Keaton Jones, the 11-year-old Tennessee boy whose emotional video about bullying shot him in front of the public eye, is now facing backlash after photos of his mother with the Confederate flag surfaced.
Many celebrities shared their support of Jones after his mother, Kimberly Jones, filmed him tearfully discussing his experience with bullying. Jones was apparently picking up her son from school early because he was too scared to go to lunch.
“Just out of curiosity, why do they bully? What’s the point of it?” he asked. “Why do you find joy in taking innocent people and finding a way to be mean to them? It’s not OK.”
After detailing the way he is bullied, Keaton finished by saying, “I don’t like that they do it to me and I for sure don’t like that they do it to other people.”
The likes of Rihanna, Snoop Dogg and Terry Crews all used social media to show their support of the middle schooler with the hashtag #KeatonStrong.
But things changed very quickly once an old Facebook video by Keaton’s mother surfaced. In the one minute clip, she can be seen holding the Confederate flag with a big smile on her face. Other racist content also surfaced, according to Deadline.
Jones explained away the photos as a bad attempt at humor.
“The only two photos — the only two photos on the entire planet that I am anywhere near the Confederate flag,” Jones said in an interview with CBS. “It was ironic. It was funny.”
When asked whether she was racist, Jones replied: “No. No. Absolutely not. I’ve said I spent most of my life being bullied and judged because I wasn’t racist.”
You may like
Get The Essence Newsletter and Special Offers delivered to your inbox!