Bernie Sanders Rolls Out Ad Featuring Disgraced Activist Shaun King


Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders featured disgraced Black Lives Matter activist Shaun King in a new political ad published on Tuesday.

According to his website, King is a journalist, leader and advocate for justice, families and victims of discrimination.

King acts as an official surrogate in the new presidential campaign ad, alongside former George W. Bush aide Elise Jordan, and says millions of Americans voted “against their own self-interest” by voting for President Donald Trump in 2016.

“Bernie resonates in places where Trump won,” he said.

King goes on to say that Sanders “crushed it” during the Democratic Party’s primary election in the states Trump won in 2016.

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“Donald Trump exploited real pain and problems in this country and began to scapegoat African-Americans, immigrants, other marginalized communities, LGBTQ folk, as demagogues always do,” he said.

“And Donald Trump as a con man began making promises that he never intended to keep.”

He added, “Bernie said the Democratic and Republican establishment has failed people all over the country, and people feel that failure and take it personally. Donald Trump understood that and exploited it for his own gain.”

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“When Bernie wins the nomination, Bernie is going to take this fight to Trump in all 50 states and fight to win the hearts, the minds and votes of everyday people all over the country,” King said.

King seems to be a strange choice for the presidential campaign built around Sanders’ purported authenticity.

The activist was dismissed by Black Lives Matter figurehead DeRay McKesson in a Medium article accusing King of fraud and deception.

“We never aim to replicate the power dynamic of the system we are up against — a system that embraces a devious lack of transparency, willingly sacrifices the vulnerable to protect itself, and replaces truth with convenient lies,” McKesson wrote last September. “Yet Shaun King has done just that.”

McKesson added that while he appreciates that King’s journalism has brought attention to stories that would have otherwise gone overlooked, “the person who paints your house before he steals your car has still committed theft.”

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McKesson cited a “lack of transparency” on King’s funding and said “those who attempt to lead but consistently demonstrate that they cannot effectively lead should stop. We have reached that point with Shaun.”

Moreover, King has been accused of lying about being black.

“A family member tells CNN that both of King’s parents are white,” CNN’s Don Lemon said on the air in 2015.

Despite those controversies — and King pointing out Sanders’ “white privilege” during a rally —  Sanders still chose King as the lead figure in his new campaign video.

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith