You may have heard of the 11-year-old Tennessee boy Keaton Jones who recently went viral after his filmed account of being bullied caught the attention of celebrities across the country.
In the filmed confession, Jones admits to his mother that his classmates make fun of his nose and call him ugly. Jones also goes on to list various incidents of physical assault that he has experienced at the hands of his fellow students.
“They put milk on me and put ham down my clothes, throw bread on me,” he says while choking back tears.
Naturally, Jones’ experiences have been universal enough to earn sympathy from people of all colors and political affiliations — including celebrities from Snoop Dogg to Sean Hannity. As a young, white male, the reason for Jones’ bullying (being “ugly”) is something that many people can condemn as vile and unfounded. Nevermind the fact that when an eight-year-old black boy was literally lynched by his fellow classmates this past summer — thus bloodying his neck and bruising his arms and legs — the news item barely made a blip online. That, readers, is what you call selective empathy.
Oh, and speaking of racism, Jones’ mother has been forced to take down her son’s video now that the Internet has discovered she’s a major bullying racist herself. In past posts on Facebook, Kimberly Jones has apparently shared images of the Confederate flag while labeling black protestors as “butthurt Americans.” She has also implied that athletes like Colin Kaepernick should “stop crying” if they “aren’t bleeding, no bones are sticking out & [they] can breathe.”
Kimberly Jones, of course, has been trying to capitalize financially on her son’s newfound fame, and has continued to share donation pages for her family via a public Instagram account.
Still, celebrities like Chris Evans (who recently offered to bring Keaton to the Avengers: Infinity War premiere) are choosing to stick by Keaton despite his mother’s, uh, imperfections.
“Keaton didn’t get to choose the family that raised & shaped him, you smug ghoul,” tweeted comedian Patton Oswalt to a Twitter follower who asked if he’s withdraw support following the revelations of racism. To another contrarian, Oswalt said, “Keaton’s a little kid — his family hasn’t allowed him any real perspective yet.”
Orange is the New Black’s Nick Stevenson chimed in with “I’m still #KeatonStrong,” before shamelessly promoting a play he was in.
For the record, Flagrant is still #KeatonStrong as well, even though we know Ms. Kim is probably just going to spend Keaton’s money on a lifetime of bad perms, evening fashion marketing classes, and regular donations to One Million Moms.