Over the past few days, writer and Black Lives Matter activist Shaun King was in the news after reports surfaced that he’s 100% white, not bi-racial as most people thought. Some media outlets had posted pictures of man who was believed to be his father, Jeffery Wayne King seen here in a mugshot. Jeffery King is listed as the father on Shaun’s birth certificate.
Breitbart, is a conservative news website, which has alleged that Shaun, who has said he has a White mother and a Black father, lied about being bi-racial. They claim he lied about his ethnicity to get a scholarship into Morehouse from Oprah Winfrey and they also claim he lied about being in a car accident and being attacked by racists during his high school years in rural Kentucky.
Breitbart claims to have obtained a copy of his birth certificate which lists Shaun’s full name as Jeffery Shaun King, which appears he was named after a Caucasian man who is listed as the father on his birth certificate and a police report which lists Shaun as white.
I have known of a Black woman who’s Black baby with her Black husband was listed as white 26 years ago in the hospital. The couple laughed. The child was the father’s, the mother was light skinned. Did Shaun fill out the police report?
He recently tweeted over 36+ tweets about his life including he has always been known to be biracial:
- On August 28th, I’m launching @JusticeTogether to fight for the end of police brutality in America. That’s NINE DAYS away. Follow me…
- Two days ago, @GlennBeck & @TheBlaze released this hit piece on me. The Blaze … All lies. Every bit of it.
- In March of 1995, I was brutally assaulted by a racist mob of rednecks at my school. Guess what, they denied it.
- Seeing that @GlennBeck was willing to produce lies about me, a student who witnessed the who thing wrote this Shaun King …
- It’s also important that you see this —> Shea Gold … Because other people who REALLY saw it commented on it there.
- Smelling blood in the water, @dailycaller and @TuckerCarlson wrote this piece about me. All lies. Daily Caller …
- So, when this was written —> Shea Gold … showing the truth of what happened, I thought it was all over. It was to me.
- Notice, even though a credible, reliable unbiased eyewitness AND TEACHER refuted @glennbeck they don’t retract Shea Gold …
- Now, here is where it gets full-fledged white supremacist conspiracy theory crazy. It’s wild.
- Breitbart (I’d actually never heard of them before) after seeing what @glennbeck & @dailycaller & @TuckerCarlson wrote, wanted in on it.
- But, having no journalistic standards at all, Breitbart decided to use a known white supremacist as their main source of info on ME.
- You need to know this name. VICKI PATE [pictured below] You won’t find her on Twitter. PERMANENTLY BANNED for racist harassment
- Here is Vicki Pate’s website where, for a living, she harasses the families of black folk killed by police. http://www.re-newsit.comSo, this woman literally stalks my children. Speaks of them by first name on her blog, studies their medical history, etc.
- Here’s the Brietbart article. Let’s take it apart piece by piece. I found at least 17 lies in there. Briebart …
- First, Breitbart has 3 main sources. Vicki Pate (a known white supremacist) and @TheBlaze & @TheDailyCaller (who we already refuted).
- Breitbart claims I was never in a car accident. That’s me. That’s the car. The story: 100 Life Goals Shaun book, “The Power Of 100”
- Breitbart, simultaneously disputes I ever had spinal surgeries from being assaulted, then says I lie about how many I had, 3 or 4.
- I’ve had 3 major spinal surgeries b/c of the assault. @DeacTheVillain was my best friend through ’em all. More surgeries since then.
- Breitbart says I’ve flat out lied about how many kids @raitking and I actually are the parents of. Today, the number is 5.
- My wife & I have 3 birth children, we fully adopted our niece in ’03, she’s 15 now, + we have custody of our 2 y/o niece, Zayah.
- In addition to the 5 kids we have now, we’ve also had full custody, at one time or another, of 4 other nieces/nephews of ours.
- Every mentor and coach and advisor I have, without fail, has told me NOT to respond to any of this. For weeks I’ve ignored it all.
- In essence, what is happening to me now, is like conservatives demanding Obama’s long form birth certificate. It’s all BULLSH*T.
- Out of respect for my dear mother, my siblings, and my extended family who’ve loved me through it all, I’ve just kept on working.
- First off, the key facts about my biological relatives are all wrong. They tried, but my family, like many of yours, is one big mess.
- Like many of you, I have siblings I don’t know, siblings I’m estranged from, and a family full of secrets, divorce, affairs, etc.
- No 2 siblings in my family have the same set of parents. We’re all over the place. Some of us are not even blood relatives.
- Some of the problem here, is that MOST of you (friend & foe alike) have only known me since the day Mike Brown was killed.
- If you have known me from when I was in elementary school at Huntertown Elementary until now, you’ve known me as black or bi-racial.
- I did not concoct a lie about my race to get into @Morehouse. I did not concoct a lie about my race to get an @Oprah scholarship.
- Every single person who knows me BEYOND Twitter, beyond trending topics and HIT PIECES, knows I have never lied about my race.
- Out of LOVE for my family, I’ve never gone public with my racial story because it’s hurtful, scandalous, and it’s MY STORY.
- Not only that, but the truth is that @GlennBeck & @TheBlaze & Breitbart DON’T GIVE A SH*T about my race. They just want me to shut up.
- In closing, I’m not going to stop doing what I do, being who I am, or fighting the fights that I fight to end police brutality.
- The hilariously tragic part of this is that articles full of lies tried to critique my honesty and reposition me as a fraud. Never that.
- Now, contrary to what conservatives say about me and others, I have a job to get back to, and don’t have a day off today.
Trying hard not to slip into a deep funk over all of this garbage, but my life, my past, my pain, my family, ARE VERY REAL TO ME. – Shaun King
Then Shaun released this statement:
I refuse to speak in detail about the nature of my mother’s past, or her sexual partners, and I am gravely embarrassed to even be saying this now, but I have been told for most of my life that the white man on my birth certificate is not my biological father and that my actual biological father is a light-skinned black man. My mother and I have discussed her affair. She was a young woman in a bad relationship and I have no judgment. This has been my lived reality for nearly 30 of my 35 years on earth.
All of my siblings and I have different parents. I’m actually not even sure how many siblings I have. It is horrifying to me that my most personal information, for the most nefarious reasons, has been forced out into the open and that my private past and pain have been used as jokes and fodder to discredit me and the greater movement for justice in America. I resent that lies have been reported as truth and that the obviously racist intentions of these attacks have been consistently downplayed at my expense and that of my family.
He decided to write an article on Daily KOS a liberal, political website where he has a column:
This is it. My whole story. Race, love, hate, and me: A distinctly American story Thanks for the love. -Shaun
Over the past 72 hours I have been attacked with lies by the conservative media, lies that have been picked up by the traditional media and spread further. I have kept silent at the advice of friends and mentors, but I will do so no longer.
The reports about my race, about my past, and about the pain I’ve endured are all lies. My mother is a senior citizen. I refuse to speak in detail about the nature of my mother’s past, or her sexual partners, and I am gravely embarrassed to even be saying this now, but I have been told for most of my life that the white man on my birth certificate is not my biological father and that my actual biological father is a light-skinned black man. My mother and I have discussed her affair. She was a young woman in a bad relationship and I have no judgment. This has been my lived reality for nearly 30 of my 35 years on earth. I am not ashamed of it, or of who I am—never that—but I was advised by my pastor nearly 20 years ago that this was not a mess of my doing and it was not my responsibility to fix it. All of my siblings and I have different parents. I’m actually not even sure how many siblings I have. It is horrifying to me that my most personal information, for the most nefarious reasons, has been forced out into the open and that my private past and pain have been used as jokes and fodder to discredit me and the greater movement for justice in America. I resent that lies have been reported as truth and that the obviously racist intentions of these attacks have been consistently downplayed at my expense and that of my family.
For my entire life, I have held the cards of my complicated family history very close to my chest. I preferred to keep it that way and deeply resent that I have been forced to authenticate so many intimate details of my life to prove who I really am. This, in and of itself, is a form of violence. The same sources who falsely reported my family history—including Breitbart, the Daily Caller, and The Blaze—have also falsely reported that my wife and I were never in a brutal car accident, that I lied about how many kids we have (we have 5 now, but have had more/less because we’ve fostered, adopted, housed many of our nieces and nephews), that I lied about my race to get a scholarship from Oprah, that I lied about how many back surgeries I’ve had, and more. All of those things were completely and totally false, but have simply been ignored at my expense. I don’t know why this shocks me, but it does.
I adored my mother so much then, that I just didn’t have the nerve to ever bring these things up to her. I was a child and loved our care-free relationship. She had been married and divorced several times and by the time I was in second grade she was raising my brother and me as a single mom. By the time I reached middle school, I fully identified myself not even as biracial, but just as black. Of course, that was an oversimplification of my story, but that was what made sense at that time. Adults who loved and knew me, on many occasions sat me down and told me that I was black. As you could imagine, this had a profound impact on me and soon became my truth.
Every friend I had was black, my girlfriends were black, I was seen as black, treated as black, and endured constant overt racism as a young black teenager. Never have I once identified myself as white. Not on forms, not for convenience or privilege, and not for fun and games, have I ever identified myself as white. I was never a white guy pretending to be black. Not once, ever, did it occur to me that I was being phony or fraudulent or fake. Quite the opposite—I always believed I was living the truest form of my self.
My freshman year in high school, another student and I got into a huge fight at a football game. The fight ended up setting off a powder keg of racial tensions at our school. The school paper back then referred to me as black and him as white. We were suspended for three days and while we were out, racial tensions boiled over so much that hundreds of white students staged a walkout because they had just been banned from wearing Confederate flags.
When I returned to school from that suspension, the collective anger of the racist white students was focused on me daily. Dozens of my close friends experienced this racist hate alongside me and it broke us down in the worst ways. I was consistently called n*gger, spat on, had a jar of tobacco spit thrown in my face, forced into fights, and on two different occasions chased by pickup trucks attempting to maul us. In 2007, one of the students in one of those trucks wrote me a beautiful, moving apology for calling me a nigger and more on that scary dark night. I published it back then.
In March of 1995, it all boiled over and a racist mob of nearly a dozen students beat me severely, first punching me from all sides, then, when I cradled into a fetal position on the ground they stomped me mercilessly, some with steel-toed boots, for about 20 seconds. That day changed the entire trajectory of my life. Thankfully, multiple credible, unbiased eyewitnesses to this traumatic day have come out publicly and spoken on my behalf in the past 48 hours. A few days after I was assaulted, I was at home recovering when a group of rednecks literally pulled up in my driveway at night, but were chased off by a neighbor with a big flashlight. That neighbor just posted his memory of it.
I had fractures in my face and ribs, but most badly damaged was my spine. I ended up having three spinal surgeries and missed 20 months of school over it. My entire family endured this deeply painful time in my life ranging from the surgeries, the brutal recovery, physical therapy, and professional counseling. It was rougher than my words will ever do justice. Many people have said that in the police report it listed me as white—as if I checked the box and that was some deep admission. Today, that officer admitted to the New York Times that I never said I was white, but that he assumed so when he saw my mother. He and the school badly mishandled my case. We sued the school system for years because of their mishandling of it. They fought it tooth and nail and my mother and I eventually just gave up on it.
Rev. Willis Polk, a local pastor, and my best friend’s father, visited and prayed with me often during those surgeries. I became a Christian during my recovery. I was baptized and preached my first sermons as a high school teenage minister in the black church. Rev. Polk, his son Willis, and I toured HBCU’s together in 1996 and we knew that Morehouse College in Atlanta was the only place for us. We loved it.
Again, this wasn’t me sneaking into Morehouse as an undercover white man. I was 17 and my racial identity was fully formed. I knew who I was. I wasn’t appropriating or faking, but living out my life. During this entire time, my mother and I had an unspoken understanding about my race. Her past, in a sense, was taboo for me, and I had honestly moved on from even wanting to know the details of who she slept with in January of 1979. I sincerely didn’t care and had compartmentalized it deep in my mind and moved on the best I could.
To be clear, I received a full academic and leadership scholarship to attend Morehouse College based on my grades and my leadership skills. I love Morehouse. It helped me heal from the brokenness of my past and my very best friendships and bonds were formed there. When I was forced to leave Morehouse to have yet another spinal surgery, I lost that scholarship and was then offered a scholarship from Oprah Winfrey when I returned to complete my studies. She wanted it to be for “diamonds in the rough” and that was pretty much who I was at that point. I didn’t apply for it. Nobody does. The college selects brothers who need it and I was, very gratefully, chosen for it.
Since finishing Morehouse nearly 15 years ago, I have consistently and publicly shared my complicated story as an interracial child, facing the pressures of racism in an environment that lacked little intelligence or compassion about it. A part of this story has always been that I never chose to be black/interracial. Not only was it chosen for me by birth, but white students and staff fundamentally rejected me. Furthermore, the black community, my peers, their parents, and local black leaders, seeing that I was, in essence, a kid without a community, embraced me in the deepest, most soul-soothing ways. My wife, who has been with me since we were both in high school, has walked with me through this every step of the way and shared her story here earlier today.
Until this past week, never has anyone asked me who my father was during these 35 years of mine. It occurs to me now that I’ve never asked anyone that question either. It’s an odd question, and, in my case, has a complicated, deeply personal answer, but one that I have actually seen lived out many other times. I have walked other people very close to my wife and I through what it is like to find out that the person you believed was your father actually isn’t. This is a pretty common thing.
I now see pictures of all of our young children, distant relatives, and even people who I am not actually related to spread across the internet in an attempt to shame us somehow. This is disgusting. I want to be clear. I love my family. I have never, not once, hidden or been ashamed of my family. They are my biggest supporters and defenders and always have been. Most of the pictures people have shared to prove that I am white actually came from my own social media accounts that I have shared to hundreds of thousands of people. It’s all a farce.
Not one person behind these reports has remotely good intentions—quite the opposite, in fact. Since these articles have been released, my family and I have received constant death threats and nonstop racist harassment. Multiple members of my family have been harassed and we now have been forced to take extra security measures for our safety.
This was the goal… divide and conquer. But I will not allow it to define or distract me for one more day and hope that all of you reading this will move on with me. I have promised my wife, kids, extended family, and friends that this will be the last time I talk about this publicly for a long time. My work has never been about me and I’ve never made a big deal about my race. I’ve actually tried hard to avoid ever making a big deal out of it and have, instead, simply tried to do good work that matters. I’m eager to get back to the cause that concerns me most.
My focus will continue to be ending police brutality. I believe it is the pre-eminent civil rights issue of modern America and that, together, we can fight against it effectively.
Shaun is the Founder of Justice Together an organization whose goal is ending police brutality. Black Conservatives Fund PAC said it would donate $25,000 to Black Lives Matter if Shaun and his biological father submitted their DNA and it showed that Shaun was black.
This is Rachel Dolezal all over again. I wonder if Shaun’s father if he is not Jeffery will surface? The only people that can clear this up is Shaun’s mother, his biological father and or a DNA test. Shaun’s color is of no consequence to me, why people lie or have to prove their color is ridiculous either way. If the media that stated Shaun lied and is found to be telling the truth, I hope they issue apologies, which will probably never happen, as the internet never lies. What are your thoughts? Post your comments below.
Follow @RealityWives for Reality Television Wives, TV, Movies, stars, pop culture, everything ..
— Reality Wives (@RealityWives) October 29, 2012