Shaun King may have released a 72-page report detailing “
Here are the five biggest takeaways from Cane’s interview with King:
1. Cane cited the criticism that King’s report was authored by people he knew, including Tamika Mallory, Co-Chair of The Women’s March and Co-Founder of Justice League NYC and civil rights attorney Lee Merritt.
“Why not an independent audit company, like nonprofits do, for the report?” Cane asked him.
“That’s something that we could have done,” King responded before continuing. “First, I’ll say that this group was independent… They had full unfettered access to all five years of my tax returns to all of my bank accounts, to all of my emails, all of my social media accounts and still did it. Some of it is, we also wanted to do it as efficiently and quickly as we could. Having this team, they were able to operate in a way to get it done in about a month where other groups, it could have taken months and months.”
He also added, “If somebody wants to take this information and pass it through another filter of their own, please do it.”
Allen Boomer, one of the authors of the report and a financial advisor with Momentum Advisors, was also present during the interview and interjected.
“Shaun has taken the initiative to pull all of this information together and, yes, he did bring in some outsiders as well as some people that he knows — but none of this is criminal in the sense that if this were a criminal investigation, then there would be the government investigating this…,” Boomer said. “There’s been no criminal investigation into any of this stuff because it’s just not there. In terms of an investigation, this is as good of an investigation as I think you’re going to get outside of the authorities who are not involved because there’s no crime. If the families were saying this, then I could see them doing a more, sort of impartial third party — like we’re looking for criminal activity type of investigation.”
Listen to the clip below.
2. Cane also asked King about accusations that he received $160,000 from a crowdsourcing foundation called HopeMob in 2013. King said the 72-page reported only addressed his fundraising with Black Lives Matter in 2014 and since. However, “What people are saying is ‘But Shawn, as CEO of HopeMob, you were paid.’ It was a company, and, literally every dime we raised for families went directly to those families,” King explained.
“Were you paid 160k?” Cane asked.
“That was over a period of a few years,” King said. “What people are seeing in that report of 160k they’re saying, ‘Oh my God, that organization only brought in 160k but it all went to Shaun.’ That money was literally given to us by a grant for me to build HopeMob and do HopeMob for me to be able to have that as my primary employment.”
He emphasized, “Every dollar that came into families went directly to families. We raised millions of dollars for families for the three years that we led HopeMob.”
3. King admitted to his having his employees sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA).
“Yes, that’s true,” he said. “It’s just a part of their employment package. It’s about business and trade agreements. There is a lengthy employment package that everybody signs who comes into our company and that’s part of it.”
Tiffany Hawkins, a financial advisor who worked on the fundraising report, said that practice wasn’t out of the ordinary.
4. King also denied stealing content or plagiarizing from Black women.
“After this report, we may very well create another team,” King said. “There is a whole separate thread of people saying that I have plagiarized articles, that I have stolen content. It has never happened. Not once. I am as sure and confident as that as I am saying that I have never touched a dollar that I’ve ever raised for any family, not just in this report, but before the report. I’ve never borrowed content and not properly credited. I’ve never been inspired by content from someone and then used it on my own.”
See the clip below.
In 2016, King was accused of plagiarizing an article from Justin Miller, the senior editor at The Daily Beast at the time. But it was King’s editor at The New York Daily News who was fired, not King, who said in a statement that the editor “made a series of egregious and inexplicable errors” and on at least three occasions “deleted attribution that made it appear passages from Shaun King’s columns were not properly credited.”
5. King revealed that years of criticism has made him numb.
“For most of my public life as a leader, I was a very sensitive person,” he started. “What am I about to say is a bit of a confession and it’s not necessarily a good thing — I think the past five years of the Black Lives Matter movement, in general, have caused me to do something that I’m having to really work out myself to deal with the constant attacks, harassment, death, threats and critiques.”
He continued, “I’ve started to flip off certain emotional switches and what happens is, is I’ve grown numb to these types of things that are said about me such that if somebody says something horrible about me that’s a complete fabrication, I stopped caring a couple of years ago.”
Rihanna’s annual Diamond Ball was set to present King as well as Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley with the event’s highest honor next month, which Variety reported “will benefit the Clara Lionel Foundation, an organization created by the singer to fund education and emergency response programs throughout the globe.”
You can read the full fundraising report here and make your own informed decision.