Keaton Jones has inspired the internet over the last few days with his heartbreaking video speaking out against bullying.
His video has touched many across the internet, including stars such as Chris Evans, Justin Bieber and Katy Perry.
Yet Kimberly, the mother of Keaton, is facing serious backlash after images from her Facebook page show the Confederate flag.
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
Some have called Kimberly a ‘suspected racist’ following questionable posts on her Facebook page.
African-American activist Tariq Nasheed tweeted:
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.
Let’s be clear. While we may detest #keatonJones Mother’s politics. This boy was bullied. The viral video was about the boy. Not his mother. And maybe just maybe the love and support that came to him for all sides of the isle will change their hearts in the future. #Love #peace
— Rena Sofer (@RenaSofer) December 11, 2017
He also shared a status of Kimberly’s from late August, in which she allegedly wrote:
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 Facebook page has since been deleted, but a PayPal account has been set up to try and get donations from people who support her and Keaton.
In another twist, an instagram account with the handle @kimberlyjones_38 has been outed as calling what happened to Keaton an ‘opportunity’.
MMA fighter Joe Schilling posted an image on his insta account accusing the woman – who claims to be Kimberly – of using her son’s pain as a ‘platform’.
The user replied:
What happened to us whites sticking together and helping one of another against the predator? [sic]
Obviously, this doesn’t detract from the fact Keaton shouldn’t be bullied, but serious questions are being raised about just how Keaton’s mother should capitalise on the incredible response of so many influential people in society.
Despite these questions, Keaton is still getting the opportunity to meet some of his heroes, including Tennessee Volunteer’s qaurterback Jarrett Guarantano.
Just this weekend, Jarrett tweeted:
Please let his mother know that we are trying to reach out. Keaton has some friends on the football team that would love to spend time with him.
It only took one day for social media to make this happen. By Sunday, Keaton and his new-found buddies had posted to Twitter with a heartwarming message.
So I got the chance to spend the day with my new best bud Keaton. It was unbelievable to get to know him and realize that we have a lot in common. This dude is very special and has changed my life forever. Now I have the little brother I always wanted! God bless you my man pic.twitter.com/vMHVtnf2rC
— Jarrett Guarantano✞ (@BroadwayJay2) December 11, 2017
So I got the chance to spend the day with my new best bud Keaton. It was unbelievable to get to know him and realize that we have a lot in common.
This dude is very special and has changed my life forever. Now I have the little brother I always wanted.
God bless you my man.
Kimberly’s original post was viewed millions of times and has done a lot to raise awareness of the effects of bullying.
Posting on Facebook, Kimberly wrote at her son’s behest about the fear Keaton had experienced at the hands of bullies:
For the record, Keaton asked to do this AFTER he had me pick him up AGAIN because he was afraid to go to lunch. My kids are by no stretch perfect & at home, he’s as all boy as they come, but by all accounts, he’s good at school.
Talk to your kids. I’ve even had friends of mine tell me their kids were only nice to him to get him to mess with people. We all know how it feels to want to belong, but only a select few know how it really feels not to belong anywhere.
This is Keaton Jones, he lives in Knoxville and he has a little something to say about bullying.pic.twitter.com/coyQxFp33V
— Everything TN (@Everything_TN) December 9, 2017
As is usually the case with these stories on social media, there is more than meets the eye to the short clip.
Obviously, the posts on Kimberly’s Facebook do nothing to take away from the pain Keaton is feeling and nobody should be bullied, but if the allegations made against Kimberly are true, some questions need to be answered.
If you’ve been affected by any of the issues in this story, call the National Bullying Helpline on 0845 22 55 787