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2018 BET Awards - Roaming Show

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The nature of being an activist means that you’re going to piss some folk off. But more than that, there will always be people who question both your methods and intentions. Journalist and activist Shaun King is no stranger to this reality. And with a strong presence in the digital space, the criticism comes hard and fast, from all angles.

King, as we’ve reported before, has been accused of being a White man masquerading as Black, he’s been accused of spreading lies when it comes to issues of concern in the Black community, and most recently, according to Clarissa Brooks, stealing funds he was supposed to be raising on behalf of sex trafficking victim Cyntoia Brown.

I personally learned of Brooks’ accusations when King shared this message.

If you thought it was an idle threat, he went on to share the tweets from people who alleged he had been dishonest.

One of them was writer and sexual assault organizer Clarissa Brooks. Brooks, who has done a lot of work around sexual violence on HBCU campuses, including Spelman, tweeted this about King.

Apparently, King made good on his word and reached out to Brooks, along with his lawyers. She shared the behind the scenes happenings as well as why she thought King’s approach was heavy-handed.

See what she had to say below. Click the tweet to read her statement in its entirety. 

This is not Black and White. If Brooks didn’t have evidence to prove King stole money, tweeting something like this was irresponsible. And I can understand why he would be upset, particularly when this statement is one of many in opposition to not only his work but his character.

Still, an activist threatening legal action against another activist for a social media post that has since been deleted is extreme. As I wrote earlier, part of being an activist is being judged on a public forum. And with all the things that have been said about Shaun King by White people who don’t give a damn about him, his causes, or his people, it’s interesting that he would use his time, platform and resources against a Black woman.

One Twitter user framed it best in her analysis of the situation, essentially saying that in the Black community, we can’t afford to throw Black women activists away like this.

What do you make of Brooks’ initial claim and King’s reaction? Do you agree that it was too much or did she take things too far?


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