Comrade Anye, Black Hammer Times Staff
A revolution is nothing without integrity. In a country where movements are constantly being co-opted by fraudulent, corporate, sell-out activists, it is essential to call it as it is and point out to the people when someone is not trustworthy.
Nobody embodies the image of corporate activism more than liberal media darling, Shaun King.
Everybody knows him. His posts and articles are shared by the masses almost impulsively, seemingly without examining his true intentions.
Recently, King has come under fire for issues surrounding his attempted reboot of The North Star – an abolitionist paper started by Frederick Douglass in the mid-1800s. Since its inception, this online news venture of his has been riddled with incompetence, cut-backs and lay-offs.
For King, this damning evidence of the crooked nature of this newspaper reboot is just the latest infraction of a man who has faced allegations of misappropriating and mismanaging funds for over a decade.
So with that history in mind, why not take a look back at some of the fraudulent activities connected to the man who has become unaffectionately known on black twitter as Talcum X?
In 2010, after the massive earthquake hit Ayiti (so-called Haiti), King started a web auction house called TwitChange to raise money for those affected. He claimed to have raised over a million dollars in total and over $100,000 on the first night.
Donations were received and distributed by Courageous Church, a church where King was the lead pastor. Organizations on the ground in the Caribbean claimed only to have received $200,000, far short of the amount of donations King had boasted about receiving.
With looming questions of where the funds went, King sold TwitChange to a group of investors and stepped down from his role as lead pastor at the church.
Soon after, King kickstarted his own crowdfunding website, HopeMob. Users of the platform complained of delayed payouts and poor inquiry processes. According to an IRS audit, the company paid out less than half of the money it took in, all while King paid himself $160,000.
This man is unashamed to finesse his own poor and working class colonized people. He even started a campaign on his website to raise money to lobby for gun control in response to the Sandy Hook school shooting. He raised $11,000 even though he is not a lobbyist, has no history of lobbying, and, from research, has paid no money into lobbying efforts.
His thievery only intensified after the lynching of Michael Brown in 2014, and the snowballing Black Lives Matter scam.
King started taking every opportunity to start fundraisers for victims of racialized violence, often unbeknownst to the victims themselves.
Samaria Rice, the mother of Tamir Rice, was surprised to learn that King launched a fundraiser on her family’s behalf. The Rice family ended up having to hire a lawyer to get access to those funds. Due to King’s incompetence, the funds couldn’t be used to relocate the family from their trauma-associated Cleveland home.
No, this wasn’t just a one-time thing.
Eric Garner’s family and activist Bree Newsome have struggled with King in the past for the same reasons. King has been called out by numerous people and even his fellow corporate activists for questionable financial practices.
You know it’s bad when Patagonia model Deray McKesson is calling you out publicly.
For someone whose entire activism revolves around raising money for other people, it is not too much to demand transparency about where those funds are being allocated. Whenever questioned about it, King gets extremely defensive, even to the point of starting entire campaigns to clear his name.
While he is not the only one, he is, however, the most infamous one. So beware of Talcum X.
Beware of all corporate-backed, performative, sell-out activism.
These are the vultures of white power in blackface, preying on the desperation forced onto colonized communities. King is the perfect example of the sellout “entrepreneur”. Let Shaun King be our last and ugliest reminder that just because colonized people are mobilized in the streets does not mean we are unified.
Unification can only come when poor and working class colonized people take back their power, and power only comes when we organize for material change.
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