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West Michigan Far Right Watch: The Acton Institute still hates the Movement for Black Lives and Ryan Kelley loves Kyle Rittenhouse

November 28, 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 two examples this week. The first example comes to us from the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty. Ever since the nation erupted in protest to the police murder of George Floyd, the Acton Institute has demonstrated over and over again their racist ideological tendencies and their contempt for the Movement for Black Lives. 

In June of 2020, the Acton Institute essentially declared war on the Movement for Black Lives.

In April of 2021, the Acton Institute noted that Derek Chauvin was guilty, but the real problem was the riots in Minneapolis, along with Black Clergy and Black politicians.

On November 17th, on their radio show Acton Line, the Acton Institute once again demonstrated their hatred for the Movement for Black Lives. The guest for the Acton Line radio show was Kevin Schmiesing, director of research at the Freedom & Virtue Institute and coauthor and editor of the newly released Race and Justice in America. Schmiesing said that part of the problem in the US was that there was “too much of an emphasis on race.”

The Acton guest went on to say that the US is inherently not a racist country and that the system we have is fundamentally sound. The analysis in the new book he edited was that Black people want to blame the system instead of just wanting to work towards reforms or improvements on the system we have. Schmiesing referred to people as either personalists – those who want to take personal responsibility for their actions, and separationists – those who want to blame the system. The Acton Line guest then claimed that Dr. King was a personalist. This tells us a great deal, since there is no way that one can look at the whole life of Dr. King and NOT see that he was challenging systems of power. 

Towards the end of the interview, when asked about what resources people should look to for solution to racism, Kevin Schmiesing suggested the far right Hillsdale College project, the 1776 Project, the Freedom & Virtue Institute, the US Constitution and Christianity.

The second example comes to us from the Facebook page of Ryan Kelley, founder of the American Patriot Council and Republican candidate for Governor in Michigan.

Between November 19 and November 24, Ryan Kelley posted 4 different images/memes demonstrating that he supports and loves Kyle Rittenhouse. Here are those images.

Ryan Kelley claims to be a devout Catholic, while the Acton Institute was founded by a Catholic Priest. This is not the only thing they have in common. While the White Supremacy of Ryan Kelley is more visible, the White Supremacy of the Acton Institute is just as dangerous. In fact, one could argue that the ideological defense of White Supremacy that comes from the Acton Institute, lays the foundation for people like Ryan Kelley to be so brazenly racist in their words and their actions. We would all be wise to see how the Acton Institute and Ryan Kelley benefit from each other.

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