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West Michigan Far Right Watch for the week of February 14 – 21: Corporate Welfare, eulogizing Rush Limbaugh and Patriot hypocrisy

February 20, 2021

Welcome to the next installment of West Michigan Far Right Watch, where we keep tabs on the far right in this area and provide a summary of what they are up to and what kind of messages they are promoting in this community. As a matter of clarification, when we say the Far Right, we mean those in the streets who fight to defend White Supremacy, those who promote far right ideology, and those with political and economic power.

We have 3 examples for this installment. The first installment for the West Michigan Far Right Watch comes to us from the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce. The State of Michigan has awarded the business sector in Michigan $39 million in public funds for their Going Pro Talent Fund. This Going Pro Talent Fund is designed to redirect public funds to employers to train their workforce to “meet real-time demand.” Why are public funds being used as a form of corporate welfare? This money, which could go directly to provide relief to families across the state, is instead assisting the private sector to make more money. Why are Capitalist even relying on government assistance? I always thought that Capitalists hated big government, especially if it means that government intervenes in the “free market.” This use of public money for private benefit, which the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce celebrates, is exactly why the Chamber is included in this week’s West Michigan Far Right Watch.

Our second example for this week is the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty. The Acton Institute is regularly part of the West Michigan Far Right Watch and this week they are once again deserving of making this list.

The Acton Institute has 3 recent posts on their website that are worth drawing attention to. The first is their condemnation of the proposed $15 an hour federal minimum wage. The far right Think Tank makes the claim that increasing the minimum wage, “is only likely to prolong pandemic pain for America’s most vulnerable businesses and workers.” Such a claim is one of the long-standing arguments from the Capitalist Class and those who defend this class, even though it is patently false. When exactly has the Acton Institute been concerned about the well being of workers?

The Acton Institute also posted a condemnation against environmental groups that are wanting to criminalize the actions of various industrial sectors that are major contributors to pollution and climate change, such as the oil industry, fracking, cattle ranching, commercial fishing, mining and agribusiness. The Acton Institute post even goes so far as to defend the Albert Tar Sands industry for being environmentally responsible. This defense of those who destroy and disregard the environment is nothing new for the Acton Institute, especially since the Acton Institute has received at least $315,000 from ExxonMobil to deny climate change.

The third reason why the Acton Institute made our far right list this week, was their eulogizing of the hate mongering White Supremacist Rush Limbaugh. The Acton Institute particularly shared Rush Limbaugh’s hatred of Socialism.  

Our last example for this week in West Michigan Far Right Watch is the American Patriot Council. In a recent blog post, the American Patriot Council denounced Andrew Cuomo for COVID deaths of nursing home residents. While we think that Cuomo deserves to be scrutinized for this issue, it is a bit hypocritical for the American Patriot Council to call out politicians for such actions, when they have consistently called the COVID crisis a hoax and refuse to wear masks in support of public health. This was the American Patriot Council’s motive for organizing anti-lock down protests in Lansing and Grand Rapids last year. Their blog post on this topic is even more absurd by promoting the candidacy of Ryan Kelley for Governor, especially considering the blog post was written by either Kelley or AMC co-founder Jason Howland.

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