An employee working for an Atlanta-based marketing firm was fired after posting a racially charged Facebook photo featuring a 3-year-old African-American child.
Gerod Roth, who went by Geris Hilton on Facebook, posted a selfie on the social media website on Sept. 16 with his co-worker's son.
Soon enough, Roth’s friends began to comment on the post, with many making insulting and racist remarks on the photo that has since gone viral.
Upon learning one of his employees was involved such an act of racism and online bullying, Polaris Marketing Group president Michael Da Graca Pinto posted the company’s official response on Facebook and immediately terminated Roth, saying:
Another commenter on the post identified as Emily Irene Red was fired by Atlanta’s Conch Republic Grill.
@tyriquex Just spoke to the manager of The Conch Republic Grill. Emily Irene was fired today. He says they were "appalled" by her remarks.— DavidGrapeJuice (@DavidGrapeJuice) October 1, 2015
The post has since been deleted from Facebook. However, Sydney Shelton, the mother of 3-year-old Cayden Jenkins, said she was distressed after going through the racist comments.
“I do everything that I can to make sure he never has to want or need for anything,” Shelton was quoted as saying. “To see people bashing him -- a small helpless child -- it breaks my heart.”
However, a lot of people came out in support of Cayden using the hashtag #hisnameiscayden.
I am sick over these racist, evil comments about an innocent child. Further proof that racism is alive and well in 2015. #HisNameIsCayden ❤️— Marissa (@neirbo_) October 6, 2015
I wish we lived in a world where a mother didn't have to have a conversation about racists to her three year old son. #HisNameIsCayden— Nikki Blake (@hey__nikki) October 6, 2015
People like to claim that we have progressed as a nation. Have we really? This breaks my heart and makes me sick. #HisNameIsCayden— Trin (@trintorres) October 6, 2015
A Phoenix, Arizona, woman, Britt Turner, has set up a GoFundMe page to collect donations for a college fund for Cayden to help turn an early lesson in hatred into a positive experience.
“I would hate for him to find all of this negativity surrounding his name,” Turner wrote.