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West Michigan Far Right Watch for the week of October 18: Patriot Streetfighters, so-called labor shortages and the Restoration of America

October 17, 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.

In today’s post investigating the Far Right in West Michigan, we take a look at two religious right events, along with what one Acton Institute writer believes is causing the current so-called labor shortage.

We begin in an event that takes place in Holland on October 18, an event that is billed as The American Restoration: A Message of Hope, Renewal and Revival to America’s Leading Cities and Churches. The event is co-sponsored by the Ottawa County Patriots and Faith Wins. The Ottawa County Patriots is led by Steve Redmond and their website states that there mission is:

Promoting awareness and understanding of American Government, the free enterprise system, traditional American values and related political or civic issues through education and citizen involvement.

More accurately, the Ottawa County Patriots are far right Trump supporters, who, amongst many other far right views, despise Black Lives Matter and regularly have retired cops as speakers at their events. 

Faith Wins is a national group that attempted to mobilize faith leaders to influence government and public policy. Faith Wins is promoting their American Restoration tour, which will be at the Holland Civic Arena on October 18. One of the cosponsors of the American Restoration Tour is the Pacific Justice Institute, which the Southern Poverty Law Center identifies as an anti-LGBT hate group.  The Pacific Justice Institute is currently suing the City of Los Angeles, because they are requiring police officer to be fully vaccinated.

The big speaker at this event is David Barton, the founder of WallBuilders. WallBuilders is another Christian group that seeks to influence government, specifically in a far right direction, which upholds a system of power and privilege that centers whiteness, patriarchy and capitalism. 

Patriot Streetfighter

The second Religious Right event in Wednesday, October 20th at the Crossroad Conference Center, which is near 68th Street and US 131. This event features Scott McKay, a life-long entrepreneur, who has been involved in politics for several decades, but really got excited when Donald Trump announced he was running in 2016. McKay writes, “finally someone that won’t get caught up in the corruption in DC.”  McKay also does a show called Tipping Point Radio.  

Joining McKay, are several other white dudes, from chiropractors, financial advisers and former rock stars. This event, which center’s the person of Scott McKay, is essentially a way to rally Trump supporters, based on the most recent posts on McKay’s Facebook page. The photos and video of McKay’s Patriot Streetfighter tour, is almost exclusively unmasked white people, which is not exactly a surprise.

So-called Labor Shortage

The last example for our Far Right Watch today, is a recent article from the Grand Rapids-based Far Right Think Tank, the Acton Institute.  The article in question is entitled, The current labor crisis started before the pandemic and has much to teach us.

The Acton Institute writer essentially blames the current education system, with an emphasis on dismissing college degrees. What the Acton Institute writer is advocating for is more people getting into a skills trade. The Acton Institute writer then shifted their focus to the message of Mike Rowe. Rowe has conservative/neo-liberal economic views, and leans towards a conservative political view. 

What is missing from the Acton Institute article, which is not surprising, is the analysis that the so-called labor shortage, is not a shortage at all, but an awakening of working class people who are realizing their power to demand better wages and working conditions. What is happening around workers and employers right now, is what Jack Rasmus refers to as The Great Strike of 2021.  Rasmus’ main point is summarized in his article, stating:

That fact is evident today as millions of US workers are refusing to return to their jobs. They are ‘withholding their labor’ searching for better pay and a future.

This assessment is radically different from what the Acton Institute writer presents, which is not surprising, since the Acton Institute is fundamentally pro-Capitalism Think Tank, that always defends the free market system of Capitalism. 

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