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Black school choice movement ‘explicitly rejects’ cultural movement that US is racist

Photo by Miguel Pereira/Getty Images

A Minnesota black school choice movement has blasted the notion of the United States as being racist wholly false.

What are the details?

The movement, TakeCharge Minnesota, is a school choice movement founded in the black community and vows to tackle the idea of systemic racism.

The notion of systemic racism, the organization states, is "structured to undermine the lives of black Americans."

According to the organization's website, Kendall Qualls, a former U.S. Army officer and outspoken Republican, is leading the movement, which intends to counter that narrative and aims to "inspire and educate the black community and other minority groups in the Twin Cities to take charge of their own lives."

"We acknowledge that racist people exist in the country, but explicitly reject the notion that the United States of America is a racist country," the organization's website states. "This is a subtle, but significant difference! We also denounce the idea that the country is guilty of systemic racism, white privilege and abhor the concept of identity politics and the promotion of victimhood in minority communities."

The group's mission is "to inspire and educate black and other minorities communities of their full rights and privileges as Americans greatness to them by the Constitution."

The group also insists that the way to do this is through quality education, which the group calls the "gateway to prosperity."

"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," the site adds. "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."

Qualls ran against incumbent Democrat Rep. Dean Phillips in Minnesota's 3rd District in November, but lost. He founded TakeCharge Minnesota two months later.

Qualls and the organization made new headlines over the weekend after an ad for the group appeared in the Star Tribune.

The ad — to commemorate Mother's Day — read, "For many of you, it is a Happy Mother's Day. But for us, it is not — because our children are being held in bondage. It is the bondage in Minneapolis Public Schools that, for five consecutive years, rank at the bottom of the country in test scores and graduation rates for students of color. Black children from Mississippi rank higher than Minnesota. We want a Mother's Day gift of freedom — freedom of choice. Freedom as mothers, grandmothers, sisters, and aunts to choose the right school for the children in our families. Help us start a new life for them by supporting school choice."

Anything else?

On Monday, the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder reported that K-12 enrollment in Minneapolis and St. Paul charter schools has grown exponentially — from 1,791 in 2001 to 11,624 in 2019 in Minneapolis, and 2,993 in 2001 to 12,432 in 2019 in St. Paul.

From the Spokesman-Recorder:

Nationally, "More options also mean a greater diversity of school environments that provide better matches for parents and students looking for the 'right fit' for children's development," said Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools President Lenny McAllister, a school choice proponent. He told the MSR that school choice, in light of historical academic achievement gaps, has helped Black children and other students of color. He disagrees with those who claim that school choice produces "re-segregation."
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