In a video published last week by TakeCharge, Rashad Turner, who founded the St. Paul, Minnesota, chapter of Black Lives Matter, revealed that he left the organization after he "learned the ugly truth" behind the group.
TakeCharge is a black-led organization that focuses on educating minority communities, and rejecting critical race theory.
"Our 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," states the TakeCharge website. "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."
Turner grew up in Minneapolis. His father was shot and killed when he was two-years-old. Turner then lived with his grandparents after the incident because his mother wasn't able to take care of him. Turner said that his grandparents stressed the importance of education.
"They told me that if I was going to change my life for the better, education was the answer. So I worked hard in school, I got into Hamlin University and earned a college degree, first in my family. Then I went on to earn a master’s in education from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota," said Turner. "I am living proof that no matter your start life, quality education is a pathway to success."
Turner said he created the St. Paul chapter of Black Lives Matter in 2015 because he wanted to help the youth in his community and believed that the organization stood for its namesake. He goes on to say that as an insider, he found that the organization had little to do with what it said it was fighting for.
"However, after a year on the inside, I learned they had little concern for rebuilding black families, and they cared even less about improving the quality of education for students in Minneapolis. That was made clear when they publicly denounced charter schools alongside the teachers union," said Turner. "I was an insider in Black Lives Matter. And I learned the ugly truth. The moratorium on charter schools does not support rebuilding the black family. But it does create barriers to a better education for black children. I resigned from Black Lives Matter after a year and a half. But I didn’t quit working to improve black lives and access to a great education."
Turner left the organization to serve as the president and executive director of Minneapolis Parent Union, which looks to help kids move to successful schools and set them up for future success.
"It's hard work, and we're up against forces that don't want us to succeed. But success is possible," said Turner. "Just look at me and the hundreds of children and families we've helped to pursue a great education, break the chains of poverty and lead a life of success."