A Minnesota businessman and community leader who has lived the quintessential American success story has launched a new movement to combat harmful critical race theory by promoting education, family values and our nation’s founding philosophy.
This man is everything our country needs right now, believe me.
Kendall Qualls grew up with his single mother in Harlem, New York, before later moving to live with his father in a trailer park in Oklahoma. Neither of his parents finished high school.
“I didn’t know how to be successful in this country, but I did know it started with an education,” he recently told Breitbart News in an interview.
“I tell people, ‘Look, I’ve been called trailer trash, ghetto kid, and a lot worse. But, in this country, where you start in life is not where you have to stay in life,’” he said.
While his cousins got involved in “street culture” in Harlem, Qualls worked his way through school, ultimately earning three graduate degrees, serving as an officer in the U.S. Army and becoming a top executive at several Fortune 500 health care companies.
Republican medical technology executive Kendall Qualls launched a congressional bid to unseat first-term Democratic Rep. Dean Phillips in a swing suburban districthttps://t.co/6vPik3MCPP pic.twitter.com/U1GPxTXfQt
— MPR News (@MPRnews) July 30, 2019
He recently lost a bid to beat out incumbent U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips of Minnesota’s 3rd District, but said that his message that “the idea of America works” was remarkably resonant with voters.
“All the political pundits were telling me that for a first-time candidate down-ticket, down-ballot, that for me to get five percent more votes than President Trump in my district, five percent more than the senatorial candidate, Jason Lewis, says a lot about my message,” he said.
It’s not surprising that Qualls’ message would be more popular than former President Donald Trump’s, as what he has to say about how we can most effectively address the issues facing the black community in America today reaches across the partisan divide and offers a refreshing counterpoint to the radical ideology that has conspicuously dominated popular culture over the last year.
He says that every week, “I had people come to me and say, ‘Look, I’ve never written a check to a politician before,’ or ‘I never put a yard sign in my house before,’ or ‘I never met with someone at a house who was getting people that were never involved in politics get involved,’ because my message resonated with him personally, either themselves or their parents. And so, I had a lot of supporters who said, Kendall, at this time your message really can’t go away. We need it more than ever.”
On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Qualls founded TakeCharge in Minnesota, an organization whose stated mission is to “inspire and educate Black and other minority communities of their full rights and privileges as Americans granted to them by the Constitution.”
“We desire to inspire them to take charge of their own lives, the lives of their children and not to rely on government and politicians for redemption and prosperity. We do not apologize for embracing America or its history. We believe that a well-grounded knowledge of American and world history strengthens our diverse country,” the organization’s website reads.
In an Op-Ed in the Minnesota Star Tribune for the occasion, Qualls detailed two trends in the black community and one in the culture at large which he believes would have Dr. King “appalled” were he alive today.
“The first problem that would shock King is the stark decline in academic motivation and performance. Locally, the academic performance gap for Black students in Minnesota is nearly the worst in the country,” he wrote.
“The second disturbing trend has been an uncomfortable and ignored topic for decades and it has a corresponding association with the academic problem — the dramatic increase of fatherless homes,” he continued, noting that fatherless homes have increased from 25 percent in the 1960s to 75 percent today, while over 50 percent of births take place outside of marriage among all women under 30.
Finally, the broader cultural trend of identity politics is something that Qualls said King fought against in his day while generations of Americans agreed with his message of the importance of judging others according to the “content of our character” rather than the color of one’s skin.
“King would shudder in dismay at the weaponization of identity politics,” he argued, asserting that identity politics is wrong no matter which ethnic group it is used against.
He noted the irony that the three pillars keeping the black community together in the era of segregation — “faith, family and education” — were stronger when King was alive than they are today.
“Sadly, these pillars have crumbled and desperately need repair,” he wrote.
His organization initially gained national attention after cutting a video that took aim at critical race theory, which makes a very different assessment of how to address racial disparity than TakeCharge — an organization that identified itself as a movement that “explicitly rejects” the assertion that our nation is “structured to undermine the lives of black Americans.”
“We will succeed when we return to our faith in God, and the core principles of our nation,” Qualls and other members of his movement said in the video. “We invite you to join us, and take charge of our culture and our future.”
In addition to addressing fatherlessness in the black community, one of the group’s primary political interests is school choice, an issue which is highlighted by many as something which could greatly advantage the black community, yet is largely opposed on the left, which is more sympathetic to politically powerful teachers unions.
“Government agencies should not hinder impoverished parents of their choice of schools when local public schools fail students academically,” the group’s website reads.
“Over 50 percent of Black students in Minneapolis public schools perform below state and national averages while Black students from the same neighborhood that attend Ascension, Cristo Rey, and Hope Academy, private faith-based schools, perform above state and national averages of all students. These schools have waiting lists from desperate parents,” it explains.
Meanwhile, Qualls has been actively involved with the fight to keep critical race theory out of public schools, training parents to stand up to school boards that are using curricula promoting the philosophy, which he says focuses on racial disparities without taking “family disruption disparities” into account.
He told Breitbart that CRT asserts black Americans “can’t make it, not without this whole Critical Race Theory, because look at the equity disparities, look at the racial disparities. Well, the ‘racial disparities’ are not racial disparities, they’re family disruption disparities.”
“And the only reason why it looks racial, is because the black community is 50 years ahead of everyone else,” he said, explaining that the theory is rooted in Marxist philosophy.
“And the whole idea behind that is to supplant the family, and you become loyal to the state. You’ll find that of all the Critical Race Theory solutions to everything, not one of them is looking to traditional nuclear family,” he said.
While there is no shortage of criticism for critical race theory and the detriment that left-wing policies have caused the black community, Qualls’ message is powerful because he perfectly encapsulates the damage that this distinctly anti-freedom, anti-faith and anti-family philosophy is causing not just to the black community, but to our society at large.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. fought for a vision of freedom and equality that was based on a shared understanding of who we are and where our rights come from — that is, that we are all free and equal citizens, made in the image of the God who endowed us with those rights.
As TakeCharge’s website states, “The promise of America is open and available to all individuals regardless of skin color or station in life.”
There is certainly a broad range of circumstances under which each American may start out their lives, but as Qualls himself said, “where you start in life is not where you have to stay in life.”
The surest path toward a truly free and equal society is by affirming the same values on which our nation was founded; the values which freed the slaves, have brought millions out of poverty and in which we now live more free and prosperous than any nation has ever lived before.
Every single American, regardless of the color of their skin, has the capacity to thrive in this system — but if we continue to forsake the values which have gotten us this far, there’s nowhere to go but backward.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.