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12 Aug, 2020 03:51

Progressive activist Shaun King mocked by all sides for blatant flip-flop on Kamala Harris after Biden makes her running mate

Progressive activist Shaun King mocked by all sides for blatant flip-flop on Kamala Harris after Biden makes her running mate

Social activist and writer Shaun King was ridiculed without mercy for a brazen about-face on his support for Kamala Harris, quickly cosying up to the senator after she became Joe Biden’s VP pick, despite criticizing her for years.

King treated his 1.1-million-strong Twitter following to a lengthy defense of Harris soon after she was declared Biden’s running mate on Tuesday, dubbing her “the most progressive candidate among the credible finalists for VP.” Though a look through some of King’s pronouncements on Harris over the years reveals a long string of attacks over her less-than-progressive stances on criminal justice, he took an altogether different tone on Tuesday, saying she had “improved drastically on all justice and policing-related issues” since 2011, when she last served as a district attorney.

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The light-speed flip-flop was noticed by King’s critics and supporters alike, with the former taking a more direct approach, dubbing him a “fraud” while pointing to a November 2018 tweet in which King claimed “99%” certainty that he would not support Harris or Biden, as they “both helped to build and advance mass incarceration.” Quite a difference 22 months can make, given that as of Tuesday, King now ranks Harris “in the top three on justice reform issues” among US senators.

Though King took pains to include some skepticism about Harris’ past, noting he had “about 15 substantive critiques of Kamala's time as District Attorney of San Francisco,” his newfound support did not go down well with his followers.

“I can’t believe I’m reading this from you, Shaun. ‘The most progressive candidate among the credible finalists’?!” one supporter wrote in shock, adding: “In my view, Kamala is only progressive when it’s convenient.”

King is no stranger to controversy, regularly hurling racially-charged allegations at opponents, such as in May 2018, when he accused a white Texas state trooper of raping a black woman in custody. Hours of bodycam footage eventually came to light and discredited King’s claim, which he based on statements the woman made to him and her lawyer, later acknowledging his error. King’s fundraising efforts for various causes have also come under scrutiny, with a Daily Beast investigation last year pointing to a number of discrepancies in reported donation amounts.

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