Last week, we wrote about two activists having it out on Twitter. Shaun King, the one with more notoriety and followers blasted Clarissa Brooks, writer and sexual assault organizer, who accused him of stealing donations meant for the currently incarcerated but soon to be freed sex trafficking victim Cyntoia Brown.
King reposted Brooks’ accusation on his own Twitter page, drawing attention and threats to Brooks’ page. He also threatened to sue her, publicly and privately.
Over the weekend, King decided to apologize to Brooks in the public forum of Medium. He tweeted the link to the essay he wrote.
King shared that he reached out to Brooks personally but thought since he went after her publicly, he should also apologize in the same manner.
“In an attempt to correct what I felt was great harm caused by Ms. Brooks, I basically traded my hurt for hers. And that’s not OK. I do not wish to silence her, to silence Black women, or to silence the LBTQ community. I love and support these communities daily.
But my actions have clearly betrayed my heart this past week and I regret that tremendously. At the moment in which a single Black woman feels intimidated by my actions, I’ve clearly made a mistake. Period. It doesn’t matter if I’ve been wronged — I still have a responsibility to use my influence in a way that never causes harm.
Of course, my only original intent was to address a single very damaging false tweet from Ms. Brooks, but in doing so, she felt bullied by me and threatened by others. That’s a fail. I am thankful that Clarissa deleted the false tweet in question here, but this process has done more harm than good.
We are living in tumultuous times and our focus should be fighting against the oppression and injustices that are against us — not battling those who are on the same side of seeking justice and peace.”
It was clear that King was still, in the midst of apologizing, attempting to rationalize his actions. And perhaps, for that reason, Brooks didn’t take too kindly to the note. Shortly after it was published, she tweeted this.
You can read some of the reasons Brooks felt his apology wasn’t up to snuff and others who felt she should have accepted it on the following pages.