Black Lives Matter activist Shaun King responded on Thursday evening to a host of allegations lobbed this week by conservative media outlets questioning everything from his race to his children to specifics of his childhood in Versailles, Kentucky. Conservative bloggers began investigating and posting on King’s racial identity in June, questioning whether he was black as King has indentified himself as, and insinuating he was the next Rachel Dolezal. A conservative blogger said she tracked down his birth certificate and that his father, like his mother, was white.
King responded in a post on Daily Kos Thursday:
I refuse to speak in detail about the nature of my mother’s past, or her sexual partners, and I am gravely embarrassed to even be saying this now, but I have been told for most of my life that the white man on my birth certificate is not my biological father and that my actual biological father is a light-skinned black man. My mother and I have discussed her affair. She was a young woman in a bad relationship and I have no judgment. This has been my lived reality for nearly 30 of my 35 years on earth… For my entire life, I have held the cards of my complicated family history very close to my chest. I preferred to keep it that way and deeply resent that I have been forced to authenticate so many intimate details of my life to prove who I really am.
King also responded to a myriad of other claims made by conservative media outlets building on their questioning of his racial identity, including attempting to cast doubt on whether he should have been admitted and received a scholarship to historically black Morehouse College.
By the time I reached middle school, I fully identified myself not even as biracial, but just as black… Adults who loved and knew me, on many occasions sat me down and told me that I was black. As you could imagine, this had a profound impact on me and soon became my truth. Every friend I had was black, my girlfriends were black, I was seen as black, treated as black, and endured constant overt racism as a young black teenager. Never have I once identified myself as white. Not on forms, not for convenience or privilege, and not for fun and games, have I ever identified myself as white.