DeRay McKesson Reignites Feud With Shaun King In Blog Post

Deray McKesson, Shaun King

DeRay McKesson Reignites Feud With Shaun King In Blog Post

McKesson says his post about King was intended to “address a lapse in integrity within the activism community.”

Published September 13th

Written by Zayda Rivera

DeRay McKesson is getting at Shaun King again. 

“We never aim to replicate the power dynamic of the system we are up against -- a system that embraces a devious lack of transparency, willingly sacrifices the vulnerable to protect itself, and replaces truth with convenient lies,” the activist wrote in a blog post published by Medium.com Thursday (Sept. 12). 

“Yet Shaun King has done just that,” he wrote. 

Shaun King quickly responded on Twitter.

“On a few occasions over the past 3 years, I’ve offered a public & private olive branch with @Deray,” he tweeted shortly after the release of McKesson’s blog

“Civil rights elders and mediators asked me to do so, and I did. He refused each time,” King added. “Even today, he has erased the 50+ families who openly said I did nothing but support them.” 

McKesson’s blog was intended to be a call for King to halt all his efforts with organizing and fundraising and raises concerns about a recently published 72-page report intended to clear King’s name of past accusations of impropriety.

“I wrote about Shaun King in an effort to bring clarity to a set of issues that continue to be a topic of conversation re: fundraising, organizing, & activism,” he explained in a tweet. “I rarely engage in these discussions publicly, but felt compelled given the observed pattern.” 

“I welcome sincere critiques,” King tweeted Thursday (Sept. 12). “Earnestly so. Every project I am a part of has layers upon layers of accountability and transparency. It’s all here. 72 pages. Nobody was paid for this report. People put their names & reputations on the line behind it.” 

In 2015, King blocked McKesson on social media after he was asked about his financial mishandling of money raised for their Justice Together project.

In June, King appeared on BET’s Black Coffee and addressed accusations against him, denying he ever took a dime of the money he raised.  

“I have to figure out the two or three things I do well… [those] are a couple things, fundraising and getting people connected to an issue,” he said, adding that the stories of him stealing money “is a lie.”

“First and foremost, when people say that, that’s a crime,” King said. “Every time I’ve raised money for a family or a cause, [had I even] kept 50 cent of that money, I have committed a felony. You are not allowed to raise money for anything, and pocket it on the low. Anytime I’ve raised money, I’ve always had two or three other full time jobs myself.” 

McKesson’s blog post, which he wrote with the help of other activists, raises the issues he had with King in 2015 and brings it full circle to today.

“Shaun has followed a uniform pattern over the years, a pattern that has compelled me to speak up, again,” McKesson wrote. 

Johnetta Elzie, a leader in the Blacks Lives Matter movement, was one of the people who teamed up with McKesson for his latest blog post. 

“I helped DeRay put this together, along with many other Black women, so that there is a clear record re: Shaun King,” she tweeted with a link to the blog post. “Read it. The receipts are there. We love receipts.”

King also got help when putting together his recent report titled “Shaun King Fundraising Report :: An Expert Review Panel Analyzed $34.5 Million King Raised for Families, Charities, Causes, and Campaigns,” and McKesson has taken up issue with those that assisted him because it was “not independent” work by King, but instead something his friends co-authored.

McKesson named people like Rob Smith, an editor for the Fair Punishment Project where King worked previously, and Becky Bond, co-founder of Real Justice PAC with King.

“7 experts reviewed 5 years of my tax returns, 10+ years of all of my bank accounts, and examined every fundraiser I’ve ever done. This is their 72 page report,” King wrote on Twitter to describe the report.

“When asked why the panel was assembled by his friends, colleagues, or co-workers, he noted that having people he knew, as opposed to an independent audit, was the most ‘efficient’ way to get it done,” McKesson wrote. 

He also questioned why King takes credit for fundraisers he didn’t start simply because he shared them on social media. 

“This would be akin to me saying that I fully paid your child’s college tuition because I posted the link to the college fund,” McKesson wrote. “Or that I raised millions of dollars in one minute because I amplified the latest fundraiser for The Red Cross. 

“He often bullies and intimidates those who ask questions at all, turning his ire especially at Black women, attempting to scare inquirers into silence,” he added. 

Twitter has been on fire since McKesson’s blog post went live, and there’s people supporting both sides.

“I agree. The energy and time it has taken to convince the masses that he is ‘a fraud’ could certainly be better spent organizing,” one person tweeted. “What a shame.” 

“Deray just as much as a scammer as Shaun King which is the funniest part of all this,” another tweeted.

On Thursday (Sept. 12), the Clara Lionel Foundation’s executive director stood by the decision to honor King at Rihanna’s Diamond Ball despite the scandal surrounding him, reports U.S. News & World Report.

“We decided to honor Shaun King for a reason, and we decided to honor Shaun King for that same reason tonight,” Justine Lucas said during the event. 

Just before the event, Cardi B also stood up for King, reports U.S. News & World Report.

“One of the main reasons why is so important for me to be here is because Rihanna is honoring Shaun King,” the Grammy Award-winning rapper said. “A lot of people need to follow Shaun King on Instagram. He protests so much for all minorities, he protests so much for the whole entire world.”   

On Friday, Cardi defended herself from the critics on Twitter, who condemned her support of King.

“Listen I’m not going to research he say she say. Im not going to research gossip or shit from the past. I only know what I see NOW. I see that when I scroll down my Instagram people blogging about celebrities or Trump dum shit. I go to one page and I see a man educating his ... followers..." 

She added, “Followers putting videos from all around the world of people who are facing poverty, crisis, and mistreatments. Opening our eyes to see the bullshit the Governments doing. Im not out here telling myself Wow this man right here is putting so much info that ain’t know."

She continued, “Nothing about let me go google bad shit about the person so I can hate him. That's not what I do. I never said he should be president or run for government but he do a lot for me so that’s good for me.”

(Photo: Gregg DeGuire/Getty Images, Steven Ferdman/Getty Images)

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