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Sins of Omission: The Grand Rapids-based Acton Institute, the murder of George Floyd and the failure of White institutions to acknowledge the violence done to black people

June 1, 2020

The Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty continues to demonstrate that they have no empathy for those who are fighting repression.

The only post, as of this writing, that is responding to the police murder of George Floyd in Minnesota, was an article by Dan Hugger, entitled, George Floyd reveals the bankruptcy of the elites

Despite the headline, the Acton writer doesn’t really blame elites directly, meaning he doesn’t call out the people in power – elites – like the President or members of Congress, or the capitalist class or religious leaders. Instead, in the very first sentence, Hugger writes:

The protests, looting, and fires which have rocked the city of Minneapolis after the tragic death of George Floyd are yet another illustration of the comprehensive failure of our leading institutions, which seem incompetent and unprepared to handle society’s widespread anger and alienation.

It is instructive that this sentence is not so much about George Floyd, but about the public’s response to Floyd’s murder at the hand of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. In fact, the Acton article doesn’t even mention that Floyd was murdered by a cop, nor does it say that George Floyd was a black man and that his killer was a white man.

Racism and White Supremacy are completely omitted from the Acton article, which means they are never mentioned as the source(s) of “society’s widespread anger and alienation.

The Acton writer does name certain “isms” that are to blame, like Communism, Nationalism, Socialism and populism as contributing to the problem, but nothing about structural racism, institutionalized discrimination or the history of White Supremacy.

In addition, the problem, in the eyes of the Acton writer, is, “the comprehensive failure of our leading institutions, which seem incompetent and unprepared to handle society’s widespread anger and alienation.” 

Later in the article, the Acton writer cites Martin Gurri, a professor and author of several books, who lays the blame of the “revolt of the public”,” which is the tsunami of information unleashed by the internet.

Apparently people in Minneapolis are pissed off because they have too much information. Sweet Jesus! This is the type of intellectual arrogance we have come to know from the Acton Institute, since in was founded in 1990.

More importantly, this article is just the most recent example of how the Acton Institute is not only complicit in structural racism and White Supremacy, but they perpetuate and re-create these systems of oppression, especially by through their dogmatic adherence to Neo-Liberal Capitalism.

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