Qualls: The Minneapolis teachers union wages war on capitalism

It is capitalism, the core principles of our great country and my Christian faith that I credit for my success in life.

Union president Greta Callahan addresses the media earlier this month after announcing the strike. (Minneapolis Federation of Teachers/Facebook)

If we ever wondered where the undercurrent of a desire to embrace socialism has been coming from, we need look no further than our public schools and universities.

This is one of the driving reasons I’m running to be the next Republican governor of Minnesota. We need to take our education system back from the socialist left.

If two years of remote learning, mask mandates, and threats of vaccine mandates for students weren’t enough, the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers (MFT) went on strike March 10, further adding to the already abysmal academic performance of students and upsetting the lives of families.

The strike is now in its third week, with schools remaining closed for more than 28,000 students, and the union and Minneapolis Public Schools are still $167 million apart in their negotiations.

Despite MPS having received increased funding for the past decade, as well as its recent influx of $159.4 million — what the Biden Education Department has referred to as “unprecedented” funding through the American Rescue Plan — students’ academic performance has still declined steadily.

However alarming this situation may be, what is on full display during this strike is the anti-capitalist position taken by the nation’s teachers unions, and promoted by their national and local leaders.

While rallying with her teacher members earlier this month, Greta Callahan, president of the teachers chapter of MFT, asserted, “Our fight is against patriarchy, our fight is against capitalism, our fight is for the soul of our city.”

The National Education Association (NEA) went as far as to place capitalism in the same category as white supremacy during its representative assembly last year, when it committed $127,600 to advance its pro-Critical Race Theory agenda.

NEA’s plan included, among other actions, providing a study that critiques “power and oppression” in American culture, including “white supremacy,” “cisheteropatriarchy,” and “capitalism.”

Ironically, while teachers unions appear focused on denigrating America’s foundation and capitalism, the fact is, prior to its advancement, wealth was largely defined by the amount of land captured through intimidation and aggression. Consequently, wealth creation could only be attained by conquering neighboring peoples and lands, and through colonialism.

As Dinesh D’Souza explained, Alexander Hamilton, the first United States treasurer, came up with the more civilized idea of basing economic society on the creation of wealth through innovation, free enterprise, and the entrepreneurial spirit, rather than through conquest and seizure of the property of others.

Nearly a decade ago, Mark Perry of American Enterprise Institute urged capitalism to “take a bow,” for “nearly 1 billion people have been taken out of extreme poverty” over three decades, thanks to “capitalism and free trade, for they enable economies to grow — and it was growth, principally, that has eased destitution.”

Capitalism made a great improvement in my own life as well.

My early life was pretty dismal.

I spent part of my early childhood with my divorced mother in drug- and gang-infested Harlem and later in a trailer park in Oklahoma with my father.

When I think back to that bleak time in my life, I never thought I would experience the life I’m living today.

Ultimately, I served our country as an officer in the U.S. Army and later became a vice president of a Fortune 100 corporation.

It is capitalism, the core principles of our great country and my Christian faith that I credit for my success in life.

But those are not the principles and American values Minneapolis children are learning in the hands of the “anti-capitalist” teachers union.

Instead, our children are even encouraged to come out and join their teachers as they demand higher wages, smaller class sizes, funds to recruit “educators of color,” and greater COVID restrictions.

Radical leftists would like children to earn academic credit for picketing with their teachers as they strike, helping organize a Black Lives Matter march, or joining a rally against Second Amendment rights.

Commenting on the Minneapolis teachers strike, American Federation for Children National Director of Research Corey A. DeAngelis recently commented that teachers unions are the primary special interest group, especially in large Democrat-run cities like Minneapolis.

Now more than ever, parents deserve options when it comes to their children’s education in order to prepare them for a competitive job market that includes free-market enterprise opportunities, or capitalism.

Now is the time for more school choice in the form of Education Savings Accounts. Tax dollars must follow the student. That’s my promise as your next governor.

I will implement an education system that leads by example — making parents the primary decision makers for their children’s education. Administrators and teachers will play a supportive or consult role only.

We will eliminate CRT mandates and equity audits and will withhold state funding to any school district that doesn’t follow.

Most importantly, we will refocus our education system for our children, so the fundamentals of education are the priority, including coursework on the long-term benefits of capitalism compared to socialism and communism.


Kendall Qualls

Kendall Qualls is the President of TakeCharge, Minnesota which is an organization committed to supporting the notion that the promise of America works for everyone regardless of race or station in life. Mr. Qualls was a Republican candidate for Governor of Minnesota. Prior to his candidacy, he was a health care executive and served in the U.S. Army as an Artillery officer. Mr. Qualls has been married for 36 years and has five children.