After nearly a week of being in a media firestorm, Shaun King decided to apologize to Clarissa Brooks, one of the people who he threatened to sue. She tweeted that money he raised for Cyntoia Brown disappeared, which was not true.
In a piece for Medium.com, King wrote, “Yesterday I reached out to Clarissa Brooks, a young organizer, to apologize to her directly. I would like an opportunity to do so face to face, as well, if she would consider it. In an attempt to correct what I felt was great harm caused by Ms. Brooks, I basically traded my hurt for hers. And that’s not OK. I do not wish to silence her, to silence Black women, or to silence the LBTQ community. I love and support these communities daily.”
He continued, “But my actions have clearly betrayed my heart this past week and I regret that tremendously. At the moment in which a single Black woman feels intimidated by my actions, I’ve clearly made a mistake. Period. It doesn’t matter if I’ve been wronged — I still have a responsibility to use my influence in a way that never causes harm.” He explained that his intent was address a false claim, however, “regardless of my intent, Clarissa sincerely felt bullied by my private outreach and public statements. No matter what led to my communication with Ms. Brooks, I do not want her to feel or be intimidated in any way. I also do not want her to be silenced.”
He apologized again and closed with our “focus should be fighting against the oppression and injustices that are against us — not battling those who are on the same side of seeking justice and peace.”
Brooks did not accept the apology. She responded on Twitter with, “Today I’m accepting that I don’t have to accept anyone’s apology if it’s rooted in misogyny.”
In case you missed it, on Jan. 7 Clarissa Brooks tweeted, “Are folks going to hold Shaun King accountable to money he ‘raised’ for Cyntoia? Or is that going to disappear as well…” Brooks deleted the tweet after she read King was suing people for tweeting about him. However, on Wednesday (Jan. 17), she received an email from King, which included his attorneys, Benjamin Crump and Lee Merritt, that threatened legal action if she didn’t apologize publicly.
Well, let’s hope this is the end of this ongoing debate.