After coming under fire by a slew of conservative Web sites that claimed he lied about his biracial identity, prominent social justice activist Shaun King told The Washington Post Thursday that he is biracial because he is the son of his white mother and a black man whose identity he does not know. The white man whose name appears on King’s birth certificate, he says, is not his father.
“The reports about my race, about my past, and about the pain I’ve endured are all lies. My mother is a senior citizen. 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,” King said in a statement to The Post that he also published at Daily Kos. “This has been my lived reality for nearly 30 of my 35 years on earth. I am not ashamed of it, or of who I am—never that—but I was advised by my pastor nearly 20 years ago that this was not a mess of my doing and it was not my responsibility to fix it. It is horrifying to me that my most personal information, for the most nefarious reasons, has been forced out into the open and that my private past and pain have been used as jokes and fodder to discredit me and the greater movement for justice in America.”
His statement, which King has described as his family’s darkest secret, was prompted by articles in recent days claiming that King — one of the most well-known activists in the Black Lives Matter protest movement — was lying about his biracial identity. As evidence, critics have cited his birth certificate, which is signed by King’s mother, whose name appears on the document as Naomi Fleming, and Jeffrey Wayne King, a Kentucky man who is white.
In an interview with The Post, King said he and his mother discussed the identity of his father on Wednesday, the first time they had ever discussed the issue at length, and that she confirmed to him that his father was a black man. King said his mother was married and divorced several times, and raised him and several siblings largely as a single mother.
King said that he never knew who his biological father was, and realized at the age of 8 that he was likely biracial. He publicly identified as black throughout high school, and said by the time he went to college he “had honestly moved on from even wanting to know the details of who [his mother] slept with in January of 1979.”
King’s mother, a 64-year-old woman who lives in Kentucky, has not addressed the allegations publicly and could not be reached for comment. Attempts to reach Jeffrey Wayne King were also unsuccessful.
This does not make sense:
1. He doesn’t know who his father is.
2. He knows his father is black.
3. He publicly identifies as biracial.
4. He didn’t want to embarrass his mother by telling people his father is black.
5. The man on his birth certificate is white.
If your mother is white and you are biracial then your father must be black. If the guy on your birth certificate is white, then he must not be your father. So how do you tell people you are biracial without letting slip this “darkest family secret?”
This latest version of the truth begs the question: What is his real father’s name?
Don’t try asking that question over at Cheetoville:
I guess asking questions is racist.
Here are some other racist questions:
1. Does this unidentified sperm donor know he has a son?
2. Did either man ever pay child support?
3. Has Shaun King made any effort to find his father and/or learn more about him and any other relatives?
4. If not, why not?
5. Is Shaun King willing to take a DNA test?
This story appears to have legs, and there are lots of areas of King’s life story that seem ripe for further inquiry. When I did investigations I learned what to look for when people are lying and every story King tells raises red flags. Additionally, whenever someone mentions things like a horrible life-changing assault or car accident you know there should be police reports that will verify or disprove that story.
As I used to explain it, you shake the tree and see if anything falls out.