December 8th has always been an important date throughout history. On this day, John Lennon was killed, The United States of America declared war on Japan and entered World War II and many more.
In 2017, when a kid named Keaton Jones appeared on a video crying over bullying, it caught the world’s attention. His mother posted the video on the net and it went viral.
Many celebrities and superstars—Justin Bieber, Snoop Dogg, LeBron James, Chris Evans, and Mark Ruffalo— have taken a stand beside Keaton and offered him support via Twitter. They have also shared personal messages to stop bullying. A GoFundMe page was opened and within days they raised over $56,000 for Keaton’s family.
However, by December 11, a controversy had started. A purported screenshot of Keaton’s mother’s started circulating on Facebook apparently showing family members posing with a Confederate flag and seeming to denigrate those who opposed it.
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- The internet was quick to respond.
- Keaton’s sister responded to the controversy with a series of Tweets.
- Meanwhile, Joseph Lam, the man who created the GoFundMe for Keaton and his family stopped accepting donations on 11 December.
- He posted a status related to the building backlash over the bullying controversy:
- His latest update on GoFundMe:
The internet was quick to respond.
Later, in an interview with Strassmann from CBS, Mrs. Jones confirmed that the flag picture was real, but she detests bullying.
“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,” Mrs. Jones said.
“It didn’t have anything to do with racist intent?” Strassmann asked.
“No. No. Absolutely not. I’ve said I spent most of my life being bullied and judged because I wasn’t racist,” Jones said.
That didn’t end the controversy. MMA fighter Joe Schilling posted a video saying that when he reached out to Keaton’s mom on Instagram with an offer of friendship she redirected him to a GoFundMe page.
“She just wants money,” said Schilling.
It was later confirmed that the Instagram account was not authentic.
Keaton’s sister responded to the controversy with a series of Tweets.
Meanwhile, Joseph Lam, the man who created the GoFundMe for Keaton and his family stopped accepting donations on 11 December.
As many of you know I paused the donations, as well as the comments. As I sit back and read these comments and watched the video again I feel I have to make this update. THIS IS NOT ABOUT THE MOM!! However passing judgement on her before you know her is a form of bullying. Condemnation before evaluation is the ultimate form of ignorance. I can’t even say for sure that any of what’s being said is true. I don’t know the family personally and never claimed to have known them.
This is about a kid who’s been bullied and not just one kid, Keaton, there are many unspoken cases about kids being bullied. We have to be the voice for the voiceless. In the video I saw a kid crying not just for himself, but for others. To me, that’s a kid with a heart of gold and deserves praise. I’m hoping that we can turn the money into something good, whether it be for private school or college fund. I’m in touch with GFM on how to proceed at this point. Thank you everyone that donated.
His latest update on GoFundMe:
Good Afternoon everyone, I’ve been working diligently on this today. I know things have taken an unexpected turn here with this story, but the cause is still the same. This was about Bullying, specifically in this case, Keaton. I’m working on a couple of things, but will not move forward without approval from everyone. I think we can use this for some good. But again, it will be the decision of everyone. Here are my thoughts.
Keaton College Fund $25,000
– I have an attorney looking into this for me
There were 2 recent suicides of kids that were bullied.
I feel we can donate to this as well.
With the balance, there is a program called Rachel’s Challenge that I’ve been in contact with. They go to schools and teach kids about the story of Rachel. It’s a really awesome program and not only teaches kids about being kind to one another, it puts it into action. For those that no longer want to be involved with this fund, you can request a refund at the link below. Stay tuned for further updates. Thank you.
The fate of the third-party GoFundMe account that raised over $57000 for Keaton remains a mystery.
We would love to hear your thoughts on the matter.