Over the past three years, free from corporate responsibilities and raising children, I’ve had an opportunity to look under the rug of American politics. Besides dirt, I discovered a progressive movement that will do anything to reshape the country and seize power. They’ve successfully weaponized young people — a large percentage of young black Americans and a growing number of young white Americans — against formerly trusted institutions and ordinary citizens in order to advance their agenda.
I spent part of my early childhood with my mother in drug and gang-infested Harlem in the late 1960s after my parents divorced. Three years later, I moved to a trailer park in Oklahoma with my father in the early 1970s. After that dismal start, I never thought I would experience the life I’m living today. The catalyst that helped me achieve those dreams is embedded in the core principles of our country: hard work, education, and, in my case, the Christian faith.
After a short stint in the U.S. Army and a career in corporate America, I ran for U.S. Congress in the western suburbs of Minneapolis. Although I did not prevail in my bid, many of my supporters wanted to hear more of my message. As a result, I started TakeCharge earlier this year, officially launching it on January 18, Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The purpose of our organization is to convey that the idea of America works for everyone regardless of race or station in life. We set our sights on extinguishing critical race theory and its false and divisive doctrine. The second goal is to return the black community to its cultural roots of faith, family, and education.
Progressive leaders are deploying tactics often seen in communist countries to change America’s core foundation. The effort, which began many years ago, has a two-phased approach. The first phase is to disrupt the nuclear family and its influence on young people. The second is to develop an undereducated class of people who are easily controlled through simple messaging and emotion.
From the early 1900s to the civil rights era, the black community was rooted in faith, family, and the pursuit of a better education. The non-violent civil rights movement made tremendous gains in eliminating systemic racism and providing opportunity for black Americans. Simultaneously, LBJ’s social programs began to change cultural behaviors in the black community, and the Aid to Families with Dependent Children program financially incentivized unwed women to have children as long as they remained unmarried. As a result, in five decades we’ve seen the collapse of the black family, declining from approximately 80 percent two-parent families to 80 percent fatherless homes. In that time frame, not one national initiative has been introduced to reverse the trend. The two-parent black family has become an endangered species.
With the black community, the progressive movement has created a populace dependent upon the government for survival. Yet published data confirm that two-parent families — including black two-parent families — reduce poverty, child abuse, and many other social ills. In light of conclusive proof that children do better in two-parent families, the failure to implement any meaningful policy changes to encourage such outcomes is inexcusable.
The second element needed to weaponize a populace is illiteracy. With a large concentration of the black population in major cities across the country, the task of educating black youth has been under the stewardship of progressive leaders for decades. One example is the Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) system. MPS has ranked at or near the bottom of the country for black and Hispanic students in high school graduation rates for more than five years. However, students from the same neighborhoods who receive scholarships (ironically, from white conservative Christians) to faith-based schools perform above national averages on standardized exams and 90 percent of them graduate from high school. Frustrated by being stuck in poverty, this angry mob of black youth is convinced its plight is due to racism because of years of indoctrination by progressives in academia and entertainment.
Once fully weaponized, the mob takes its orders from national and local bellicose leaders who call on protesters to “get confrontational,” as proclaimed and justified by Reps. Maxine Waters and Jim Clyburn earlier this year.
Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s 1965 report, “The Case for National Action,” predicted calamity would ensue if steps were not taken to reverse the unwed birth trend — at the time 24 percent. Tragically, his predictions have come to fruition.
This is the reason I started TakeCharge. The black community is missing out on the opportunities our country has to offer and it is not because of systemic racism or white privilege. It is because since the 1960s the culture of faith, family, and education in the black community has evaporated without one national initiative to reverse the trends. During that time period, nearly $2.1 trillion was spent to reduce poverty. Poverty persisted because people from the black community and outside the community became wealthy at the expense of the people we were supposed to serve.
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.