Is he black or white? Shaun King responds to his critics

Shaun-King-e1440133042699*Shaun King, the Black Lives Matter activist accused of lying about his race, spent Wednesday repairing damage done by conservative bloggers who claim he lied about his race and being the victim of a racially motivated attack.
“Every single person who knows me BEYOND Twitter, beyond trending topics and HIT PIECES, knows I have never lied about my race,” King wrote in defense of himself on Twitter.
The response was one of more than 30 messages the 35-year-old activist tweeted to his 170,000 followers.
According to The New York Times, King’s response stemmed from references made by bloggers regarding police report on the incident, which King described as his brutal beating by a white mob. The March 1, 1995 report has King’s race marked as white and describes his injuries from the attack as minor. The report goes on to identify only one other student as being involved in the incident.
In a telephone interview with the Times, the investigating detective for the case, Keith Broughton admitted that although he hadn’t asked King about his race, he filled out the form based on observing King’s light skin and white mother.
The activist mentioned his mother’s race and father, who is black, while alluding to the death of Michael Brown as the reason for his passionate to help people.
The Times noted that King’s mention of six witnesses he interviewed that were put forth by the school’s principal, including a teacher who broke up the fight. From the interviews, King said all the witnesses described the incident as a one-on-one altercation.
The report was ultimately picked up by The Daily Caller and published Wednesday (Aug. 20) on the conservative media site Breitbart. News of the story triggered instant reaction on social media, where King became the top trending topic on Twitter.
King continued to state his case in a second message. Tweeting, “Out of LOVE for my family, I’ve never gone public with my racial story because it’s hurtful, scandalous, and it’s MY STORY.”
In addition to the police report, Breitbart and The Daily Caller posted copies of what they said was King’s birth certificate, which listed as his father a man who is white.
Referencing the attack, the Times stated that it occurred when King was a 15-year-old freshman at Woodford County High School in Versailles, Ky. King described the physical affect of the attack in a Facebook post, writing that he had been beaten so severely that he missed more than a year of school and had several operations and counseling for post-traumatic stress disorder.
“Sadly, several popular conservative websites are saying I made the whole thing up in an attempt to discredit my work to end police brutality in our country,” he wrote.
Two people who said they saw it happen, a band teacher and a former fellow student, backed King’s version of the attack.
For more of the Times’ story on King, click here.


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