Keaton Jones’ mother, Kimberly is fighting back at claims that she’s a racist, after photos of her with a confederate flag were discovered. Here’s what she has to say.
Keaton Jones, 11, and his mother Kimberly Jones released an emotional video of him crying from alleged acts of bullying. However, their PSA to end bullying was quickly overshadowed by racist claims from online critics. When Keaton’s message went viral — with celebrities, pro athletes, and online goers joining the “Stand With Keaton” movement to combat bullying — his family’s personal social media accounts were probed. Photos, discovered on Kimberly’s Facebook page, showed her, Keaton and other family members holding confederate flags. The images sparked public outrage, with the Jones family being accused of being racist. Now, Keaton and his mother are addressing the photos in a brand new interview.
“The only two photos — the only two photos on my entire planet that I am anywhere near a Confederate flag. It was ironic, it was funny” Kimberly said to CBS News of the photos, adding that there was no racist intent behind the images. “I’ve said I spent most of my life being bullied and judged because I wasn’t racist.”
Kimberly’s daughter, Lakyn, defended her mother in a now-deleted Twitter post. “To those who think my mother is a racist, she is not,” Lakyn wrote, adding that her mother “is a southern woman who loves where she’s from.” The tweet continued: “She believes in equality and doesn’t want any harm done to ANYONE. This is about bullying and my brother. Not her. Please leave it alone.”
Keaton, who also sat down with CBS News, explained why he decided to make the video, which his mother filmed. “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 said. “[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.”
The 11-year-old then admitted that he “had enough” of the cruel acts against him. “They had said that someone was going to beat me up in lunch so I texted my mom and I said, ‘What do I do here?’ ” Keaton, added that the kids at his Tennessee school “make fun of my nose. They call me ugly. They say I have no friends.”
Kimberly and Keaton also sat down with ABC News for a interview to explain the photos. “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,” Kimberly said in the separate interview. “The people that know us, know that. [The photo] was meant to be ironic, funny and extreme. I am truly and genuinely sorry. If I could take it back, I would.” Lastly, Kimberly left parents with this message: “Everyone hate me, that’s fine. But, still talk to your kids. Talk to your kids because this is an epidemic.”
ABC News said the Tennessee school in which Keaton attends, confirmed that there was indeed a bullying incident at the school. However, they would not get into the details of it. The school told the news outlet that the incident was not as rampant as you might think based on the video from Keaton.
HollywoodLifers, what’re your thoughts after hearing Kimberly’s comments?