Social activist and writer Shaun King was ridiculed without mercy for a brazen about-face on his support for Kamala Harris, quickly cozying up to the senator after she became Joe Biden’s VP pick, despite criticizing her for years.
King treated his 1.1 million-strong Twitter following to a lengthy defense of Harris soon after she was declared Biden’s running mate on Tuesday, dubbing her “the most progressive candidate among the credible finalists for VP.” Though a look through some of King’s pronouncements on Harris over the years reveals a long string of attacks over her less-than-progressive stances on criminal justice, he took an altogether different tone on Tuesday, saying she had “improved drastically on all justice and policing-related issues” since 2011, when she last served as a district attorney.
The light-speed flip-flop was noticed by King’s critics and supporters alike, with the former taking a more direct approach, dubbing him a “fraud” while pointing to a November 2018 tweet in which King claimed “99%” certainty that he would not support Harris or Biden, as they “both helped to build and advance mass incarceration.” Quite a difference 22 months can make, given that as of Tuesday, King now ranks Harris “in the top 3 on justice reform issues” among US senators.
Though King took pains to include some skepticism about Harris’ past, noting he had “about 15 substantive critiques of Kamala’s time as District Attorney of San Francisco,” his newfound support did not go over well with his followers.
“I can’t believe I’m reading this from you, Shaun. ‘The most progressive candidate among the credible finalists’?!” one supporter wrote in shock, adding “In my view, Kamala is only progressive when it’s convenient.”
Oh but she “Changed” lol.Not fast enough to win the POTUS nomination but just in time to become Biden’s partner in BLUE crime.
— Cathy Paulino (@mysticmuggle) August 12, 2020
If this is the best you can do I guess we’ll have to accept it but as a supporter of yours, I say careful with your words, efforts and energy. You don’t want to wind up on the wrong side of history.
— MsTee (@MsMissTee1) August 11, 2020
Is this…not a complete 180 from your stance during the primary? Maybe I’m mistaken, and somebody let me know if I am
— Taylor Deas 🌹 (@Lancemanon) August 11, 2020
King is no stranger to controversy, regularly hurling racially-charged allegations at opponents, such as in May 2018, when he accused a white Texas state trooper of raping a black woman in custody. Hours of body cam footage eventually came to light and discredited King’s claim, which he based on statements the woman made to him and her lawyer, later acknowledging his error. King’s fundraising efforts for various causes have also come under scrutiny, with a Daily Beast investigation last year pointing to a number of discrepancies in reported donation amounts.
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