This weekend, the video of a young boy named Keaton Jones went viral after he was caught crying on camera because he was being bullied, and the internet pulled together to make things right.
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
GoFundMe pages were started on the boy’s behalf, celebrities and athletes invited Keaton to Hollywood premieres and sporting events, and Americans across the country posted words of encouragement to the child.
This is heartbreaking. But the response of support for him is a beautiful thing. Add me to your long list of friends Keaton. https://t.co/NKasvdo00u
— Ralph Dale Earnhardt Jr. (@DaleJr) December 10, 2017
— chase crawford (@chsecrwfrd) December 10, 2017
— Hailee Steinfeld (@HaileeSteinfeld) December 10, 2017
— Idina Menzel (@idinamenzel) December 10, 2017
Keaton-Don't waste time wondering why a bully would be so mean-They're sad people who think hurting others will make them feel better because they really don't like themselves-They're just jealous because you're so smart & handsome❤️Your friend-mh https://t.co/SUMw3OoCTm
— @HamillHimself (@HamillHimself) December 10, 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
In a surprising turn of events, a photo was revealed of Keaton’s mother, Kimberly Jones, holding a confederate flag and criticizing those “crying” about racism, putting into question whether the family was deserving of such an outpouring of sympathy.
To make matters worse, GoFundMe has stopped accepting donations to both pages. One page, labeled “Stand Up for Keaton,” which has amassed $58,249 so far, was unable to contact Keaton’s mom to ensure that she is the beneficiary.
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.