Civil Rights activist Deray McKesson is calling out Black Lives Matter supporter and activist Shaun King for allegedly taking advantage of charities, communities and misleading his supporters.
On Thursday, the two men began trending on Twitter, which came as a result of Mckesson’s article explaining why he feels people should move away from supporting King and his activism. In the article, Mckesson also claimed that King raised money for families in need under the false pretense that it would be given back to them only for him to have allegedly pocketed it himself.
A portion of Mckesson’s article read: “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.” Mckesson further explained his reason behind the article in a tweet, saying, “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. I rarely engage in these discussions publicly, but felt compelled given the observed pattern.”
But on September 3, 2019, King posted the logistics and details of where the $34.5 million, an amount Mckesson alleged King stole from charities, had gone, noting that a seven-person expert team reviewed his work of five years as well as his tax returns. It all came out in a 72-page report. “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. Their 72-page report..,” King tweeted. ”I provided: -The past 5 years of my full tax returns. -The past 10 years of every checking & savings account, every credit card, investment account, and money management software. -Full access to my email & social media. – Access to every fundraiser,” King continued.
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.
Their 72 page report…https://t.co/cmxkK8AKRE
— Shaun King (@shaunking) September 3, 2019
Despite the report, McKesson explained that King led the charity group Justice Together, of which McKesson was a board member. Mckesson recalled volunteers and members complaining about “being silenced within the organization slack group(s) or removed wholesale when they disagreed or challenged him ….” Mckesson wrote, “When people disagreed, they were removed from the group, or it was stated that they were white supremacists or trolls.” Mckesson also noted 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 percent of the donations raised. However, the $10,000 donation and the $17,500 grant stopped appearing in records.
As he continued, Mckesson added, “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.” He also claims that King “took credit for other people’s work.”
The flames seem to have been ignited after Singer #Rihanna announced that she would be honoring King at her Diamond Ball. One Twitter user wrote, “This legit made my heart sink. Rihanna, please have someone look into #ShaunKing’s history of stealing from, threatening, and intimidating Black women, as well as misappropriating funds raised from vulnerable people.”
However, in the wake of McKesson’s article, King responded, saying, ”Over the past month, multiple families impacted by police violence, and their attorneys, called me and said they were so taken aback and confused when @Deray asked them to speak out against me. They each refused and called me right away. It’s an undue stress on them. I hate it,” adding that McKesson’s issue with him is personal. But in response, Mckesson called him a liar, saying, ”So, this is how it always happens. Instead of actually engaging w/ the content of a given critique, Shaun deflects. I wrote the piece today re: Shaun quietly & called literally 0 families & asked 0 attorneys, but my own, for feedback or anything. Shaun King is lying, again.”
So, this is how it always happens. Instead of actually engaging w/ the content of a given critique, Shaun deflects.
I wrote the piece today re: Shaun quietly & called literally 0 families & asked 0 attorneys, but my own, for feedback or anything.
Shaun King is lying, again. https://t.co/rLhj3hF2dA
— deray (@deray) September 12, 2019