by G. Brown
On Friday, a Mom posted a video of her son Keaton Jones with tears streaming down his face as he asked “Why do they bully?”. The Knoxville Tennessee boy said he was afraid to even eat lunch in the school cafeteria because bullies poured milk on him and said, “They make fun of my nose. They call me ugly. They say I have no friends.” By the time the video went viral, Keaton had millions of friends including celebs like “Captain America” actor Chris Evans, his fellow “Avengers” star Mark Ruffaflo, “Star Wars” actor Mark Hamill, pro and college athletes and millions and millions of people who cared.
Fast forward to 20 million views later, a string of celebrity endorsements including invites to the LA premiere of “Avengers Infinity War” from Evans, a visit to ESPN studios from Jemele Hill, a hashtag campaign #StandWithKeaton, and several fundraisers including a GoFundMe page that had raised nearly $60K in two days. Of course, that amount isn’t going any higher since it was placed on temporary hold after news began to spread about Keaton’s mom. News site TMZ found this picture of her…
According to TMZ the woman pictured here smiling with the Confederate flag on display is Keaton’s mom Kimberly Jones, but there’s confusion as to whether she is the real mom of the boy at the center of that tear-jerking bully video.Other reports claim Keaton used racial epithets that may have contributed to his being bullied. Still others say all these revelations are part of a smear campaign against Keaton and his family. Some reserve judgement, but others have heard enough.
So MMA Boxer Joe Schilling spoke with Keaton Jones’ mother and well he found some things out pretty fast. pic.twitter.com/WXoGggjMwX
— Mars Blackmon (@DrTGIF) December 11, 2017
This is why people have to be very careful online! Things are never the way they appear!
— Eric Darcman (@Darcman) December 11, 2017
This kids mom took advantage of the common decency she knows most people have! A sense of decency she obviously completely lacks!
— Eric Darcman (@Darcman) December 11, 2017
Yup she played all y’all pic.twitter.com/CtbQwbqvIR
— jolly nicholas(part 2) 🎅🏿🎄 (@lMlAlRlClUlSl) December 11, 2017
Why did so many people rush in to help a stranger online? Because it’s believable. Last month, website TheNation ran an article with the headline “Donald Trump Has Unleashed a New Wave of Bullying in Schools“ saying, “Across the country, educators are reporting a disturbing surge in hate-laced bullying among students of all ages, from the youngest elementary-school tykes to the most jaded high-school seniors.”
Buzzfeed ran a similar article last summer saying, “Donald Trump’s campaign and election have added an alarming twist to school bullying, with white students using the president’s words and slogans to bully Latino, Middle Eastern, black, Asian, and Jewish classmates.”
Too bad there wasn’t an outpouring of support for 10-year Ashawnty Davis. The fifth-grader got into a fight with a student who bullied her. Someone posted video of the fight online and Ashawnty’s bullying increased. Her Mom says her daughter couldn’t take it anymore and hanged herself in her closet two weeks later.
Tragic stories like Ashawnty’s are even more tragic when people try to take advantage of decent, caring, people who want to stop the bullying. As for whether or not the Mom is racist and scamming decent, caring people…some are so decent and caring, they don’t care. They only care that the kid may be in trouble and they still want to help…
With the revelations about #KeatonJones family surfacing we must remember a few things. We cannot hold kids accountable for the actions of their parents/family. Though disheartening, we were all moved by the effects of bullying and to end it. Let’s continue to focus on that.
— Parson James (@ParsonJames) December 11, 2017
Learning that Keaton’s family are supportive of the confederate flag is disappointing for me as a person of colour but I still feel that this child, yes CHILD, deserves to be treated with respect & should not be bullied. The beliefs/hypocrisy of his parents is another issue. 1/2 https://t.co/eAS6AxqJ8I
— Nathalie Emmanuel (@missnemmanuel) December 11, 2017
I’ve seen her posts and if true, I’d say there’s potential for a great, teachable moment here. My offer for Keaton to visit ESPN stands, because what happened to him was cruel. That said, this is a stark example of selective empathy. https://t.co/XbZ9NpKJe2
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) December 11, 2017
Keaton can’t change who his parents are….but hopefully he can learn from his life experiences an break the cycle of passed down racism. Hopefully his mom also realizes how beautiful the human race is as a whole an reconsiders her ignorant views #KeatonJones
— Millyz (@MILLYZ) December 11, 2017