Shaun King would like to be part of a story on race, and I think perhaps that’s the part of his life story that’s most salacious, if we discount his extraordinary Twitter meltdown. But let’s for a moment consider other things.
Shaun King has raised, by his own estimation, a half million to five million dollars to “help” people — and I’m going to take him at face value here. Here are five questions that have nothing to do with Shaun King’s race that I, and black activists I’ve spoken to today, would like answered.
1) Can you explain the difference between the $540,000 reportedly raised on Twitchange to help Haiti with the $200,000 eventually sent via Paypal to the Northwest Haiti Christian Ministry? Was the new facility for the Miriam Center ever built? If not, at what point do you plan to account for the remaining funds–over a third of a million dollars?
2) Knowing that truth is the ultimate defence against defamation, and that during your trial there will likely be discovery to prove or disprove your case, do you still intend to sue your former classmate for libel or slander for raising questions about what you say was a “hate crime” perpetrated against you in the 1990s? If so, when, and in what jurisdiction?
3) Do you plan on making good on the rewards from the $17,000 Kickstarter for your book? Many of your supporters say they never got what they paid for and their inquiries have been ignored. Will you pledge to address these complaints and issue refunds where appropriate?
4) Do you plan to pay Michael Moore for the bail for on an activist who broke the law tearing down a Confederate flag at your urging? Putting aside the legality of encouraging someone to commit a crime, you advertised a dollar amount but then Michael Moore had to step up and offer to cover it. Did Michael Moore eventually pay that bail, and if so, will you reimburse him?
5) You’ve said you’ve raised nearly half a million dollars for families affected by police violence. Which families? How can we get hold of them to verify this? How is anyone supposed to verify that the funds you raise end up with the people they are supposed to benefit? If there’s a tax exemption or international jurisdiction issue, I am happy to abide by standard journalistic practices of off the record or background conversations.
I’m guessing you have perfectly reasonable answers to all this, and that you can provide them swiftly. You’re a Morehouse College grad, after all.