The black leader of a Minnesota-based anti-woke movement says he aims to use his life story, his military and executive business experience, and his faith in America’s founding principles to take his organization from its local school choice roots, to the fight against Critical Race Theory, and on to reclaim the black nuclear family.
Kendall Qualls told Breitbart News in an interview Tuesday how his run for office last November set the stage for his new black movement.
A Republican who was defeated in a congressional bid to unseat incumbent Democrat U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips of Minnesota’s 3rd District, Qualls said that, although he lost the election, what was gratifying about the experience was the feedback he received on his campaign.
“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, explaining that his “message” was that “America, and the idea of America, works.”
“If it can work for a guy like me, who started his life in Harlem, New York, as a kid, then later lived in a trailer park in Oklahoma,” he said. “And 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.”
“And that message resonates with people,” Qualls said, elaborating:
And, in fact, I could tell you how every week – 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.
Qualls, a former U.S. army officer and high-ranking executive of Fortune 100 healthcare companies, explained what he has done is put out his campaign message, his life story, his “testament,” and put it out there “on steroids.”
“And I’m using the experience of my career, leading marketing and sales teams globally,” he continued. “And, you know, understanding the importance of connecting people’s head and heart. So, intellectually, but also emotionally, with a message that just captivates people, and that’s what we’ve done since January.”
Qualls founded TakeCharge in Minnesota on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, with the goal of building a coalition of supporters in communities and in academic and business sectors “to ignite a transformation within the Black community of the Twin Cities by embracing the core principles of America – not rejecting them.”
He began his new movement, he said, by making three fundamental points in an op-ed in the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
“Martin Luther King would be rolling in his grave if he saw the number of fatherless homes,” Qualls explained his first point. “Literally at the time of his death, blacks were nearly 80% two-parent families. And we’ve gone from 80% two-parent families to 80% fatherless homes, without one national initiative to reverse it, until now.
“We’re going to do it starting in Minneapolis, and we’re going to spread it across the country,” he vowed of his goal to make the nuclear family the norm again in the black community.
Second, Qualls noted Martin Luther King, Jr.’s civil rights movement was focused on “equality.”
“All he wanted was to give us equal status as citizens, nothing more, nothing less,” he emphasized.
His organization, TakeCharge, states on its website America’s core principles “are embedded in the belief of hard work, education, faith, family, and free enterprise in the personal pursuit of dreams that can be realized by anyone regardless of race or social standing.”
The third fundamental point Qualls made is “this whole idea of content of character over color of skin. You know, that was part of his ‘I Have a Dream’ speech.”
“The left has basically thrown that out the window,” he asserted. “And it’s wrong. So, I tell you my personal life is a testament. I have a personal stake in this. You know how I started in life.”
Qualls explained while his older siblings got “absorbed in the street culture” in Harlem, he kept his eyes open.
“I didn’t know how to be successful in this country, but I did know it started with an education,” he said. “And later in my life, I did come to the Christian faith, but I was nearly 27 years old.”
Breitbart News commented that faith appeared to be a big part of TakeCharge.
“That’s because faith is a big part of America,” he responded. “You know, we so much downplay it, and it’s almost like we’re ashamed of it. And the founders, the founders said this country only works with a virtuous population. You don’t get virtue from an iPhone app.”
A fair amount of Qualls’ work is spent helping parents fight the battle against Critical Race Theory (CRT) in their school districts. TakeCharge gained national attention with its video (below) identifying itself as a black movement that “explicitly rejects” the notion that America is a racist nation that is “structured to undermine the lives of black Americans.”
The message is a direct slapdown of the narrative of Black Lives Matter (BLM) and its allies in woke corporations and academic institutions.
Qualls said he spends a significant amount of time helping “suburban white parents fight back against their school boards” that have incorporated CRT in their curricula.
“I probably trained about 450 to 500 parents,” he observed.
Referring to the CRT narrative of “white supremacy” and “systemic racism,” Qualls asserted in March in a Q&A interview with the Minnesota Reformer, “It’s insulting to hear that black people can’t get ahead because of systemic racism.”
He told Breitbart News:
The reason why it’s insulting and evil is, first of all, here’s the little known fact that most people don’t know. This Critical Race Theory comes out in the same academic institutions that gave us programs that basically incentivize women to have children, as long as they remain unmarried. And, so, that’s ironic, but it’s literally the same institutions. The other part of this is – as if we couldn’t make it. 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. You know, what people don’t realize is this is spreading – this unwed birth situation – is spreading, into white and Hispanic communities. And that’s what they want.
Proponents of CRT like to use racial income disparities to justify their agenda. What they don't tell you is that there's a direct correlation between intact families & household income. One thing progressives disdain more than a gas guzzling SUV–the traditional nuclear family. pic.twitter.com/KisgWLIM6r
— TakeCharge (@TakeChargeMN) May 19, 2021
— TakeCharge (@TakeChargeMN) May 21, 2021
“In the leftist agenda, Critical Race Theory comes out of a socialist, communist type of background,” he added. “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.”
Breitbart News reported in September 2020 that, following much media attention, Black Lives Matter (BLM) Global Network Foundation deleted the “What We Believe” section of its website that had declared its goals to “fight for freedom, liberation, and justice,” can only be achieved through the disruption of the “Western-prescribed nuclear family structure.”
The report continued:
“We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement,” the site declares, “by supporting each other as extended families and ‘villages’ that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comfortable.” The word “fathers” is deliberately excluded, replaced by the gender-neutral “parents” despite already naming “mothers” as pillars of the family.
The statement goes on to denigrate male influence on the family as oppressive. “We build a space that affirms Black women and is free from sexism, misogyny, and environments in which men are centered,” the group says, calling single mothers’ “double shifts” of working and parenting a “patriarchal practice.”
When he is not assisting parents in their battle against CRT, Qualls said he is going into the black community to recruit people “to help us get our culture back.”
Qualls said he never wanted to be a politician.
“But, one of the reasons I ran is that we all have great stories to tell about our country,” he said, nevertheless observing that many Republican politicians have failed to generate much enthusiasm.
“I make a joke about these guys that the Republican Party couldn’t tell you ‘I love you’ without an Excel spreadsheet!” he quipped.
“And so, what’s resonating is we’ve been around for barely six months, and have already got people all across the country asking, ‘Can you start a chapter, a TakeCharge chapter here?’” he observed.
While he praises the fundamental intellectual work of black conservatives such as Thomas Sowell, Quall said what TakeCharge is doing is “different.”
“And here’s the difference of what we’re doing,” he explained. “The issue is, how do you make it happen on the ground? And we’re making it happen on the ground.”