St. Paul, MN – The founder of one of Minnesota’s first Black Lives Matter chapters announced that he was quitting after he learned the “ugly truth” that the organization’s priorities.
Rashad Turner released a video on May 26 that explained why he was leaving the organization.
“In 2015, I was the founder of Black Lives Matter in St. Paul,” Turner said in the video. “I believed the organization stood for exactly what the name implies – black lives do matter. 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,” he continued.
“I was an insider in Black Lives Matter and I learned the ugly truth,” Turner said in the video. “The moratorium on charter schools does not support rebuilding the black family, but it does create barriers to a better education for black children.”
VIDEO: A former BLM activist – Rashad Turner- recently spoke out about why he chose to leave the organization. pic.twitter.com/KEQlhfBC8G
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The former Black Lives Matter activist said he initially started a local chapter of the organization because he thought the group would fight to provide better educations for black people from troubled backgrounds so that they would find success in life the way 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 explained in the video.
Turned detailed how he was the first person in his family to get a college degree, and that he went on to get a master’s degree in education after that.
“I am living proof that no matter your start in life, quality education is a pathway to success,” he said.
Turner said he had to get out of Black Lives Matter when he realized the group wouldn’t help him fight for fair access to education for black children and communities.
He explained in the video that he had refocused his energy to commit to his mission in forwarding education and become the president and executive director of the Minnesota Parent Union, a group whose stated goal is to bring parents and educators together.
“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 said.
He posted the video one day before national Black Lives Matter founder and co-chair Patrisse Cullors announced she was leaving the organization to focus on a book and television deal, the New York Post reported.
Cullors faced criticism after local chapters complained that the national organization was keeping the money they were supposed to have been raising to support local activist efforts.
Then controversy erupted over the personal wealth the Cullors had accrued while she was running Black Lives Matter, the New York Post reported.
Property records in May showed that Cullors had recently purchased four high-end homes totaling $3.2 million in value.
But she claimed her resignation from Black Lives Matter had nothing to do with the allegations about the mishandling of funds, the New York Post reported.
“Those were right-wing attacks that tried to discredit my character, and I don’t operate off of what the right thinks about me,” Cullors said when she made her announcement.
“I’ve created the infrastructure and the support, and the necessary bones and foundation, so that I can leave,” she said. “It feels like the time is right.”