On October 6, 2017, The Atlantic published an article entitled "The ACLU Should Keep Representing Deplorables"--which is about how the American Civil Liberties Union has become hesitant to defend the free speech rights of the Alt-Right following the Unite the Right rally which occurred in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August of 2017. The Atlantic referenced a New York Times article in which Attorney Kyle Bristow--the executive director and founder of the Foundation for the Marketplace of Ideas, Inc.--was quoted.
The Atlantic noted in its article the rise of FMI:
Unintended Consequences of Going Wobbly
The end of the New York Times article on the ACLU, its official willingness to advocate for the alt-right in the future, and dissenting opinion among some staff members ends with an ominous line that suggests an unintended consequence of the controversy:
Whatever comes of the debate inside the ACLU, leaders of the alt-right say they are looking past the civil-liberties union and seeking to forge more sympathetic legal alliances. "We do not want or need their help," Kyle Bristow, a Michigan lawyer who identifies with the alt-right, wrote in an email, explaining that he was building a network of like-minded lawyers.
That passage is clarifying. * * * In the ACLU's absence, there are poor clients who'd go entirely without representation; but the alt-right, which is not impoverished, will not go without representation.
And its new legal team is likely to have a very different agenda.
[If the ACLU declines to represent the Alt-Right] the vacuum will likely be filled by lawyers more ideologically aligned with the alt-right and its goals. It will be a bitter irony if the unintended consequences of the fissure within the ACLU is the rise of a legal network of alt-right aligned lawyers who use First Amendment litigation to gain legal expertise and raise funds that are directed to the sorts of precedents and bigoted ends they want to advance.
The leftist Southern Poverty Law Center has also opined that FMI is becoming influential. In an article published in the SPLC's 2017 Spring issue of Intelligence Report, the SPLC states that FMI "appears to become, in effect, the legal arm of the Alt-Right. In the past year, its five attorneys and other associates led by Bristow have pushed it into the forefront of the American radical right. * * * Despite its anodyne name, * * * the Foundation for the Marketplace of Ideas, is preparing to go to war. * * * The foundation is growing quickly."
Richard Spencer--who is the foremost advocate of Alt-Right philosophy--has stated that "Bristow is doing amazing work on behalf of me and the Alt-Right. He's worthy of your support." Spencer also said, "Kyle Bristow has been indispensable in my battles with universities. He deserves support."
FMI is the Alt-Right version of the SPLC, Anti-Defamation League, and National Lawyers Guild, and huge legal victories are certainly on the horizon for the Alt-Right with FMI as its "in-house attorneys." Will you support its mission, which is "to educate the public about the freedoms guaranteed by the United States Constitution and people who and organizations which strive to usurp said freedoms"?
Hail (Legal) Victory!
FMI is a non-partisan educational organization approved by the Internal Revenue Service as a public foundation operating under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. FMI does not endorse, support, or oppose candidates or proposed legislation. Contributions to FMI by individuals, corporations, and foundations are tax-deductible.
To donate to FMI, please mail a check or money order made out to “Foundation for the Marketplace of Ideas, Inc.” to:
Foundation for the Marketplace of Ideas, Inc.
P.O. Box 381164
Clinton Twp., MI 48038
Please be sure to include your name and mailing address with your donation so that a tax-deductible donation receipt can be mailed back to you.
Alternatively, payment by credit card can be made via the website of GuideStar—which rates FMI as a platinum participant. (The only donation feature is immediately below the header and above the taskbar.)
You can also sign up to pledge a monthly donation by credit card to Kyle Bristow via Hatreon.