Nobody could fail to be moved by schoolboy Keaton Jones’ brave stand against the bullies who were making his life hell.
However, disturbing revelations about Keaton’s estranged father suggest he doesn’t share his son’s message of peace.
Keaton’s dad, Shawn White, is reportedly a white supremacist, who’s used social media to spread hateful propaganda.
Images of White have emerged where he sports ‘Pure Breed’ and ‘White Pride’ tattoos, as well as a neck tattoo which reads ‘CWB’ – short for ‘Crazy White Boy’.
In others, he’s dressed in an ‘SS’ sweatshirt.
According to TMZ, since 2015, White has been serving time in a Knox County Jail.
This sentence is for apparently violating his probation in relation to a 2012 conviction for aggravated assault.
However, prior to his incarceration, White showed some very worrying social media activity indeed.
Back in 2014, he posted various offensive memes with captions such as ‘HOLY F*** I LOVE BEING WHITE,’ ‘Keep Calm and be White Pride’ and ‘Aryan Pride.’
I'd like to say that regardless of #keatonJones and his mom's intentions, it is not okay for millions of adults online to continue the bullying and mockery of little kid Keaton. If his mom lied, then leave him alone. Don't be a bully urself. don't be a sheep.
— Scott Isbell (@scottisbell_) December 12, 2017
There are a lot of people hating on #KeatonJones. Let's remember that he is a CHILD. No child is born with hate in their heart, hate is taught. His mother should be ashamed, and return every dollar donated. People should still stand with Keaton though, and every victim!
— Alternative NOAA (@altNOAA) December 11, 2017
Damn!!!!! #KeatonJones dad is a #WhiteSupremacist who is in Jail right now? kinda saw that 1 coming can't lie. Message to all nothing stays hidden on the web. Can't wait to hear the explanation for this one
— noahsdaddy730 (@noahsdaddy730) December 13, 2017
These revelations come after pictures of Keaton’s mother, Kimberly, emerged, where she’s seen posing and smiling with a confederate flag.
This image – which has since been deleted – was captioned:
I stand for the flag.
The images caused a backlash against the viral anti-bullying video, with many former supporters suggesting Kimberly harbours racist views.
One person tweeted:
Dear Mrs. Kimberly Jones, I do not agree with this but we will not hold your son accountable for your actions.
I pray you see the pure hearts and amazing love in POC since they have stopped to spread awareness for your son! God bless
Dear Mrs. Kimberly Jones, I do not agree with this but we will not hold your son accountable for your actions. I pray you see the pure hearts and amazing love in POC since they have stopped to spread awareness for your son! God bless #BullyingisNotOkay #KeatonJones @Lakyn_Jones pic.twitter.com/qL6ar1pMwp
— Flower child ??? (@Top_notch_luv) December 11, 2017
Defending her actions during an interview on CBS This Morning, Kimberly said:
I feel like anybody who wants to take the time to ask anybody who I am or even troll through some other pictures, I mean I feel like we’re not racist.
I mean, people that know us, know us.
It was meant to be ironic and funny and extreme. I am genuinely truly sorry. If I could take it back, I would.
You can watch Kimberly’s response below:
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Keaton’s sister, Lakyn, has also taken to social media to insist her family are not racist – and in another tweet, explains an Instagram account believed to be her mother’s is nothing to do with them, nor are the GoFundMe pages.
The Instagram account was deactivated some time on Monday after MMA’s Joe Schilling posted a screenshot of a conversation with the user, who wrote to him ‘what happened to us whites sticking together?’
One GoFundMe account which had been set up has also been shut down following the backlash, the page had raised more than £45,000.
Lakyn has spoken out about the accusations against the family on Twitter:
The Instagram KimberlyJones_38 is NOT my mom. She has a private Instagram and hasn’t talked to anyone. We haven’t received any money and don’t plan on it. The gofundme’s aren’t by any of us.
If you’ve been affected by this story or need to talk to someone in confidence, call the Samaritans anytime on their free phone number, 116 123.
Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.