New York Times columnist Charles Blow wants to square off against Shaun King.
The past few months have been eventful, to say the least, on social media and out in the streets. In the wake of protests, numerous Black people killed by police, and constant accusations of social media grifting, tensions are boiling over. On Thursday morning, New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow bizarrely challenged the infamous social media personality Shaun King to a Verzuz battle.
“I want to do a social justice #verzuzbattle with Shaun King,” Charles wrote. “All love. Just want to talk through helping the people and advancing the culture. Make it happen @TheRealSwizzz and @Timbaland #BlackLivesMatter.”
i want to do a social justice #verzuzbattle with @shaunking. All love. Just want to talk through helping the people and advancing the culture. Make it happen @THEREALSWIZZZ and @Timbaland #BlackLivesMatter
— Charles M. Blow (@CharlesMBlow) September 3, 2020
The idea was swiftly met with ridicule, causing many of Blow’s Black followers to unfollow him. “If you don’t know by NOW that Shaun King is a con artist and grifter,” one user wrote, “you’re beyond all help!”
Unfollowed if you don’t know by NOW that Shaun King is a con artist and a grifter you’re beyond all help!
— Michelle B. Young 💛🐝 (@MichelleBYoung1) September 3, 2020
“Are you going to advise him to stay away from any ventures of activism that involves him handling the finances?” wrote another follower.
Are you going to advise him to stay away from any ventures of activism that involves him handling the finances?
— Will2K 9+10 (@WillDynamiteLee) September 3, 2020
One follower suggested the idea would be more well-received with The Atlantic correspondent Ta-Nehisi Coates. It is still unclear how such a battle would even take place.
Shaun King has been accused, on numerous occasions, of exploiting Black trauma for gain in the past few years. Just this week, he was accused of attempting to profit from the death of Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman. Two years ago, Shaun King wrongly accused a Chicago man of killing a 7-year-old girl, Jazmine Barnes. The man’s family received graphic death threats on social media despite him not being involved in Barnes’ death.