“Upper East Side moms Facebook group implodes after intense diversity fight”
The UES Mommas, a group of nearly 40,000 women who usually trade tips on nursery schools and strollers, roiled for days over racial issues, including whether to add a black moderator or even if conversation about the protests over the killing of George Floyd was even allowed.
“You can’t decide that you’ve got a mom’s group and that the topic of race and protests is off limits. It’s all interwoven with parenting. It’s kind of an unrealistic position to have right now,” said Adia Tucker, 40, who is black and lives in Queens.
Tucker was even more surprised that the white moderator refused to budge when members called for the addition of a black mom to help oversee the private group.
“I have no intention of adding admins right now. I have worked my ass off to attempt to lead this group in a way that accounts for what its members want,” the existing moderator, Lindsey Plotnick Berger, posted on May 30.
Addy Spriggle, 38, a lawyer from the Upper East Side, told The Post that she made the original request.
“I thought that would be an excellent opportunity for a group that has nearly 40K women to step up in support of not just black women, but to show support for the black community,” said Spriggle, who is black.
But Berger, 37, a lawyer who lives on Long Island, told Spriggle in a text exchange viewed by The Post that if anyone objected they could take a hike.
“The leadership of the group is what it is and if anyone is unhappy in the group for any reason whatsoever that person is under not obligation to stay in the group,” she wrote, adding that Spriggle’s messages were “inching close to harassment.”‘
When the exchange was posted to the group, moms became incensed.
“It felt that it was feeding on the angry black women stereotype,” said Pearl Brady, 35, who lives in Astoria and is white.
Berger later said “I apologize if my frustration got the better of me and led to poor language choice.” But Spriggle, Tucker and Brady were all booted out of the group.
By June 1, the group was frozen — meaning no one could post anything to it.
On Thursday, Berger posted a lengthy note saying she would welcome another moderator but that “adding the right person is not a quick and simple task.”
“It is now evident to me that this group cannot serve its intended purpose in its current form. As a result, I have made the difficult decision to shut down the group for now,” she wrote.
But hours later, it was reactivated with two new administrators, one black and one Asian.
Berger told The Post Friday she had been in talks with the women “before any incidents happened.”
“I just expedited their elevation, so-to-speak, to administrator,” she said.
The black moderator, Mina Ennin Black, did not respond to a request for comment.
Berger said some members were removed for violating the rules including take screenshots of conversations.
She said she would no longer be the administrator and was handing it over to the new moderators.
In the meantime, competing groups have sprung up on Facebook. One calls itself UES Mommas* and says it is “an inclusive parenting group” and it displays a logo in a rainbow of colors.
This is not the first time the moms’ group has gone off the rails over race.
In 2017, two women hired lawyers and sent cease-and-desist notices to other group members who were accusing them of being racists. One of the women had written that the Black Lives Matter movement “serves no purpose.”
A few months later, the group was locked down after member debates over a book called “P is for Palestine” got out of hand.
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