The story of a little boy named Keaton who cried in a now-viral video, lamenting the intense bullying he has endured has inspired millions of Americans and grabbed the attention of countless celebrities who spoke out in support of the child.
But the sad scenario took a bizarre turn on Monday when various critics on the internet turned against Keaton’s mother, Kimberly Jones, waging allegations that she had published “racist” Facebook posts in the past.
That viral video of #KeatonJones talking about being bullied is heartbreaking, and I feel sympathetic towards that child.
But his mom, Kimberly on the other hand, is a suspected racist who makes very problematic posts bullying Black protesters #TheIrony pic.twitter.com/NUhidunP8z
— Tariq Nasheed (@tariqnasheed) December 11, 2017
A woman who appears to be the mom’s daughter is defending the family online:
My family will continue to support each other. You all can hate and tweet all you want but our faith cant be shaken
— Lakyn ? (@Lakyn_Jones) December 11, 2017
Snapshots allegedly emerged on Monday from Jones’ Facebook page that showed individuals — some said they were her children — holding Confederate flags. There was also a separate message that she purportedly sent in August that read:
Dear butt hurt Americans, If you aren’t bleeding, no bones are sticking out & you can breathe, STOP crying! For the love, some folks clearly never picked a switch. And before y’all start talking to me about metaphorical, emotional, financial or historical blood & brokenness, Don’t. Join a group.
The messages and photos led activist Tariq Nasheed to call Jones a “suspected racist” and said that she had “problematic posts bullying Black protesters,” though it is unclear what is being referred to here.
TMZ framed all of this chaos and uncertainty as follows:
Kimberly Jones’ Facebook page reportedly features several photos of herself and friends displaying the Confederate flag. There’s also a post in August where she seems to be telling people to stop whining about slavery and racism. It’s not clear exactly what she’s referring to, but the post was written 2 weeks after the neo-nazi rally in Charlottesville.
The confusion and accusations didn’t end there. MMA fighter Joe Schilling also came out with some claims of his own, saying he had an exchange with a user named @kimberlyjones_38 in which the account holder claimed to be poor and said that the video attention was an opportunity for Keaton, according to The Daily Mail.
The conversation, which Schilling posted on his page, includes a message in which he pushes back against the alleged use of the anti-bullying video to make money via crowdfunding as well as an alleged response from @kimberlyjones_38 that reads, “What happened to us whites sticking together and helping one of [sic] another against the predator?”
It should be noted (language warning) that Schilling made it clear that he wasn’t sure if he was really corresponding with the mother:
In another tragic turn of events, online bullies started attacking Keaton by making fun of his appearance after allegations about his mother emerged — the very thing that led the little boy to tears in the first place.
It’s important to note that none of this information has been verified, nor has the owner of the Instagram page, who is now seeking donations through PayPal. Despite this lack of confirmed information, accusations continue to be made and countless people online are making judgments off of them.
Then there’s the uncertainty surrounding the crowdfunding campaigns.
A GoFundMe campaign that was aimed at raising $20,000 and exceeded $58,000, but it is no longer seeking donations; it was reportedly recreated by someone in New Jersey names Joseph Lam who wanted to support the little boy. Here’s what he wrote in the description:
I came across this video on facebook of Kim Jones and her son Keaton. Keaton is being bullied at school. This video really touched my heart. I decided to do this GoFund Me to help with this childs future. I know that money may not be the answer for this problem that we are facing in our communities with bullying. One of my biggest fears as a parent is that my children will be bullied in school. I know its a big task to tackle but it starts inside of our walls and the values that we teach our children. This is just one case of thousands out there. How many of our children stay in silence out of fear for their safety or for the fear of being further unaccepted. Over 3.2 million kids are bullied annually. 160,000 kids on a daily basis skip school out of fear from being bullied. They just want to be accepted and to be able to learn in a safe enviroment. Im so glad Kim posted this video of her son. It shows how bullying can really impact a child. The video that she posted really touched my heart and felt compelled to help. This is best way that I knew how.
As Faithwire previously reported, Keaton appeared in a video on Friday asking his mom: “Just out of curiosity, why do they bully? What’s the point of it? Why do you find joy in taking innocent people and finding a way to be mean to them,” before adding “it’s not okay.” Keaton’s mother responded, asking: “What did they say to you?”
This doesn’t mean that the bullied kid should be bullied, but we should be aware of who we are centering. Again. pic.twitter.com/fGXbNAFebx
— Shadi Petosky (@shadipetosky) December 11, 2017
“They make fun of my nose. They call me ugly. They say I have no friends,” Keaton answered as tears started to roll down his cheeks.
“What did they do to you at lunch?” his mom asked.
Keaton replied: “Poured milk on me and put ham down my clothes. Threw bread at me.”
So, what’s the takeaway? Well, there are a few things to consider: Even if the allegations against Jones were true, it would have nothing at all to do with her son’s bullying. Furthermore, none of these details are corroborated, so the entire thing is shrouded in mystery. Also: there’s no world in which further bullying this kid is moral, right or rational.
We’ll have to wait for more information to emerge. For now, Faithwire has reached out to the @kimberlyjones_38 Instagram account for comment and is awaiting reply.