Deray: Shaun King lacks integrity, is not an effective leader, and is a bully

Deray: Shaun King lacks integrity, is not an effective leader, and is a bully

Black Lives Matter activist Deray McKesson just dropped the hammer on Shaun King. In a lengthy post published on Medium, Deray offers a long list of organizing and fundraising efforts by King which have either failed or ended without clear indications of where the money went. In fact, Deray comes close to accusing King of fraud. Note that the emphasis below is in the original text:

Deray also faults King for his way of avoiding straight answers to questions about his activities, which he says involves denial, claiming to be a victim, and bullying:

Deray says King is taking advantage of people but no one wants to admit its happening:

I have seen many people, against their better judgment, defend Shaun. I know because I was once one of those people. We are all apt to defend own decision-making, especially about people. But the love for our people must be greater than the love of any one person. Shaun has continued to thrive because many people cannot believe that they have been duped, used, or taken advantage of.

All of this is just the prelude to the rest of the piece in which Deray lists organizations King has founded and fundraised for, often with no evidence the groups ever accomplished anything in the real world. It’s all worth reading but here’s a sample:

The North Star Seems to have followed a similar pattern of starting an effort, bringing in committed people, fundraising and then questionable follow through.
Launched in November 2018 in partnership with a Black independent media host and podcaster Benjamin Dixon, began fundraising to start an effort built on the legacy of Frederick Douglass and liberatory journalism. While there is an online blog and a podcast, there was promised daily news video programming and other content that does not seem to have been published.

It is unclear how much has been raised since the soft launch in November 2018, but with tens of thousands of members paying monthly it is curious there has not been a daily news program as promised.

Several staffers in the initial phases were hired and then laid off, and it is unclear if the Atlanta studio is still in use.

Several former staffers have reached out to me but were afraid to say anything publicly because of non-disclosure agreements that were signed of which Shaun maintains the sole copies. Even former employees who did not sign NDAs that require their silence were afraid to speak out because they did not want him to use his platform against them.

One of the things that was brought to my attention was that Shaun fundraised for The North Star, in part, by saying that white supremacists were hacking the website but this, in fact, was untrue. Instead, the site had been built poorly and just needed better technological infrastructure.

Deray also mentions King’s history of sloppy allegations including the sensational allegation of rape which he promoted last year. I’m willing to give Deray some credit for speaking the truth about someone close to him. But frankly, Deray himself isn’t blameless when it comes to telling the truth. He was one of the people promoting conspiracy theories about Sandra Bland:

So far, this tweet appears to be the only response from King to Deray’s post on Medium:

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