Shaun King, activist, author, podcaster, said absolutely in 2018 that he would not be supporting Sen. Kamala Harris' or Vice President Joe Biden's presidential campaigns. Now he's entirely and unequivocally on board.
Harris' and Biden's "dismal history on criminal justice reform over their entire careers" was the problem King cited in 2018. But now he is "incredibly proud" to support Harris' as VP on the Biden ticket, saying "Kamala Harris is the most progressive VP nominee in American history."
So what changed? Is this an honest change of mind? Was King won over by Harris and Biden over these past two years? No, not at all. Instead, King will vote Biden and Harris because there's something bigger than voting for someone you like, and that's voting against someone you hate.
King spoke out on Twitter about what made him shift from absolutely never supporting Biden or Harris, to being fully on board with their campaign.
"I can only speak for myself," he said, "but when I harshly critique leaders, it's with the hope that they will grow and evolve."
"Kamala has done so, in very specific ways, on issues of justice."
"I'll remain a critic," he wrote, "But I'm nothing but glad to see the growth. Is what it is."
His political action committee, Real Justice PAC, "works to elect reform-minded prosecutors... who are committed to using the powers of their office to fight structural racism and defend our communities from abuse by state power."
In his endorsement of Harris, he said that her record had improved substantially since the last time she was elected as a prosecutor in 2011. He came out squarely against her in 2018, despite that perceived improvement.
King is not the only voter on the left who finds it necessary to hold his nose and vote for Harris. In the wake of Biden adding her to his presidential ticket, posts across social media have focused more on the desire to defeat Trump than to vote for Biden and Harris.
Harris was one of the many running on the Democrat presidential platform, but abandoned that bid in December 2019, citing a lack of funds and a belief that she didn't have a way forward. Much of her campaign was about continuing the work she had undertaken as a prosecutor in California.
However, it was that work as a prosecutor that brought her criticism from the far left, much of which has since taken up the Black Lives Matter party platform. BLM holds defunding, or abolishing the police, of essential importance. Harris was a state prosecutor who was responsible for the incarceration of many black and brown individuals in her home state.
King reveals the awful truth that many Democrats who turn out to cast their ballot for Biden/Harris will be doing so not from a belief that they are the right duo to lead the nation, but because it's the only option they feel they've been given.