In August, Breitbart forced Black Lives Matter campaigner Shaun King to confess that he has no idea who his father is, blowing apart his claim to represent oppressed black minorities and casting doubt on his eligibility for the Oprah scholarship that funded him through college. Yet progressive trolls are still trying to undermine the story.
King, whose mother is white, was accused by investigative blogger Vicki Pate of masquerading as biracial because the man listed on his birth certificate is also white. King published an emotional acknowledgment of our reporting at the Daily Kos. His post confirmed all the key details of our story.
“Until this past week,” wrote King in August, “never has anyone asked me who my father was during these 35 years of mine. It occurs to me now that I’ve never asked anyone that question either.”
King claims that the man on his birth certificate is not his father, but expects readers to just take his word for it, despite police reports that list his ethnicity as white and family members who have come forward, speaking to both CNN and Breitbart, to insist he is white.
King expects his supporters to believe that he knows nothing about who his father is except that his father is black, and that he never bothered to find out before Vicki Pate started asking questions, at which point he threw his mother under the bus and published a story about an apparently illegitimate affair she had with someone he describes as a “light-skinned black man.” He must think we, and his own supporters, were born yesterday.
The entire Black Lives Matter movement is based on the discredited identity politics of the progressive left and diseased grievance culture that perpetuates black suffering for the benefit of leftist political ideals and the endless progressive quest to punish “straight white males.”
The loss of King as a credible Black Lives Matter leader, and his emergence as a poseur alongside Rachel Dolezal, would be devastating to that narrative.
Faced with the disgrace and humiliation of one of their most vocal figureheads and absent any evidence of King’s father’s ethnicity, progressives are looking to poke holes in our reporting instead. Since King effectively folded, confirming all the important details of our reporting, BLM campaigners and their allies on Twitter and in the blogosphere are looking for any possible hook to excuse him from the charges.
Today, a new conspiracy theory emerged from progressive campaigners, who accuse Breitbart of using Joshua Goldberg, a white supremacist ISIS-impersonating troll, as a source for our story. They point to emails between me and Goldberg, who was just arrested for domestic terrorism.
They say, wrongly, that our source for the Shaun King story was Goldberg, and that this throws doubt on our conclusions. Their claims are preposterous.
Like most well-known journalists I receive hundreds – on some days, thousands – of emails a day from sources, readers, fans and other strangers. I received one such email from a person called Joshua Goldberg who had a long history of provocative, thought-provoking columns on Thought Catalog. I had no reason at the time to think anything was amiss.
Goldberg, we now know, is a troll, a fantasist and a liar with a horrible double life. If the FBI arrest is anything to go by, Goldberg is a deplorable human being. No one knew this before today. He was a prolific and successful troll, even fooling the Times of Israel into posting something under a third party’s name, which that newspaper now calls a “foul, hoax blog.” But he had no input in, or impact on, our Shaun King reporting.
King’s supporters thus rely on the word of a man they themselves are – rightly – lambasting, in order to smear Breitbart‘s reporting. Their argument appears to be that a notorious troll and liar has claimed credit for a Breitbart exclusive; therefore the story must be a hoax. Their reasoning is laughably flawed.
Although Goldberg was in touch with me about Shaun King, like dozens of other people, he was not our source for this story. Blogger Vicki Pate was, as we reported at the time, and we were already in touch with her when Goldberg wrote to me. Goldberg had nothing to add to her research, which is why, by his own admission, I stopped responding to his emails.
Readers need only consider the thoroughness and scepticism with which we approached the story in the first place, and make up their own minds about how assiduously we followed the trail of Shaun King’s real dad. But until King submits to a DNA test, as one black conservative group offered him $25,000 to do, or he produces his real father, these conspiracy theories will continue to swirl around the internet.