Welp if social media has demonstrated anything within the last 24 hours, it’s that former allies Shaun King and DeRay McKesson officially have major issues with one another—and it recently got really ugly.
Many know activists Shaun King and DeRay McKesson for their work with the #BlackLivesMatter movement, supporting Colin Kaepernick’s NFL protest, speaking for the Flint, Michigan water crisis and many other issues that have impacted the black community within the last few years. Well, unfortunately the brotherhood the two once shared appears to be permanently severed.
DeRay recently published an explosive written essay about Shaun on @medium, which accused him of fraudulent fundraising practices, lacking integrity, being less than respectful to women and much more.
A portion of DeRay’s essay reads:
A movement is only as strong as its integrity. Part of our collective work is to protect this integrity, even when, or especially when, doing so is uncomfortable or hard. It is in this spirit that I write, to address a lapse in integrity within the activism community so glaring that to be silent is to be complicit.
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. Yet Shaun King has done just that.
Shaun has followed a uniform pattern over the years, a pattern that has compelled me to speak up, again. This is not the first time I have done so, and I am not alone. Johnetta Elzie and I were in a previous public disagreement with Shaun about issues of transparency and ethics that ended in his apology. Shaun also deleted all of his tweets and noted that he would focus on journalism and would not engage in attempted organizing or fundraising. Importantly, he made this commitment to others both publicly and privately. It is clear now that he did not keep those commitments and after a brief hiatus, re-emerged and began engaging in the same behaviors that caused the last public conflict.
It is important to note that Shaun’s journalism has done some good by bringing attention to stories that may have gone under-reported or overlooked. But the person who paints your house before he steals your car has still committed theft.
DeRay then goes on to list numerous ways that Shaun is not who many of his supports think he is or he who claims to be. However, Shaun fired back at DeRay with a few messages of his own.
He addressed DeRay on Twitter:
Since the #BlackLivesMatter Movement began, I’ve helped raise over $34.5 million for families, charities, causes, & campaigns. A 7-person expert review board inspected every penny -including the past 5 years of my tax returns.
Deray’s beef is personal. I have no problem with the man. I’ll continue to support families on the ground impacted by police violence. I’ll continue to help elect new District Attorneys w/ @RealJusticePAC. I’ll continue to do @TheBreakdown podcast & lead @NorthStar.
Meanwhile, Shaun was honored at Rihanna’s recent Diamond Ball for his activism efforts—and some fans were not happy about. That didn’t stop him from showing up to the star-studded event with his wife as the situation with DeRay continues to get messier by the minute.
Roommates, what are your thoughts on this?