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More evidence that Rick DeVos embraces his family’s ideological legacy

May 31, 2018

For years I have been hearing from people in the community, some who even identify as progressives, that Rick DeVos is different from his parents and grandparents.

The first time that someone suggested that Rick DeVos was different than his family’s right-wing history, was just before the first year of ArtPrize. I was told that I just needed to sit down and talk with him and I would see that he was different.

I responded to this claim that unless he has distanced himself from his family’s money and was willing to publicly come out against their stance on issues like gay marriage, labor unions, public education, religion, politics and capitalism, then he is not really operating any differently than the rest of his family.

Rick solidified his continuation of the DeVos Family ethos, when he founded (with Dick & Betsy’s money) 5 x 5 Night and Start Garden. Venture capitalism and entrepreneurism are easy when you come from billionaire parents and grandparents, but Rick wanted to make his own mark in that arena. His most recent project is WakeStream Ventures

However, if one needed more evidence that Rick DeVos, the son of Dick and Betsy and the grandson of Rich and Helen, was embracing the family’s ideological history, then one need to look no further than the fact that Rick DeVos is now a board member of the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty. 

Rick DeVos follows in his mom’s footsteps, as a board member of the Acton Institute. Betsy DeVos’ mother, Elsa Prince Broekhuizen, is also a current board member. In addition to serving on the board of directors, DeVos Family members have given millions of dollars to the Acton Institute over the years.

By now serving on the Acton Institute board, Rick DeVos further solidifies his commitment to the same right wing, pro-capitalist and religiosity that his family has embraced for decades. After all, the Acton Institute values the wedding of religion and capitalism, which works beautifully for the DeVos Family to justify their wealth and their politics.

The Acton Institute despises organized labor, public education, has taken hundreds of thousands of dollars from Exxon/Mobil to promote climate denial, supports US imperialism and regularly posts anti-Islamic articles on their blog.

Therefore, one cannot sit on the board of an organization that zealously embraces a far right ideology and not support those same principles. The guy who once said he just wants to see “crazy shit happening all over Grand Rapids,” is nothing more than a neo-liberal capitalist, who defends an anti-union, anti-muslim, anti-public education and US imperialism ethos. Rick DeVos is clearly following in the footsteps of Rich, Helen, Dick and Betsy DeVos.

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