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BLM leader says he quit after learning ‘ugly truth’ about group’s priorities

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The founder of a Black Lives Matter chapter in Minnesota said he quit after learning the “ugly truth” about the activist group’s priorities.

“In 2015, I was the founder of Black Lives Matter in St. Paul,” Rashad Turner, the president and executive director of Minnesota Parent Union, said in a YouTube video called “the truth revealed about BLM.”

“I believed the organization stood for exactly what the name implies — black lives do matter,” he said in the video for TakeCharge Minnesota, a group opposing the idea that systemic racism is to blame for problems in US society.

“However, after a year on the inside, I learned they had little concern for rebuilding black families,” he insisted.

He said BLM “cared even less about improving the quality of education for students in Minneapolis,” adding it was “made clear when they publicly denounced charter schools alongside the teachers’ union.”

Rashad Turner
Rashad Turner said BLM “cared even less about improving the quality of education for students in Minneapolis.”
TakeCharge Minnesota Youtube

“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,” he insisted.

“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,” he said.

Turner said he first started the local BLM chapter under the assumption the group would want to fight for black people from troubled backgrounds to get educated and find success, just like he had.

“When I was 2 years old, my father was shot and killed. My mother wasn’t able to take care of me, so I was raised by my grandparents,” he said, detailing how he went on to become the first person in his family to get a degree, going on to get a master’s degree in education.

“I am living proof that no matter your start in life, quality education is a pathway to success,” he said.

Resigning after realizing that BLM would not help him gain “the same success for our children and our communities,” he now leads Minnesota Parent Union, which aims to bring parents and educators together.

His video was first posted last Wednesday — a day before BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors, 37, announced her own resignation from her group, blaming “attacks” trying to “discredit” her.

It appeared on the YouTube channel for TakeCharge Minnesota, which calls itself a “new organization committed to countering the prevailing narrative … that America is structured to undermine the lives of black Americans.”

“We acknowledge that racist people exist in the country, but explicitly reject the notion that the United States of America is a racist country. This is a subtle, but significant difference!” the group says in its objectives.

Demonstrators from the Black Lives Matter movement march through central London on July 10, 2016
Demonstrators from the Black Lives Matter movement march through central London.
AFP via Getty Images

“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 says.

Instead, its objective is “to inspire and educate the black community and other minority groups in the Twin Cities to take charge of their own lives, the lives of the families and communities as citizens fully granted to them in the Constitution.”

The group’s “coalition of community champions, academic professionals, and business leaders” seeks to transform the local black community “by embracing the core principles of America — not rejecting them,” it says.

“These 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 group insists.

Black Lives Matter media representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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