Are there cracks appearing in the far flung leadership of the Black Lives Matter movement? One might imagine that inside any disparate political organization, disputes will eventually arise over the message, the strategy, priorities or any of several key management issues. The same thing happened to the Occupy movement when they were unable to reach a consensus of Up Twinkles on who was supposed to clean out the rape tents in New York City. The organization never really recovered.
Yesterday on Twitter a policy fight broke out between two prominent BLM activists, both of whom are likely familiar to readers. The Daily Caller picked up on the spat and captured some of the tense moments between Deray McKesson and current New York Daily News writer Shaun King. But it wasn’t the normal debate over where to hold the next protest, what the banners should read or which cops to condemn to a life of unemployment. This particular argument had to do with a “non-profit” organization which King had started – where Deray sat on the board – and what happened to the money they raised.
A massive rift appeared Sunday in the Black Lives Matter movement, when two of its most high-profile activists went at it on Twitter.
The beef appears to center on New York Daily News columnist Shaun King’s defunct social justice charity, Justice Together. Deray McKesson, a prominent grassroots activist who sat on Justice Together’s board of directors, took King to task for blocking him on Twitter when he asked about the group’s planning and financing.
Following a Daily Caller expose last month, King announced that he was shutting down Justice Together and another similar group he founded last year called Justice That’s All.
The tweets were flying fast and … well, it wasn’t really furious. But Deray definitely had questions about the group’s finances. And when he asked about it, King immediately blocked him.
But, as a former board member of JusticeTogether, I didn't know about the money or about the abrupt end. I had/have questions.
— deray (@deray) December 13, 2015
Other BLM leaders jumped in with similar concerns.
Justice Together fell CLEAN apart. Your board members been in MY DM's and I'm not involved AT ALL complaining about you @shaunking
— Johnetta Elzie (@Nettaaaaaaaa) December 13, 2015
This apparently isn’t the first time that King has raised eyebrows about charity organizations he started which later vanished. The Daily Caller had previously reported on a group named HopeMob which started with great support from the SJW community. But today, if you go to their website, it simply says that HopeMob is unavailable. (I guess Hope runs out after all.) That’s a shame, because when he started a crowdfunding push to get it going he collected almost $130K from nearly one thousand backers.
There will need to be a thorough investigation into all of this, but if it turns out to be dodgy it won’t be the first time that supposedly non-profit groups started in support of social or political movements and were quickly run up the flagpole by activists only to see the money disappear. The fact that it may have happened to BLM shouldn’t come as any sort of surprise at all.