Last night, there were rumors that activist Shaun King deactivated his Twitter account after slamming Elon Musk’s purchase of the social media platform as a show of “White power.” And for a brief moment, some conservatives rejoiced. However, it appears their celebration was premature as King actually tweeted later that he wasn’t going anywhere for a long, long time — and that his haters have their own problems to worry about.
“At its root, @ElonMusk wanting to purchase Twitter is not about left vs right,” King tweeted early Monday morning. “It’s about white power… The man was raised in Apartheid by a white nationalist,” he continued. “He’s upset that Twitter won’t allow white nationalists to target/harass people. That’s his definition of free speech… [This is] about how the richest man in the world, a son of Apartheid, raised by a white nationalist, wants to be sure his speech, and that of other white men, isn’t censored.” Shortly thereafter, King’s account was nowhere to be found.
In 2015, King said he was suspended by Twitter for speaking out against CNN’s coverage of the Black Lives Matter movement and refusing to delete his account. Then in July 2021, he temporarily deactivated his Twitter account and set his Instagram page to private, saying that he was “taking a break from social media for the rest of July.”
These moves have only shed more light on King’s slippery history with regard to the sincerity of his involvement in civil rights affairs. That, coupled with his poor transparency about possible misappropriation of charitable donations, has led Black Twitter to emphatically dub the 42-year-old Morehouse alum with names like Talcum X and Scamuel L. Jackson.
King, though, gave a clear reason for why his account could not be found yesterday with a reemergence on the platform. He also had some strong words for Donald Trump, Jr., who’d initially celebrated King’s rumored disappearance from Twitter.
“I didn’t delete my account,” King tweeted just less than 24 hours after his account’s supposed deletion. “I was getting death threats and hack attempts from your buddies who stormed the Capitol and had to make it more secure. Good luck not perjuring yourself when you testify before the January 6th committee.”
King clearly doesn’t believe Musk is the right person to take over the popular microblogging site. But Musk’s first tweet as the platform’s sole owner suggests otherwise.
“Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated,” Musk posted yesterday afternoon. “I hope that even my worst critics remain on Twitter,” he also wrote, “because that is what free speech means.”
But one other name that has come up more frequently with Musk’s recent purchase is Donald Trump, Jr.’s own father, who was banned forever by the platform after his role in last year’s attack on the U.S. Capitol Building. Now that Twitter is under new ownership — one that will reportedly support the idea of free speech, from any and all walks — many politicos are wondering if Trump, Sr. will take a stab at having his account reinstated.
But for now, that appears to not be the case. In fact, based on his statement yesterday to Fox News, Musk may soon have a new competitor to worry about. “I am not going on Twitter, I am going to stay on [my social media app] Truth,” the former president said. “I hope Elon buys Twitter because he’ll make improvements to it and he is a good man, but I am going to be staying on Truth. The bottom line is, no, I am not going back to Twitter.”
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