This past weekend, a video of a middle-schooler named Keaton Jones went viral after his mother recorded him crying on camera because he was bullied at school. In the footage, the boy is seen tearfully describing how bullies poured milk on his head and shoved ham down his clothes.
‘Why do they bully? What’s the point of it?’ he asked Kim in the video posted on Facebook.
He added: ‘Why are they taking innocent people and finding a way to be mean to them? It’s not ok.’
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
The footage garnered widespread sympathy with celebrities across the country responding to Keaton with encouraging words. Some celebrities even offered him trips to movie premieres and sporting events. Soon after, photos began to emerge showing Keaton’s family posing with Confederate flags.
Keaton’s mother Kim also posted controversial comments on Facebook, including one which lashed out at ‘butt-hurt Americans’. But since those posts were revealed, a GoFundMe account raising money to support Keaton has been frozen.
According to Metro:
Joseph Lam, who set up the page, wrote online: ‘I feel I have to make this update. THIS IS NOT ABOUT THE MOM!!
‘However, passing judgment on her before you know her is a form of bullying. Condemnation before an evaluation is the ultimate form of ignorance.
‘I can’t even say for sure that any of whats being said is true. I don’t know the family personally and never claimed to have known them.’
‘This is about a kid who’s been bullied and not just one kid, Keaton, there are many unspoken cases about kids being bullied.
‘We have to be the voice for the voiceless. In the video, I saw a kid crying not just for himself but for others. To me, that’s a kid with a heart of gold and deserves praise. I’m hoping that we can turn the money into something good whether it be for private school or college fund. I’m in touch with GFM on how to proceed at this point. Thank you, everyone, that donated.’
The campaign has so far raised $57,000, easily smashing its $20,000 target.
In another GoFundMe page, which was supposedly started by Kimberly herself, to “raise money for Keaton’s Christmas gifts,” the page was immediately shut down by the website “due to fraud concerns.”
It is important to note that Kimberly Jones’ sordid past does not discount her son’s pain at the hands of such cruel children. However, a lot of red flags are certainly turning this inspiring story of internet activism into quite the multilayered drama.
Keaton’s mother Kim has denied any wrongdoing and defended herself. She is defending her social media posts with the Confederate flag and insisting she and her family are not racists.
Kimberly Jones told ‘GMA’ the photos were intended to be “extreme” and “ironic and funny.”
Keaton’s mother went on to say she would take it back if she could. She’s made her social media pages private since the backlash began.
Also on Monday, MMA fighter Joe Schilling took to his Instagram page and posted an exchange he had with the user @kimberlyjones_38
She called what happened to the middle-school ‘an opportunity’ for her son and noted that she is poor, ‘not rich.’
When Schilling responded by accusing the woman of using her son’s pain ‘as a platform’ and declaring that he was no longer interested in getting involved, the user replied: ‘What happened to use whites sticking together and helping one of [sic] another against the predator?’
He explained that she allegedly told him, ‘You know Christmas is coming and I’m a single mother, blah, blah, money’s tight.’
Kimberly told Fox News that his claims are ‘untrue’ and said in an Instagram direct message ‘I did not tell him that I would rather have donations instead of the help from celebrities.’