On this episode of The Bespoke Parenting Podcast, host Julie Gunlock talks to Jackie Toboroff about her new book “Supermoms Activated: 12 Profiles of Hero Moms Leading the American Revival.” Julie and Jackie discuss the reason she wrote the book, the 12 women featured, and why it’s important moms not forget what happened to our kids during COVID. Jackie also describes the difficulty she’s faced getting booksellers to offer this important book. Lastly, Jackie gives her predictions about the future of education in America. It’s a don’t-miss episode!


TRANSCRIPT

Julie Gunlock:

Hey, everyone. I’m Julie Gunlock, host of the Bespoke Parenting Hour. For those new to the program, this podcast is focused on how parents should custom-tailor their parenting style to fit what’s best for their families, themselves, and, most importantly, their kids. Today, I’m joined by Jackie Toboroff, a Manhattan native and mother of two.

Hey, Jackie.

Jackie Toboroff:

So grateful to be here. Thank you.

Julie Gunlock:

Jackie, this is such a thrill for me. Jackie has been involved in local and New York state politics for years. She even ran for office herself in New York. Jackie serves as the editor-in-chief of CD Media’s online news publication, The Manhattan, and her column called On the Sidewalks of New York is a weekly feature at human events, so definitely look that up.

But the reason Jackie is here with me today is because Jackie wrote this book called Supermoms Activated. Let me hold it up. Oh, my gosh. This is my signed copy, 12 Profiles of Hero Moms Leading to the American Revival. If you look really close, really close, that’s my name, Julie Gunlock. I was one of the moms featured in this book. And Jackie, boy, you captured my struggle during the COVID shutdowns and, just frankly, my struggle with my local school district. So thank you so much. I really want to get into this.

Let’s get started. What encouraged you, this is far different than, I mean, equally as messy, but very different from your usual beat of covering New York City. What encouraged you to do this?

Jackie Toboroff:

Moms were silenced for over two years. And I knew the Biden administration, as well as the teachers union and mainstream media, were going to look to revise/erase history. And the 12 of you Supermoms really did lead to the American revival. Even here in New York City, I helped organize Moms for Lee when Lee Zeldin was running against Kathy Hochul, and he lost. But the coalition that I helped create was mainly comprised of Democrat and Independent moms, and because of them, we won the majority. The point is you Supermoms that are impacting policy, effectuating change, running for school boards, starting organizations, podcasting, not being anonymous, voting, bringing friends to vote, starting your own schools. You are creating a tidal wave, and as a result, we are in a better place than we were in 2020.

Julie Gunlock:

We certainly are. But you mention moms were silenced. Talk a little bit about that and about what these women, and these are incredible women that you interviewed here. I mean Tina Descovich, I mean, she’s with Moms for Liberty. That is a whole movement. I am with Independent Women’s Network, again, launched because of this silencing. Asra Nomani, my goodness, what a fighter, right? So, tell us a little bit about how that silencing woke a dragon in a lot of these moms.

Jackie Toboroff:

I will say you mention these 12 women. It was crucial that I chose women from all different socioeconomic backgrounds, religious and racial backgrounds, as well as political party backgrounds. I would say at least 50% of the moms in this book are Democrats. I don’t know if they still vote that way, but they certainly were registered at one point as Democrats. All of these mothers have more in common than the left would like you to believe. We are united in the fact that we will not co-parent with the government. We will not co-parent with the school. It doesn’t matter what our race, our religion, or our socioeconomic background is. You come for our kids, we will rip off your face.

Julie Gunlock:

I love it.

Jackie Toboroff:

Right. I mean, that’s pretty much what it is. You mentioned Tina Descovich, Asra Nomani. We have Sara Gonzales, she’s a host at Blaze. She went viral because she exposed those drag queen shows that really are geared towards sexually exploiting children.

I’m sorry, what was your question?

Julie Gunlock:

No, but I want to talk a little bit about the silencing. And honestly, there is no order to this because I think we’re both still angry. I am still angry about what happened. I want to talk about that silence, but I also want to talk about what I call amnesia. You mentioned right away, you talked about that you knew the Biden administration was going to figure out a way to memory hold this, and that is true. We see that today. We see that today. So, I want to talk about how parents were silenced first. What were examples that you put in this book of how-

Jackie Toboroff:

So parents were so fearful that they were going to be doxxed, their children were going to be failed out of school, get crappy grades, get bullied, have no-

Julie Gunlock:

Socially ostracized.

Jackie Toboroff:

Socially, right. Okay. Fathers, mothers would lose their jobs, be pariahs kicked out of their places of worship, their homes. We have examples of that. Arrested, we have examples of that. Listen, the Biden administration labeled moms and dads domestic terrorists. Do you know what happens to domestic terrorists? It’s not pretty. Then you had Joy-Ann Reid. I mean, first, she said CRT, Critical Race Theory, wasn’t happening. She called us conspiracy… I mean, they called us crazy. They literally called us crazy that we admitted it was happening.

It was like they were trying to drive us crazy. They were trying to create wedges so that we had no friends. We were isolated. We were in total panic mode. It seemed like the doctors were working against us, pushing vaccines that we might’ve taken. Some of the parents in the book are okay with vaccines. Some of them didn’t want them. It doesn’t-

Julie Gunlock:

Their choice.

Jackie Toboroff:

Their choice, exactly. On every level, it was full-scale knives coming in every single direction. You didn’t know where to look. That was the silencing.

Julie Gunlock:

We have to cover the memory hole issue. I swear I’ve got a list of 8 million questions for you, but I want to expand on this a little bit. In my chapter, I talked to you, and I thought you nailed it when you wrote about it. And I was so glad you included this because we had a lot of hours of conversation. I was so glad that you included one portion, which is the subversive way in which they shut me up. And it was this sort of, I talked about the phrase, “Give grace,” and, “It’s a road we haven’t mapped,” or, “It’s new territory, uncharted.” That was it, “Uncharted territory.” And this idea that I mean, I’m asking basic questions about this online program that they’ve set up for my children.

And every time I would ask a question, I would get this response, “Please give us grace, please. This is uncharted territory.” And I’ll never forget, it was like a year, 12 months into it, and a teacher said that to me, “Please give grace. This is uncharted…,” and you could tell, you could tell that these were the talking points provided to these particular teachers. And I said, “It has been 12 months. That land is charted. We know what we’re doing, and we know the next steps should be opening schools.” So talk a little bit about how parents were just either fully ignored, or they were threatened like you said, or they were treated in this sickening, cloyingly sweet way.

Jackie Toboroff:

This isn’t a matter of opinion, this is a fact. I mean, Asra Nomani also details… They cut off her mic at the school board meeting. I mean, this is not up for debate. Like, “Oh, we’re crazy. We felt ignored.” No, we were not only ignored; we were silenced. Our mics were literally cut off. They pivoted because of Covid. They used this as an excuse to have limited school board meetings. By the way, school board meetings are open for every taxpayer. We are all funding our own demise. You don’t have to be a parent to go to a school board meeting. They limited the times that people were allowed to speak. They did a whole host of little tricks. Like you said, the language was similar from school to school. It was legalese. It was bizarre. It was vague. You never got answers. You really never even got any sort of empathy.

Julie Gunlock:

No. Yes.

Jackie Toboroff:

One of the mothers in this book, sorry, she’s actually the only one who’s not a mother. She considers herself a mother of all children. She was a former public school teacher, Kali Fontanilla; she talks about how she’s a victim of sexual abuse. No one gave her grace when she didn’t want to wear the mask because, during one of her assaults, she couldn’t breathe. Her whole face was covered, and she had post-traumatic stress disorder from wearing the mask. There was no grace given to her, a victim of two different sexual assaults.

Julie Gunlock:

Jackie, that is such an incredible point, and I think it really is something that I’ve thought about. I’ve never written about this, but it is really interesting: the lack of empathy. And you actually did put that; that was in my chapter because I had talked about this. We have women who are quitting their jobs because they have to homeschool or they have to help their children. As Mary Katharine Ham put it, Zoom butler their children through school. And there wasn’t an ounce of sympathy for the destructive nature of this for families and their own and also families who might be affected by Covid shutdowns and the economy going south. There just was no sympathy from parents. And then you think about what teachers got. They got shoved to the front of the line for vaccines, right? First people to get… And then they wouldn’t go back to school.

So I think this book, and we will obviously put the link in. This is so important for everyone. It’s also important for non-parents who may not have experienced this firsthand. They need to know what the government did, what teachers’ unions and what these schools did to our kids and our parents.

I want to talk a little bit, Jackie, about this, I don’t know if you remember this happened last year… when Emily Oster, a lot of people like her, writing because she reassures people that you have one cup of coffee when you’re pregnant, and you’re going to kill the baby. She reassures people on that kind of stuff. But she said, and I think it was in The Atlantic, she called for amnesty, “Let’s just forgive.” Let’s talk about that, Jackie. When I forgive someone, usually they’ve apologized, and I am happy to forgive them for whatever they’ve done. Has there been any apology from any of these officials, from the Department of Justice, from PTAs, from school boards? Has CDC, Fauci, anyone, has anyone apologized for what occurred?

Jackie Toboroff:

There has been a doubling down. Do you remember when Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, she said that over a hundred thousand children were “In serious condition from Covid.” It was a bald-faced lie. This is a Supreme Court justice. She never apologized for that. Do you know what kind of fear porn that created? Listen, these people have never apologized, and there’s a reason for it. If they apologized, the entire house of cards comes down. We just saw Biden get his umpteenth new COVID-19 vaccine and then get Covid. This is beyond parody. They’re talking about there’s chatter in New York City. We’ve seen this in Washington, DC, bringing back the masks. This is on the heels of the Daily Mail reporting that these masks, they have no efficacy preventing Covid. Listen, we’ve been through this. We’ve seen this movie. They are going to 100% try to bring anything back to shut us down because the mask is a muzzle. It’s a muzzle. It is like Sharia law. We’re completely silenced. We’re invisible.

Julie Gunlock:

How do you feel about this new Supermoms Activated, this new movement? It really is a movement. Because Jackie, I want to ask your opinion. Something that I worry about a little bit is that I want these new activated moms, these 12, but also just around the country, to look at other things besides our schools. Obviously, our schools and what happened in our schools and the power of the teachers’ unions, that’s all really important that that’s been exposed. But I want them to look at, let’s talk about New York City for a second and the immigration policies and the defund the police policies, and all these other things that are destroying that city. Do you think these Supermoms Activated who were activated because of COVID and school shutdowns will pivot to other domestic issues that are really making their lives a living hell?

Jackie Toboroff:

Yes. First, I will say Tina Descovich, she explains this in her chapter quite beautifully. Once a parent, a mother runs for something, whether they win or not, but once they run for something, let’s say school board, and they learn about the budgeting, about the power, about their ability to dictate policy, to help shape what’s happening in their community, anything is possible. And I think at this point, we have to all start asking questions about everything, the entire narrative.

Yesterday, I launched a new initiative with two other mothers here in New York City. We are all from different backgrounds, different political backgrounds, religious, and racial backgrounds, and it is #NewYorkCityWantsAnswers. We have been lied to again about everything, about the illegal migrants that are being called migrants to get rid of the criminality aspect of it, to get rid of the numbers portion because you total the migrants differently than you total the illegal migrants. So they lie about everything. They co-op language. It’s a mind game.

They lie about the economy. Adam said it was 3 billion, then 6 billion, then 12 billion, all within a month to support the illegal migrants. Education nationally, as you know, two-thirds of our nation’s children are not fourth-grade level proficient in reading and writing. Here in New York City, 82% of ninth graders, 82%, are not ninth-grade level proficient in math. Oh, well, why is that important? What do you do in ninth grade? Geometry, algebra, budgeting, every single thing you need in life. That’s kind of a problem. Climate. What about the border being open? Drugs? We have illegal weed shops everywhere. I mean, the entire Democrat policy is like some hair-brained notion that a three-year-old came up with. It’s a recipe for failure.

Julie Gunlock:

I’m sorry to look down at my phone, but because I’m so old now, I can’t remember things. And I was reminding myself to ask you something. You mentioned these horrifying statistics, right? Just awful, right? Meanwhile, the public schools got billions in COVID funding, which they haven’t spent. It’s still out there, right? Meanwhile, we know that because of the school shutdowns, the learning loss is at epidemic levels. But what’s interesting is everybody acts like, “It’s all just because of Covid. It’s all because of Covid.” That was a problem long before Covid. And now, and I’d love your opinion on this because I talked a little bit about that grade inflation going on. It happened when we got my son assessed. When we pulled him out of the public schools, my husband and I we had this sick feeling always. We’re like, “I don’t think he’s doing as well as his grades reflect,” because he was getting great grades, and the teacher’s like, “Oh, everything’s great. Everything’s great.”

And so we had him assessed, and as I mentioned to you and you put in my chapter, that he was entering the eighth grade and had a fifth-grade proficiency level. So that 18 months that we homeschooled, we reviewed fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh-grade math to bring him up to speed. We spent thousands on tutors, and a for-profit school, doesn’t matter. But the point is that we had to invest so much to bring him up to speed, and thank God we caught it in time. But parents are not catching this stuff. We have a whole generation of kids who went through a broken school system. So Covid brought that to the fore. But what should we do? Where should the educational system be, is it school choice? I mean, there’s all these solutions. Where do you see in 10 years, in 20 years, the educational system?

Jackie Toboroff:

This is complex because, in the book, I really tried to leave my voice out of it. It was not about me, it was about you 12. My personal opinion on this is we have to break up the teacher’s union. My personal opinion on this is the federal government has encroached upon states’ rights. They have absolutely no business being in the schools. The teacher’s union donate 99, 99% to Democrat candidates and causes. We’re talking about BLM, Antifa, climate, transitioning. Here in New York State, the Department of Education has made for this coming school year, which has already started, gender affirmation the priority. Children starting from 2.5 years old and up will be helped to transition. They will be relying on a trusted advisor and told to conceal it from their parents.

Now, who is the trusted advisor? Well, the largest teacher’s union, 1.7 million members under Randy Weingarten, this summer were mandated, required to read a book called Gender Queer. Why is this important? They are the trusted advisors. Knowing what our statistics are for reading and math, they’ve been studying up on gender queer. Now, why is this important? They have, along with Biden, fixed the free market. It is no longer a free market. It’s a fixed market that caters to perverts and perverted thoughts, which is another reason I really encourage you to buy this book, Supermoms Activated, because we cannot let them only have an echo chamber of perversion. We have to provide a counter. We have to show them at New York Times, the bestseller list. Give parents another option. There have to be other voices.

Julie Gunlock:

There has to be. And these 12 voices are strong voices. You are an incredible voice for this. Jackie, I hope you come back. This is way too short of an interview, but I did want to really tell our viewers, this is the most important book out there right now. You absolutely have to buy this book, and listen, if you don’t have kids, it doesn’t matter. If your kids are launched, they’re out of the house, they’re in college or they’ve got their own families, particularly grandparents need to read this. This is a really important cautionary tale. And the important thing for us to realize and we are already starting to see is, they’re doing it again. They’re doing it again. So arm yourself, arm yourself. And my wish is people will look beyond school closures beyond these issues.

Jackie, where can people find you? Where can they find you on social media, to all the social media channels.

Jackie Toboroff:

I just want to reiterate one thing. This isn’t just for parents. Any taxpayer, you are funding this. In New York City taxpayers used to spend $28,000 per public school student annually. The prize was to be at the bottom half of the nation for reading and writing, that was last year. Because of the illegals, this year it went up $10,000. New York City taxpayers, whether you have a kid or not, you are spending $38,000 per public school student annually. And New York City’s crisis is everyone’s crisis because when Adams goes to Biden for a handout, all the other states are funding and footing the bill. So please buy Supermoms Activated online only, Barnes and Nobles or Amazon.

Julie Gunlock:

Wait. We have just a few minutes. I just forgot that we needed to talk about this. You’ve mentioned that you might be having some problems getting this book out there. Just briefly, what is going on?

Jackie Toboroff:

So Amazon, in order to be a bestseller on the New York Times bestseller list, you have to sell 5,000 copies in a week. But there are certain requirements. You have to have sold to an independent bookseller; that’s one. Guess what? Independent booksellers are not buying from, not even conservative authors, any author that is not going along with the left-wing agenda. So, they are not able to make the New York Times bestseller list even if they sell more than 5,000 copies. It’s really terrible. So please, all of you buy a copy online, Amazon. Write me a review.

Please read it. The most important thing about this book is that it’s not only what people like Julie say, Julie and these other 11 moms, they provide a blueprint for you to get activated and involved in big ways, in small ways. Whether you’re in the city and you’re Type A or you’re in the country or the suburbs and you prefer to be behind the scenes. These women, they light that match that starts the prairie fire, and this is the only movement that matters.

Julie Gunlock:

Listen, I was really personally very honored to be included in the book. It was so meaningful for me. I was telling my husband that you were my psychotherapist for a little while because I would get on the phone with you and talk and talk and talk, and you were so interested. So thank you so much. Again, everyone listening, go buy this book. It’s great. And Jackie, we will have you on-

Jackie Toboroff:

Anytime. I’m super grateful. Thank you, Julie.

Julie Gunlock:

Thank you, Jackie.

The Bespoke Parenting Podcast with Julie Gunlock is a production of the Independent Women’s Forum. You can send comments and questions to [email protected]. Please help me out by hitting the subscribe button and leaving us a comment or review on Apple Podcast, Acast, Google Play, YouTube, or iwf.org. Hang in there, parents, and go bespoke.