UPDATE: Keaton Jones and his mother, Kimberly Jones, finally responded to the accusations of racism that appeared online after her Facebook posts were shared widely.
“The only two photos — the only two photos on my entire planet that I am anywhere near a Confederate flag. It was ironic,” Kimberly told reporters, saying she isn't racist even though she's standing next to a Confederate flag.
“I’ve said I spent most of my life being bullied and judged because I wasn’t racist,” she said.
To ABC News, she said that anybody who knows her is aware she's not racist.
“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,” she said.
When questioned about the wording she used in some of those posts, she said: “It was meant to be ironic and funny … I am genuinely truly sorry. If I could take it back, I would.”
Her son told reporters the bullying video is completely real, and that he has been bullied by the same five classmates for a long time. He also said he was afraid of telling his teachers about the issue.
“He became more and more agitated and didn’t want to go back to school,” Kimberly Jones explained.
But after the video went viral, Horace Maynard Middle School officials decided to intervene, holding an anti-bullying assembly.
When addressing the accusations that he and his mom had put together a GoFundMe page to benefit them, Keaton Jones responded that her intentions were just meant to help and raise awareness.
“I made the video to raise awareness for bullying, not for fame or fortune, it was not at all for that. It was to raise awareness to bullying,” he told ABC. “[It’s] a serious thing that goes on in our society. People criticize other people for the way they look and act; it’s not their fault.”
Keaton Jones, the young Knoxville, Tennessee, boy whose emotional anti-bullying plea made him an Internet sensation, may be sincere in wanting Americans to stop with the practice, but that may not include his mother, whose online presence has been greatly marked by racism and bullying of another kind, reports The Root.
According to the report, Jones’ mother, Kimberly, has a special place in her heart for the Confederate flag and she showed it with past Facebook posts where she calls anyone who’s not in favor of the racist piece of memorabilia “butt hurt Americans.”
Keaton Jones MOM is a next level racist who's posted in many offensive and non remorseful comments towards black people, so how is she preaching about bullying when she herself is a bully 🤔🤔🤔 lmao people are funny pic.twitter.com/bTnF7BFDGr— Queen Mel 🇭🇹 (@BLVCKMATTERS) December 11, 2017
After the screenshots of the post went viral, MMA fighter Joe Schilling also shared an Instagram conversation he says he had with someone who claims to be Jones.
In the exchange, she reportedly asked Schilling, “What happened to us whites sticking together and helping one another against the predator?”
As The Root notes, the boy may be sincerely in pain because of bullying, but he may also have called some classmates the N-word, as some of her comments on her Facebook page indicate.
Unfortunately, the moment her past social media posts went viral, she quickly made her account private. Regardless, it’s quite interesting that this woman would be so quick to ignore her previous racist statements just so she could pocket a good chunk of change from black athletes and other celebrities who might as well be “butt hurt Americans.”
A young boy from Knoxville, Tennessee, became an internet sensation after his heartbreaking and emotional plea to stop bullying went viral, drawing attention from Hollywood stars, professional athletes and famous activists.
Keaton Jones, a middle school student, drew the internet’s attention after his mother, Kimberly Jones, posted a video on her Facebook page that showed the boy describing the painful and horrible ordeal he had to go through at school.
In fact, things were so bad he had asked his mother to pick him up because he was too afraid to go to lunch.
“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,” the mother wrote below the video. “Talk to your kids. I've even had friends of mine tell me they're 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.”
In the video, Keaton asked his mother why people are mean to begin with.
“Just out of curiosity, why do they bully?” he inquired. “What’s the point of it? Why do you find joy in taking innocent people and finding a way to be mean to ’em? It’s not okay. It’s not okay! People that are different don’t need to be criticized about it. It’s not their fault.”
His mother then asked what other kids said to him. It was at this point Keaton started to cry.
“They make fun of my nose,” he said. “They call me ugly. They say I have no friends.”
With terrible incidents of school bullying making headlines almost every day, it is not difficult to comprehend the severity of the issue.
Fortunately, Keaton’s video caught attention of some big names.
“Avengers” stars Chris Evan and Mark Ruffalo not only sent out encouraging messages to Keaton, reminding him he is not alone, they also invited him to the premier of “Avengers: Infinity War” next year in Los Angeles.
Keaton, will you’ve my guest at the Premiere of #InfinityWar too? I think you are about one of the coolest kids I have ever seen! Can’t wait to meet you in person, pal. Forget those ignorant kids. One day, very soon, they are going to feel pretty stupid for this. https://t.co/BqJLxu25GN— Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) December 11, 2017
Stay strong, Keaton. Don’t let them make you turn cold. I promise it gets better. While those punks at your school are deciding what kind of people they want to be in this world, how would you and your mom like to come to the Avengers premiere in LA next year? https://t.co/s1QwCQ3toi— Chris Evans (@ChrisEvans) December 10, 2017
That is not the only invitation Keaton received.
Singer Hailee Steinfield also invited him to attend the premier of “Pitch Perfect 3” as her date.
Tennessee Titans’ Delanie Walker extended an invite to Keaton and his family for a New Year’s Eve game.
The Colorado Rockies also followed suit.
@Lakyn_Jones For Keaton: You have friends in us here in Colorado. You’re always welcome at Coors Field and if you ever make it to Denver, please be our guest at a game. Keep your head up and always be yourself, don’t let those bullies win!— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) December 10, 2017
Meanwhile, UFC president Dana White personally invited Keaton to their headquarters in Las Vegas.
Meet Keaton Jones a very smart little boy who is being bullied at school. This video is heartbreaking!! I want to bring Keaton to Vegas and hang out at UFC Headquarters. If anyone knows how i can reach the family please let me know. Thank u everyone pic.twitter.com/BR8c4ldDFc— Dana White (@danawhite) December 10, 2017
Hey, #KeatonJones - you have friends here at the UFC, buddy. Today and everyday. #StandWithKeaton @Lakyn_Jones | @DC_MMA @TWooodley @FelderPaul @SugaRashadEvans @KennyFlorian pic.twitter.com/ZxX0cY1bu7— UFC (@ufc) December 10, 2017
Scores of other celebrities chimed in too, showing their collective support to the young boy and raising their voices against bullying.
The hashtag #StandWithKeaton also started trending on Twitter.
Oh sweet boy. We see you. You are not alone. https://t.co/splq8LEMFR— Idina Menzel (@idinamenzel) December 10, 2017
Keaton, this is so accurate. Why do people do this? I think your sooo cool Keaton! I wanna be your friend ( but srsly) ur freakin awesome ❤️ https://t.co/LD7Q762bL9— Millie Bobby Brown (@milliebbrown) December 9, 2017
I #StandwithKeaton. Keaton baby, just know you’re not alone. There are so many people who come out of bullying so much stronger and you will be one of them!! God bless you sweetheart. https://t.co/LdCAy2lDHu— Demi Lovato (@ddlovato) December 11, 2017
I love this boy and I’ve never met him. You are brave and beautiful just as you are, don’t ever let others define who you are. Bullies are insecure and ignorant. Words create emotional poison, don’t listen to them so that poison doesn’t ever get to your pure heart ❤️ pic.twitter.com/SjntR2Pksk— Eva Longoria Baston (@EvaLongoria) December 10, 2017
Keaton jones you are a hero. This extremely raw and real moment has brought hope and truth to so many people. Be you and be forever fearless. Never give up. You are loved!— kevin jonas (@kevinjonas) December 10, 2017
.@lakyn_jones Hey Keaton, bullies are the ones with the problems NOT you. Many are bullied at home and pass it on. Cowards always need an audience. Be strong! I’ll come walk the hall and eat lunch with you anytime. #IstandwithKeaton #Keatonstrong #KeatonJones— Dr. Phil (@DrPhil) December 10, 2017
I’m so Sad and angry like I’m OD hot 😡😪Please teach your kids not to be bullies .Teach them how to be tough 👊🏽but not too pick on others— iamcardib (@iamcardib) December 10, 2017
I can’t get that boy I️n that video out my mind 😪I wish i can give him a hug and beat the shit out them kids that pick on him .I don’t care if they kids 👊🏽👊🏽FUCK YOU !!— iamcardib (@iamcardib) December 10, 2017
@Lakyn_Jones Hello, Keaton (via your sister)! You may have heard of my parents, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (#MLK) and #CorettaScottKing. I try to honor them and their legacies. I’m so sorry about the pain you’re experiencing because of bullying. You matter. I love you.— Be A King (@BerniceKing) December 9, 2017
If someone can get to me the name of the school, the principal, school board members i will gladly make the calls myself and fix this. Also if anyone knows Keaton and his parents, i will gladly fly them to NYC to be my guest & visit Fox News. https://t.co/uFyp2r2Yn7— Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) December 10, 2017
Keaton, I'm sorry those kids are being so mean. Unless people like that change they will end up having unhappy lives. I think you're cool!— Patricia Arquette (@PattyArquette) December 9, 2017
Dear Keaton Jones, hopefully you see this. Your an amazing soul my man, never let ANYONE tell you otherwise! Keep your head up & chest out. Your a solider, always remember that.— DeAndre Washington (@dwa5hington) December 10, 2017
The kids who bullied Keaton at school and made him cry must not be feeling too great about themselves now. However, one can only hope this incident and its subsequent outcome will help them realize the error of their ways.
Thumbnail/Banner: Pixabay, Wokandapix