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The Grand Rapids-based Acton Institute has essentially declared war on the Movement for Black Lives

June 22, 2020

What kind of a political vision do you support, especially when your organization acts as an ideological cheerleader for Neo-Liberal Capitalism? Such an organization would not support a vision that promotes collective liberation and challenges systems of oppression, such as White Supremacy.

The Acton Institute continues to demonstrate not only its allegiance to Capitalism, they continue to solidify their commitment to White Supremacy.

Since the current uprising against police violence against the Black community, the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty has posted several articles that have attacked the uprising taking place across the county.

We have documented two instances since the police murder of George Floyd in May. The first article that demonstrates their allegiance to White Supremacy was posted in late May, where the Acton Institute writer states that “too much information” led to the riot in Minneapolis. 

Last week, Acton writer Rev. Ben Johnson made the claim that the looting of businesses  during the riots “hurts the poor.” Rev. Johnson continued his arrogance in the face of what Black insurgent scholar Robin D.G. Kelley refers to as one of the most important liberation movements since the 1960s – the Black Lives Matter movement

In Rev. Johnson’s most recent article, he calls into question the vision of Black Lives Matter by stating: 

It is a radical pressure group that embraces a vista of controversial, extremist positions. Those who march under its banner are unwittingly putting themselves in a position to be identified by BLM’s activists as endorsing these beliefs.

What Rev. Ben Johnson has done in his article, is to distort the message and vision of Black Lives Matter, by attempting to reframe what they are calling for. For example, Johnson uses headings in black to highlight BLM principles. In one example, he says that BLM wants to Dismantle the Family. It is true that BLM wants to dismantle the idea of the nuclear family, by advocating for a larger communal/village commitment to raising children. The Acton Institute writer equates this vision with an expansion of the welfare system.

It is vitally important for those of us who want to be allies in the Movement for Black Lives, to familiarize ourselves with the political vision of this movement, especially since organizations like the Acton Institute not only want to marginalize the Movement for Black Lives, they want to dismiss the lived experiences of the Black community and their struggles against White Supremacy. The Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty has in effect declared war on the Movement for Black Lives, and since the think tank is headquartered in Grand Rapids, it is important that we expose them for the White Supremacists that they are.

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