The wife of embattled Black Lives activist Shaun King, who is accused of pretending to be black and of falsely obtaining an Oprah scholarship to historically black Morehouse College, has taken to Facebook to defend her husband.
The King story was broken by Breitbart yesterday and has been repeated by hundreds of media outlets all over the world, with only a few detractors from the American liberal fringes who insist King has done nothing wrong.
King responded with a Twitter tirade claiming he had never lied about his race, even though childhood friends and extended family members confirmed to Breitbart and CNN that he was white. But he never answered the simple question: are you black or white?
Now his wife, Rai King, has leapt to his defence, calling her husband “the most courageous man I’ve ever known.” But Mrs. King does not answer the central question of whether her husband is white or biracial except to say that he is not a liar.
“Just know this, there is nothing fake about Shaun King,” she wrote. “He’s no Rachel Dolezal. What’s white about him is white, and what’s Black about him is Black and always has been from the time he was a child. There’s no spray tan, no fake Black hairstyles, no attempt to make himself appear any more ethnic than he already does.”
“Whatever you think you know about him, you don’t. Whatever you think has been uncovered, hasn’t,” she continued. “There is no part of his life that surprises me, his children, nor our closest family and friends. He has no secrets, but he does have a private life. And no amount of ignorance will force him to disclose the details of that private life until he’s ready.”
“He doesn’t belong to you. And he owes nothing to anyone,” she stated.
The full text of Mrs King’s Facebook post appears blow.
My husband, Shaun King, is the most courageous man I’ve ever known. You’d be hard pressed to find anyone more sincerely dedicated to the cause of justice in this country than him-even when his own wellbeing is at stake. For over a year now we have faced death threats so severe that I have all but discontinued social media and now go to great lengths to conceal my location and the location of our children. All because he has made it his business to speak truth to power. That fighting for social good could cause this level of hate, continues to baffle me.
I am not courageous. Many times I have asked him to stop his work. To take a safer, less difficult path for the sake of our family. Because of his strong stance on police brutality, he has lost employment and even strained close relationships. Most of you will never understand the stress and heartache that comes with the work he does. To you he’s a twitter handle. To me and our 5 children, he is a real, live, breathing person who watches UFC and drinks sweet tea like it’s going out of style. To you he’s a “Black Lives Matter” activist. For our children he’s the dad who makes amazing pancakes. He’s our world.
Since I was 15 years old, Shaun has been my best friend. Through high school, college, and the years that have followed, we have seen each other through too many ups and downs to count. This latest attack is just one more to add to the list. I won’t distract from the very important work he does by rebutting all the ridiculous lies currently circulating about him. I’ve been there for the back surgeries, and pain treatment procedures all stemming from the mob attack he experienced in high school. I was in the car with him during the car accident. I’ve raised the children that have caused our family to fluctuate between 4 to 6 kids in any given year. He has taken in each one of them-be it for a year, 2 years, 10 years, or even a week- and worked like a crazy person to raise them all like his own. We actually believe in living out the tenants of our faith by caring for widows and orphans. That’s our business. About this, we have nothing to prove.
Shaun is a flawed and imperfect man. He has made many mistakes. Just like me and just like you. But regarding his race, he has never lied. Not once. His story is beautifully difficult, and painful. And I’ve actually encouraged him to tell it publicly because it is a unique expression of this country’s sordid and ridiculous history with race. But it’s his story to tell. On his own terms. When he’s ready to tell it. Out of respect for his mother, and all involved, I hope he continues to let the talking heads talk while he does the real work of holding judicial systems accountable for the 742 women and men they’ve gunned down this year alone.
Just know this, there is nothing fake about Shaun King. He’s no Rachel Dolezal. What’s white about him is white, and what’s Black about him is Black and always has been from the time he was a child. There’s no spray tan, no fake Black hairstyles, no attempt to make himself appear any more ethnic than he already does. Whatever you think you know about him, you don’t. Whatever you think has been uncovered, hasn’t. There is no part of his life that surprises me, his children, nor our closest family and friends. He has no secrets, but he does have a private life. And no amount of ignorance will force him to disclose the details of that private life until he’s ready. He doesn’t belong to you. And he owes nothing to anyone. At the end of the day, I’m mom and he’s dad to 5 fantastic children. We have real friends. We have close family. For them our lives have always been an open book. They are all that matters. Everyone else can kick rocks. Literally.
If I lacked courage before, this situation has found it renewed in me. Any student of history understands that this type of scrutiny and demonizing of public figures is an old and tried tactic designed to take the focus off of the work at hand. Well, you may choose to be distracted from this work, but we won’t. Today I am going to teach the Black and Brown 1st graders I love so much. It is in the classroom, through the shaping and molding of young minds, that I stage my protest. Today, Shaun will continue to raise the collective consciousness of us all by writing articles highlighting police brutality. Many expect this media foolishness to take center stage in our lives. It never will.