Shaun King’s wife, Rai King, has temporarily taken over his Twitter account to defend her husband. Her Twitter takeover happened a few days after DeRay Mckesson, a civil rights activist, accused Shaun King of misdeeds with fundraising. Rai King has taken to Twitter to defend her husband. Here’s what’s happening.
Rai King Has Taken Over Shaun King’s Twitter Account: ‘I Want These Words To Be a Record of My Position’
On September 12, the same day as the Democratic debates, Shaun King’s name trended on Twitter after DeRay Mckesson published a Medium article questioning King’s fundraising efforts.
King defended himself by pointing back to his own Medium post detailing his history of fundraising. The exchange led to many back-and-forth comments and accusations across Twitter.
Now Shaun King’s wife, Rai King, has taken over her husband’s Twitter account to share her own feelings about the accusations and posts.
Shaun King’s Twitter account has temporarily been renamed Rai King and features her profile photo.
You can read her tweets below.
She started out by saying: “This is Rai King. I am a lifelong educator. I taught in marginalized communities across the world for 16 years. I am now the Diversity Director at a world class organization. I am a mother to 5 wonderful human beings and the wife of @ShaunKing. This is my story… I left Twitter many years ago. For me, it represents so much of what is wrong with our current state of events in the world. I still believe so. That my husband could be the number one trending topic in the world on a night where the country was literally watching a debate to choose Donald Trump’s successor, says all I need to know about the ridiculousness of this space. And yet, as useless and detached from real life as I find this space to be, it is the place in which I am forced to come to defend myself. And to be clear, this entire rant is a defense of myself.”
Then she wrote, in a series of tweets: “Before you accuse Shaun of “hiding behind me” please understand that it is my decision to engage. Shaun has asked me repeatedly not to, but I’ve held my tongue for years and I’m done. What I can’t figure out is why you are so hellbent on destroying my family? For folx who claim to love Black people so much, you sure are committed to tearing this Black family down. And for the life of me I just can’t wrap my head around why. You have clearly made it your mission to ruin our lives. You don’t know me, you’ve never met me. You’ve never had a conversation with me. You don’t know anything about me. And yet, you have clearly become obsessed with assassinating my character. And to be clear, when you come for my husband, you come for me. When you have been attached to someone for 22 years, there is no such thing as his battle and my battle. When you come for @ShaunKing you are coming for me. There is no such thing as his battle and my battle. They are all OUR battles. We are doing life together in every way. So when you attack him, there is no way for it not to bleed over into my life. Raising 5 children takes every bit of mental and emotional energy I have. I cannot afford to be distracted in my responsibilities as their mother. I have to be a present daughter, friend, wife, and employee.
She continued: “I am a Black woman doing equity work in a white dominant organization. I also have to protect myself. So for years I have mostly been silent. I tried to separate my world – a world I can see and touch – from the nebulous, ever shifting world that is social media. I find out when shit hits the fan on here because my circle tells me. I mostly see my role as encourager of my husband and protector of my children. But after these last 3 weeks, I have decided that there are specific things and people I want to address. So this is about to be that. I won’t even get into horrible theft and fraud allegations around Shaun’s fundraising. He and an entire team of people with careers and credibility on the line worked tirelessly to lay those lies to rest. I won’t insult them by relitigating it.”
Then she wrote: “The issue I am struggling with most is this idea that my husband hates and harms Black women. And that people like @Nettaaaaaaaa and this random @AngryBlackLady think that they are in a position to speak on behalf of all Black women. How arrogant! Let me tell you all the Black women you don’t speak for… You don’t speak for the Black woman he’s been deeply devoted to for the last 22 years. You don’t speak for the 4 Black girls and women he’s raising. Let me tell you all the Black women you don’t speak for… You don’t speak for the Black woman who is a trusted friend and manages all of the business/finance of @TheNorthStar. You don’t speak for the Black woman who serves as the Editor in Chief of @TheNorthStar…”
She continued, listing more people who support her husband.
Then she continued.
She wrote in a series of tweets: “It’s so easy to say “don’t give it attention” when it’s not you. I’ve spent years not giving it attention and just watched as my life morphed into something I don’t recognize. I am now stopped on the street even when I’m not with Shaun. It’s not some Twitter beef for me. I want these words to be a record of my position. You are literally obsessed with my husband! Seriously, how do you have so much time on your hands??? I bet if you spent half the time actually helping people as you do trying to make the case that my husband hurts people, I think we’d have won this fight for justice by now! You clearly live and die by twitter. Get a life! And not one built on the platform of maligning people you’ve never even met before…”
She continued with more tweets. You can read the entire thread from beginning to end here or starting with the tweet below.
This Isn’t the First Time She’s Spoken Out on Social Media about Her Family
This isn’t the first time that Rai King has spoken out on social media in support of her husband. On September 12, she posted on Facebook about how proud she was to be Shaun King’s wife.
She wrote: “Headed out to celebrate good things that are happening in the world-some of which this man is responsible for. It’s an honor to be recognized. It’s an even bigger honor and blessing to have breath in your body to be able to do good work. Online words and twitter wars, fake bots making trending topics, that shit’s not real life. My kids, my true friends and family, this man right here, the people who stop us on the street all day everyday to say thank you for the work…that’s real life. Families who lose their loved ones to racism and police brutality, children separated from their families and being forced to live in cages, Bahamians who’ve lost everything only to seek refuge in a place where they’ve been treated as less than human, that’s real life. We are all specks of dust. None any more important than the other. Most of us are just trying to use the limited time we have to be good humans. I’m married to a good human. Love you @shaunking #audienceofonemylove #myhuman #welookgood.”
And in August 2018, she made a public statement on her husband’s Medium account about the attacks her family was facing. Back then, Shaun King had publicly shared that he believed someone was targeting his kids. He said someone had put in an anonymous call to the Administration for Child Services claiming that he and his wife had “abandoned” their children.
Shaun and Rai King were high school sweethearts who married in 1996. They have five children. They adopted Shaun’s niece, Taeyonna, and have three biological children of their own: Kendi, Ezekiel, and Savannah. Then in 2013, they informally adopted their niece Zayah.
In August 2018, Rai King wrote, in part: “As a mother of 5 children, I would like nothing more than for Shaun to work a “regular” job where he was mostly anonymous. I wish he clocked in, clocked out, and used Instagram and Facebook to post kitten videos. I have come to accept, however, that speaking truth to power, aggressively seeking justice, and launching public fights in the interest of equity for all, is the calling of his life. What I haven’t accepted, and will never accept though, is the unnecessary toll such work has taken on our family. … Today has been an example of such a day. That someone would knowingly call in a vicious, outlandish, false report of abandonment, neglect, and abuse concerning our children is completely unconscionable!”
Rai King was a teacher for nearly 16 years and she’s currently a Diversity Director for a worldwide organization, according to her Twitter.