Saturday, January 16, 2021

Sherronda J. Brown/Shaun King is A White Liberal’s Wet Dream

*(Via WearYourVoiceMag.com) – For the past few years, it seems like there’s been a “takedown” of Shaun King published every few months, and each one details the boundless duplicity of one of the most popular writers thriving in the post-Ferguson landscape.

Among Black activist circles, King is known as a disingenuous opportunist and grifter prone to intellectual thievery—particularly from Black women—and a profiteer of Black trauma with a cult-like following that allows him to repeatedly start new business ventures and initiatives on a loop while collecting piles of money.

King’s theatrics are tired and predictable, and any new information we get about his suspicious activity is unsurprising to most of us at this point, it’s just exasperating. Those of us who have witnessed his narcissism on full display since his emergence as a “prominent voice” following Ferguson are more than willing to give our testimonies and inform others of what we have seen, read, and heard regarding him and how he has maneuvered over the years.

MORE NEWS: Black Woman Convinces Merriam-Webster to Change Its Definition of Racism (Watch)

Shaun+King+International+Women+Day+Marked+G9hWwEQ3XlEl
Shaun King, a Black Lives Matter leader and writer for the New York Daily News, speaks a rally at Westlake Center on March 8, 2017 in Seattle, Washington. The rally was co-hosted by Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant and Socialist Students USA in honor of International Women’s Day, to stand up for reproductive rights and economic equality for women.
(March 7, 2017 – Source: Karen Ducey/Getty Images North America)

Still, we encounter his fans—overwhelmingly white liberals—who are steadfast in their support of him, almost religiously so, regardless of how many times and how many different ways we express that he is not our friend, not our spokesperson, not our savior. Many Black folks have the same question, born out of unending frustration: Why do so many white liberals keep supporting him?

To me, it seems to go beyond the obvious and the familiar, which is that white liberals usually don’t really listen to or respect Black folks, nor do they necessarily believe our shared experiences. The major reason that they hold so tightly to him is that the insincere and performative nature inherent to much of white liberalism creates a need and opens a door for someone like Shaun King to easily slip right into.

WHAT WE NEED TO UNDERSTAND ABOUT SHAUN KING’S PLATFORM IS THAT BLACK PEOPLE ARE NOT HIS INTENDED AUDIENCE OR HIS CONCERN—IT’S WHITE LIBERALS. THE ONES WHO DAMN NEAR SALIVATE OVER IMAGERY OF BLACK TRAUMA AND DEATH.

Well-aware of his sway and the weight of his name, King has used his “authority” to claim undue credit for the work of others and even threaten legal action against young Black organizers for asking questions about his shady fundraising practices and sic his millions of followers on them. At every juncture, he has deployed the kind of vague, circular language that cult leaders, demagogues, and propagandists are infamous for in order to avoid any accountability when Black folks have called him out and in about his unsavory behavior. With his pointed speech, he creates and plays into an “us vs. them” scenario, identifying any dissenters as ill-intentioned heretics attempting to sow seeds of discord and create roadblocks to justice.

This article continues at WearYourVoiceMag.com.

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