When presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy holds a town hall with Moms for Liberty co-founder Tiffany Justice on Thursday, he will be appearing with the head of a newly-designated “hate group.”

At least that’s the view of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a far-left political organization, which is drawing scorn for labeling Moms for Liberty and other parental rights organizations as “extremist organizations,” including them on the same “hate map” as neo-Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan.

Like many SPLC critics, Ramaswamy dismissed the attack as “a farce.”

“The SPLC is a tentacle of the woke-industrial complex,” he told NHJournal. “I’m proud to be the first candidate to sign the Moms for Liberty Parent Pledge. Tomorrow [Thursday, June 8], I’ll be in New Hampshire hosting a Parents Rights Town Hall with my favorite ‘hate group’ (badge of honor).”

While often referenced in media reports as a neutral authority on hate crimes, the SPLC makes no secret of its left-of-center politics. In its report lumping parents protesting school board policies with the white supremacist militia movement, the SPLC made repeated partisan attacks against Republicans. It also claimed “backlash is a political strategy,” not a natural response from concerned parents. Among their list of indicators that Moms For Liberty is an “extremist group” is its support for shutting down the federal Department of Education, a policy embraced by millions of Americans and multiple presidential candidates every four years.

The SPLC report included 523 “hate groups” in its latest map, which includes 230 chapters of Moms for Liberty, No Left Turn in Education, and other parental rights organizations. It also includes the Family Research Council and the Alliance Defending Freedom, both organizations promoting religious liberty and Christian beliefs, on the “hate groups” list.

In response, Moms for Liberty tweeted, “Last year, the Biden White House worked with the NSBA to label Parents Domestic Terrorists. Today, the SPLC labels our organization – an org full of moms who care about their kids – a Hate Group. This is a coordinated attempt to silence and suppress us.”

Justice told NHJournal the SPLC’s actions are “absurd.”

“They put our picture next to the KKK? How ridiculous is that?”

Asked why the parents’ rights movement is facing so much backlash, Justice said it starts at the White House. “Look at what Joe Biden said. ‘There is no such thing as someone else’s child. Our nation’s children are all our children.’ Parents are saying, ‘No! They are my children.’ We have a right to oversee their upbringing. The culture war is in the classroom, parents are getting involved in protecting our kids, and now they’re fighting back.”

That’s not the only Biden connection. The Washington Free Beacon reports the author of the new SPLC report met with Biden’s National Security Council counterterrorism director John Picarelli at the White House earlier this year.

The New Hampshire Moms For Liberty chapter did not respond to a request for comment, but they did post a message on Twitter:

“Labels only have the power you give them. We are not now, nor will we ever be, a ‘hate group’ no matter what the SPLC says. If you understand,d defending parental rights & fighting to improve education is not hateful b, but instead, is our duty.”

Jeremy Tedesco, Alliance Defending Freedom’s senior vice president of corporate engagement, said, “The Southern Poverty Law Center is a thoroughly discredited, blatantly partisan activist outfit known for sexism, racism, and condoning domestic terrorism. No one should be listening to the SPLC. It is preposterous to now see the SPLC target moms and dads who simply want to have a voice at school board meetings—this is an organization that has lost its way entirely.”

Hugh Brown, vice president of the American Life League, called the SPLC “a joke.”

“It’s something that began with genuine intent when there was a need to combat racism in the 50s, 60s, perhaps the 70s during the Civil Rights movement. And now, what you see is the perpetual hunt for the next created civil right. Because they have to justify their existence, they are very much just a left-wing, nonsensical group that takes its orders, more than likely, from Washington.”

“We saw the FBI, the Department of Justice target parents here in Virginia and other places, parents attending school board meetings,” said Brown. “So, they’re just following suit. Parents advocating for children is our God-given responsibility.”

Ramaswamy will be one of several GOP presidential hopefuls appearing at the Moms For Liberty national summit later this month in Philadelphia. The schedule also includes Gov. Ron DeSantis, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, and former President Donald Trump. Justice says her organization has reached out to Biden but received no response.

In a statement, Justice and fellow co-founder Tina Descovich noted, “Two-thirds of Americans think the public education system is on the wrong track today. Calling parents, who want to be a part of their child’s education, ‘hate groups’ or ‘bigoted’ just further exposes what this battle is all about: Who fundamentally gets to decide what is taught to our kids in school – parents or government employees?

“We believe that parental rights do not stop at the classroom door, and no amount of hate from groups like this is going to stop that.”