Kimberly Jones, who shared a video of her son Keaton tearfully describing the bullying he endures at school, says she's not racist despite the photos showing the family posing with Confederate flags.
Appearing on "Good Morning America" on Tuesday, December 12, Kimberly said those close to her know she's not racist. "That's not who we are," she said. She claimed that the pictures weren't intended to be racist. "It was meant to be ironic and funny and extreme," she claimed. "I am genuinely truly sorry. If I could take it back, I would."
Speaking to CBS News, Kimberly also explained the photos, "The only two photos - the only two photos on my entire planet that I am anywhere near a Confederate flag. It was ironic. I've said I spent most of my life being bullied and judged because I wasn't racist."
Keaton, meanwhile, explained that recording the heartbreaking video was all his idea. "I had enough of it. 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?' " he told CBS News.
He added in an interview with ABC News, "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. [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."
After Keaton's video went viral, the likes of Chris Evans, Demi Lovato and Mark Ruffalo have shown their support to Keaton. Chris even invited the 11-year-old boy to the premiere of his upcoming movie "Avengers: Infinity War".
A person named Joseph Lam created a GoFundMe campaign to help fund the 11-year-old child's future. But after the campaign raised $57,000, the campaign was put on hold due to the controversy surrounding Kimberly's Confederate flag photos.
Joseph then posted an update on the GoFundMe page. "THIS IS NOT ABOUT THE MOM!!" he wrote. "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 whats being said is true. I don't know the family personally and never claimed to have known them."
He continued, "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 thats a kid with a heart of gold and deserves praise. Im hoping that we can turn the money into something good whether it be for private school or college fund. Im in touch with GFM on how to proceed at this point. Thank you every one that donated."
Some people have also defended Keaton. "48 hours into this story and a backlash has begun. We're introduced to the inevitable grey area of a situation. The unified take begins to splinter under its own weight," John Mayer tweeted.
48 hours into this story and a backlash has begun. We’re introduced to the inevitable grey area of a situation. The unified take begins to splinter under its own weight.— John Mayer (@JohnMayer) December 11, 2017
Parson James also posted on Twitter, "With the revelations about #KeatonJones family surfacing we must remember a few things. We cannot hold kids accountable for the actions of their parents/family. Though disheartening, we were all moved by the effects of bullying and to end it. Let's continue to focus on that."
With the revelations about #KeatonJones family surfacing we must remember a few things. We cannot hold kids accountable for the actions of their parents/family. Though disheartening, we were all moved by the effects of bullying and to end it. Let’s continue to focus on that.— Parson James (@ParsonJames) December 11, 2017