When is it OK to start questioning the bullying video that’s gone viral?
At what point should we ask Keaton’s mom what she really wants?
A contender for the most viral video of 2017 emerged yesterday, and everyone from Captain America to your caps-lock loving aunt has shared it by now. It shows a 13-year-old boy called Keaton Jones from Tennessee crying in a car, describing how school bullies have called him names, poured milk in his hair and put food in his clothes.
It's a helpless kid crying about being tormented at school – you would have to have battery acid in your veins not to be moved by it.
The clip, filmed by Keaton's mom, has been shared hundreds of thousands of times and inspired immediate action. In the course of one day, he's raised over $60,000, got invitations to movie premieres and hung out with star athletes. You would have to be a cold-blooded snake not to be on Keaton's side here. Right?
So at what point is it OK to start questioning that clip?
This is Keaton Jones, he lives in Knoxville and he has a little something to say about bullying.pic.twitter.com/coyQxFp33V
— Everything TN (@Everything_TN) December 9, 2017
Is it when Keaton's mom Kimberly asked for help with her GoFundMe, and said: "What happened to us whites sticking together and helping one another against the predator?"
Is it when she asked Joe Schilling, an MMA fighter in LA for money for Christmas?
Is it when the Jones family are revealed to be lovers of the Confederacy whose mom mocks black Americans?
Is it when kids at Keaton's school step forward to claim that he called students of color the n-word?
Or is it when your first instinct when your sobbing child tells you he's being bullied at school is that you should turn him into viral, money-making content?
If you can mobilize thousands of people to expose an injustice and start to right it, that can only be a good thing. But at what point is it OK to question the motives of someone whose reaction to her son's tears is "send me cash?"
It feels like the spotlight of America is on a 13-year-old boy whose mom is out for financial gain. And as the revelations about Kimberley Jones continue to surface, and people start to wonder if they should have donated thousands upon thousands of dollars to her, do you think they will be as quick to donate to future causes once they realize who she is?
Or should we pause for a minute instead of immediately rewarding the Kimberly Joneses of this world with national adoration and tens of thousands of dollars?
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