On Thursday, civil rights activist and Black Lives Matter supporter DeRay Mckesson accused Black Lives supporter Shaun King of a lack of integrity, saying that King is like “the power dynamic of the system” Mckesson opposes, which “willingly sacrifices the vulnerable to protect itself, and replaces truth with convenient lies.”
Writing in Medium, Mckesson delineates how he feels King has not been completely honest. He begins by writing:
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.
Mckesson notes that King had deleted all of his tweets and told people that he would no longer be involved in organizing or fundraising, but that claim did not come true.
Mckesson writes sardonically, “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.”
Mckesson opines that King deflects from the issues raised against him, and “Often bullies and intimidates those who ask questions at all, turning his ire especially at Black women, attempting to scare inquirers into silence.”
Mckesson writes, ” … the love for our people must be greater than the love of any one person. Shaun has continued to thrive because many people cannot believe that they have been duped, used, or taken advantage of … His choices are so sweeping and brazen in their manipulation that they compromise others, compromise the collective work, and compromise a shared sense of integrity.”
Mckesson delineates some of the issues he has with King, including fundraising, where he writes that King led Justice Together, of which McKesson was a board member. Mckesson recalls volunteers and members complained about “being silenced within the organization slack group(s) or removed wholesale when they disagreed or challenged him … .” Mckesson writes, “When people disagreed, they were removed from the group or it was stated that they were white supremacists or trolls.”
Mckesson notes that King claimed Justice Together raised a $10,000 donation from a board member and a $17,500 grant, but he later said he returned 100% of the donations raised, but the $10,000 donation and the $17,500 grant stopped appearing in records. Mckesson adds, “To date, it is not clear that Shaun filed the appropriate taxes for Justice Together, as there is no 990 form available for public review from the IRS website.”
Mckesson claims King “took credit for other people’s work.” He notes King saying he raised $34.5 million since 2014. Then McKesson adds, “He takes credit for 100% of all funds raised for any fundraiser whose link he has ever posted online, in an e-mail blast, or re-tweeted … He knew that this logic was misleading, at best.”
Mckesson delineates other actions by King that he feels demonstrate a lack of integrity, including matters involving the Real Justice PAC, The North Star, Flip The Senate, and Red Record, among others.