Kimberly Jones, the mother of bullied-kid-turned-viral-star Keaton Jones, says she’s “not racist” despite Facebook posts of the Confederate flag and a screed that appeared to target African-Americans. Not everyone believes her.
Some African-Americans were skeptical of her apology on “Good Morning America” Tuesday, including actor D.L. Hughley: “It’s not a shock #KimberlyJones fooled everyone!” he tweeted. “Hell we’ve been getting tricked by racists since that first boat ride!
Internet sleuths uncovered the photos soon after Keaton Jones’ anti-bullying video went viral, gaining 20 million page views. It inspired a GoFundMe page that was suspended Monday after the backlash over racism accusations against Kimberly Jones.
The Root editor Breanna Edwards wrote: “Kimberly Jones attempted to sort through all the backlash by using the good old ‘anyone who knows me … knows I’m not racist’ excuse.”
And Damon Young, editor-in-chief of The Root’s Very Smart Brothas, penned an opinion piece calling the Keaton Jones saga “the Most 2017 story of 2017.”
“It contains every element that has made 2017 2017. A viral video about a hot-button topic? Check! The nation’s sympathy elicited despite no one really having all of the details? Check! Working class white people? Check! Working class white people receiving a sympathy and financial support that people of color in similar circumstances have gone without? Check! A parent shamelessly recording and publishing a child’s most vulnerable moment for likes and retweets? Check!”
He wasn’t persuaded by Kimberly Jones explanation that the Confederate flag posts were meant to be “ironic and funny and extreme.”
“An initial spotlight on a legitimate serious issue stretched, in less than 48 hours, to a white woman on ‘Good Morning America’ explaining away her ironic racism? Check!” he wrote.
Kimberly Jones said on “Good Morning America” that she regretted the posts.
“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,” Jones told “Good Morning America” on Tuesday. “I mean, people that know us, know us.”
Keaton Jones’ anti-bullying video led many celebrities to rally around him, including “Captain America” actor Chris Evans, who invited Keaton Jones to next year’s premiere of “Avengers: Infinity War.” But fellow “Avengers” star Don Cheadle questioned Kimberly Jones’ motives.
“Exploiting her son and feeding him garbage and getting his ass beat in the bargain,” Cheadle wrote on Twitter. “Should be criminal.”
Joseph Lam, the New Jersey man behind the GoFundMe account, raised nearly three times his $20,000 target before halting the campaign because of the backlash. He told TheWrap on Monday he hopes to set up a college fund for Keegan Jones.
“I would like to do a college fund for the kid, it’s not the kid’s fault,” he told TheWrap.
You can see some of the responses on Twitter to Kimberly’s interview below.
— DL Hughley (@RealDLHughley) December 12, 2017
Keaton Jones mom walking into the KKK meeting after finessing $55,000 pic.twitter.com/RcxtZJi7Rr
— trigonometry (@CountOnRodney) December 12, 2017
LET'S CALL A THING A THING.
The reason why bullied white children like Keaton Jones can garner countless celebrity love and thousands of dollars in donations is because we live in a society where black & brown children are dehumanized and criminalized in their youth & schools.
— Ernest Owens (@MrErnestOwens) December 11, 2017
Kimberly Jones went on GMA this morning to clear up why she posted pics of her and her family having fun with the C.K. federate flag. She says she was simply “being funny” and anyone you ask will say she’s not racist. Girl, ya racist. Police have confirm… https://t.co/n0qV78DBZ3 pic.twitter.com/ThgAzyNra1
— YBF CHIC (@TheYBF) December 12, 2017
Kimberly Jones did an interview, and she described the picture with the Confederate flag as a joke. https://t.co/UxjpH78U1X
— Jordan James (@JordanJamesTV) December 12, 2017
Y’all all deleted those Keaton support post real quick I see
— TᖇIᒪᒪ GᗩTEᔕ (@djhomicide) December 12, 2017