
“I am a straight, white, Christian, married, suburban mom who knows that the very notion that learning about slavery or redlining or systemic racism means that children are being taught to feel bad or hate themselves because they are white is absolute nonsense,” McMorrow said.
Senator Lana Theis accused me by name of grooming and sexualizing children in an attempt to marginalize me for standing up against her marginalizing the LGBTQ community...in a fundraising email, for herself.— Mallory McMorrow (@MalloryMcMorrow) April 19, 2022
Hate wins when people like me stand by and let it happen. I won't. pic.twitter.com/jL5GU42bTv
She added, “I want every child in this state to feel seen, heard, and supported, not marginalized and targeted because they are not straight, white, and Christian. We cannot let hateful people tell you otherwise to scapegoat and deflect from the fact that they are not doing anything to fix the real issues that impact people’s lives. And I know hate will only win if people like me stand by and let it happen.”
The clip swiftly went viral, garnering millions of views and praise from pundits, like one at The Atlantic, who noted the speech was effective because McMorrow “wasn’t afraid to be emotional, or even enraged.”
McMorrow’s husband and treasurer Ray Wert said contributions came from 11,000 donors from all 50 states, including more than $250,000 from 6,200 contributors in less than 24 hours after the speech.
Meanwhile, Theis’s fundraising efforts netted a mere $235, according to Politico.