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Things got ugly last night on Twitter when a heated argument erupted involving Black Lives Matters activists Shaun KingDeRay McKesson and Johnetta Elzie.

This morning, King posted an article at the New York Daily News arguing the importance of making police brutality videos go viral to bring justice and awareness to #BlackLivesMatter victims.

The article is a response to criticism King faced from McKesson and Elzie from the evening before after he posted video of Nicholas Robertson’s death on Twitter on the evening of Sunday, Dec. 13.

King also tweeted posts and images from other Twitter users saying that they were given back their donations to debunk accusations that he had misappropriated funds he had received for Justice Together, King’s now defunct #BlackLivesMatter organization.

Robertson is a police brutality victim who was shot while walking, then crawling away from the authorities on a Lynwood, CA street. Mckesson took issue with the video that King posted, arguing that it was disrespectful to victims’ and their families became it violated their privacy. That was when Mckesson pointed out his distrust of King, suggesting that he was misusing funds he’d received to help police brutality victims.

Things really took a turn for the worse when King then attacked Mckesson for supposedly being against working with female colleagues in today’s Black Liberation Movement, most notably Johnetta Elzie. This was seen as a particularly petty and inappropriate jab, as Mckesson is widely known as being an out gay male. Shockingly, King deleted his entire history of tweets as of this morning, so his original comments are no longer available to see.

Elzie in particular took offense to King’s critique of Mckesson. She was angered at being singled out and felt that King’s attack on Mckesson was merely a detraction from the various charges that have been made against King regarding his misuse of funds for his organization, as well as the accusation that he’s been lying about his racial identity as a half-Black, half-White man.

Elzie also expressed her frustration that King wasn’t a true activist, only someone who wrote and mused about the Black Lives Matter movement from the comfort of his own home while Mckesson and Elzie were the ones who were out marching in the streets and interacting with other people in grassroots settings to mobilize the movement.

King’s name began trending on the micro-blogging platform as a result of their bickering, sparking angry and sensational responses from onlookers throughout Black Twitter.

Many pointed out their long-held mistrust of Shaun King because of the accusations that had been made against him in the past about exploiting #BlackLivesMatter for profit and branding, as well as him possibly lying about his racial identity.

Others expressed their frustration that the argument was a bad look for the movement, giving others (particularly Whites and conservative media) to discredit the work and intentions of #BlackLivesMatter at large. Even Gabrielle Union, a former board member for Justice Together, chimed in saying:

Though really embarrassing, I think we can all agree that hopefully King, Mckesson and Elzie can resolve their beef offline when things cool off a little bit. I’m not here for activists arguing online and showing their ass but at the end of the day, each of these people are human beings with feelings and imperfections.

I’m sure that if Twitter was around back in the 1950s and 60s during the Civil Rights Era, we would have seen some embarrassing things come out from MLK, Malcolm X and others that could have compromised their public personas as activists.

If anything, King, Mckesson and Elzie bring up a really important debate about whether or not it’s ethical to release the videos of police brutality deaths and assaults on social media.

What do you think of the blow up among King, Mckeson and Elzie? Are you here for releasing videos of #BlackLivesMatter victims being abused and killed as a tool to bring them justice? Sound off below.

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Shaun King, Black Lives Matters Activists Go To War With Each Other On Twitter was originally published on

6 thoughts on “Shaun King, Black Lives Matters Activists Go To War With Each Other On Twitter

  1. Velvet Jonesz on said:

    It’s very important to display the videos if not for seeing them many would not know what has occurred around the world. In this day and age video may get someone’s attention before an article will. These 3 individuals need to take their bitterness to each other for whatever the reason is which beyond what they are arguing online about. The focus on what they were trying to accomplish from the beginning is what still need to be the focus, JUSTICE FOR BLACK LIVES. If King has the ability to prove their accusations wrong then do it and I do believe he did post proof the money was return. Next what needs to be understood is everybody will not like everyone but the agenda for what you are together for needs to be the only concern. This is another example of how blacks can’t put anything together for greater good without bringing each other down.

  2. "Cassanova Brown" on said:

    I don’t care for Shaun King, I think he’s a white boy JUST dark enough to say he’s black and I don’t believe he’s black. At the same time though, the videos of black people shot or being beaten by white cops are going to be seen whether they come from Shaun King or not and they NEED to be!

  3. treline on said:

    Both Shaun King and Deray Mckesson should resign from the movement. They are too self centered, media hogs, corrupt, and not to be trusted. Never trusted those two..

  4. Shawn is right no view no awareness no change. The police act on behalf of all therefore we have the right as tax payers to see what we are paying for.

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