Shaun King's Wife Defends Her Husband: "He's No Rachel Dolezal"
"What’s white about him is white, and what’s black about him is black and always has been from the time he was a child."
Black Lives Matter activist and Oprah scholarship recipient Shaun King had his race called into question Wednesday by conservative media. King said the outlets' accusations that he lied about being biracial are false and part of a white-supremacist conspiracy to discredit him.
On Thursday, King's wife, Rai, posted an emotional message on Facebook defending her husband, who always has maintained he was born from a white mother and black father.
"This latest attack is just one more to add to the list," she wrote. Rai said that King has "never lied" about his race.
She said that King's story is "beautifully difficult and painful" and that, while she's encouraged him to tell it publicly as "a unique expression of this country’s sordid and ridiculous history with race," he will have to tell it on his terms when he is ready.
"Out of respect for his mother, and all involved, I hope he continues to let the talking heads talk while he does the real work of holding judicial systems accountable for the 742 women and men they’ve gunned down this year alone."
Rai wants everyone who is calling King "Rachel Dolezal 2.0" to know that he is nothing like the Caucasian woman who pretended to be black for years because, according to Rai, Dolezal only culturally identifies as black.
"Just know this, there is nothing fake about Shaun King," said Rai. "He’s no Rachel Dolezal. What’s white about him is white, and what’s black about him is black and always has been from the time he was a child. There’s no spray tan, no fake black hairstyles, no attempt to make himself appear any more ethnic than he already does."
She said that because of King's work on the Black Lives Matter movement, her family has faced "death threats so severe" that she goes to great lengths to conceal the location of her family.
"I am not courageous," said Rai. "Many times I have asked him to stop his work. To take a safer, less difficult path for the sake of our family." She added, "To you he’s a Twitter handle. To me and our five children, he is a real, live, breathing person who watches UFC and drinks sweet tea like it’s going out of style. To you he’s a 'Black Lives Matter' activist. For our children he’s the dad who makes amazing pancakes. He’s our world."
Rai concluded the post by saying this incident has renewed her courage. "Many expect this media foolishness to take center stage in our lives. It never will."
Read Rai's full post below.