Black Lives Matter activist fights back after being accused of lying about his race
Reports from conservative outlets have alleged that Shaun King has two white parents
Black Lives Matter activist Shaun King is fighting back after several right wing news outlets claimed both his parents are white.
On Wednesday, Breitbart, a conservative American news site, accused King of lying about his race, reporting that his birth certificate lists two white parents. It then accused him of lying to get a scholarship for Morehouse College, a historically black university, through the Oprah Scholarship.
The accusations went viral through social media and led to harassment of King and other members of Black Lives Matter.
I receive death threats daily. DISTANT members of my family are being harassed 24/7. This has taken something out of me, but I'm ok.—@ShaunKing
King initially replied through Twitter that the report was inaccurate and that "in essence, what is happening to me now, is like conservatives demanding Obama's long form birth certificate."
29. 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.—@ShaunKing
30. I did not concoct a lie about my race to get into <a href="https://twitter.com/Morehouse">@Morehouse</a>. I did not concoct a lie about my race to get an <a href="https://twitter.com/Oprah">@Oprah</a> scholarship.—@ShaunKing
Morehouse tweeted that they never consider race when awarding scholarships.
<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Morehouse?src=hash">#Morehouse</a> has no comment on the <a href="https://twitter.com/ShaunKing">@Shaunking</a> allegations. However <a href="https://twitter.com/Morehouse">@Morehouse</a> does not grant admissions or scholarships based on race.—@Morehouse
In an article posted on the Daily Kos Thursday night, King explained why his birth certificate lists two white parents.
"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," he wrote, explaining that he's long known about his complicated heritage.
"All of my siblings and I have different parents. I'm actually not even sure how many siblings I have."
King also struck back at a claim in a report from another conservative website, The Daily Caller, that alleged he had lied about the details of a 1995 beating he received while in high school. The story, largely based on a police report on the incident, alleged that King exaggerated the extent of his injuries and the number of assailants.
3. In March of 1995, I was brutally assaulted by a racist mob of rednecks at my school. Guess what, they denied it.—@ShaunKing
An old schoolmate from King's hometown of Versailles, Ky. contradicted the police account on Facebook, saying he had witnessed the beating
"I didn't stop to count how many attacked him, but the number was easily in the neighbourhood of a dozen. They were big white farm boys," wrote Shae Gold. "As soon as the chaos attracted the attention of two teachers, it was over and the attackers deftly dispersed. There was blood all over the floor."
A retired teacher at King's school also corroborated his account of the attack on Facebook.
Willis Polk, King's friend since elementary school, further defended him on Facebook, asserting that he's always known King as biracial. He wrote that King was called the N-word, "as much, if not more, than myself or any of my black friends and family while growing up in Versailles."
In his post on the Daily Kos, King described the accusations as an attempts to smear the movements he represents and impede his ability to fight for change.
"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," King wrote.
Brietbart's information was gathered from a series of posts on Re-Newsit, a right-wing blog devoted to disputing facts around the shooting of black people. The blog declared King as the "next Rachel Dolezal," a Spokane, Wash. chapter NAACP official who claimed to be black.