The mother of Keaton Jones, the Tennessee boy whose heart-breaking anti-bullying message went viral over the weekend, is facing tough questions after Internet sleuths have stumbled upon her Facebook page featuring photos of the Confederate flag along with some questionable messages.
Dozens of actors, singers and athletes, among them Justin Bieber, Demi Lovato, Mark Ruffalo, Donald Trump Jr and LeBron James, to name just a few, have come out in support of the Knoxville middle-schooler after his mother shared a video online showing her son in tears, pleading to be left alone by bullies.
In the tear-jerking clip, Keaton recounts how his tormentors at school have been mocking his appearance, calling him ugly and have even poured milk on him.
Ugly truth: The photos seen above showing the Confederate flag were taken from Kimberly Jones’ now-defunct Facebook page. Her son Keaton became a viral sensation over the weekend after speaking out about being bullied
Activist Tareeq Nasheed outed Mrs Jones as what he called a ‘suspected racist’ on Twitter early Monday morning
But as it often happens with viral sensations, there was more to the story than first met the eye.
Early Monday morning, African-American activist Tariq Nasheed tweeted a screenshot of Kimberly Jones’ now-defunct Facebook page, showing photos of family members waving the Confederate flag.
He also shared a status update from late August, in which Mrs Jones wrote: ‘Dear butt hurt Americans, If you aren’t bleeding, no bones are sticking out & you can breathe, STOP crying! For the love, some folks clearly never picked a switch. And before y’all start talking to me about metaphorical, emotional, financial or historical blood & brokenness, Don’t. Join a group.’
Nasheed characterized the mother-of-three from Tennessee as a ‘suspected racist’ who has made ‘very problematic posts bullying Black protesters.’
DailyMail.com has been unable to corroborate the claim regarding posts bullying protesters because Jones has shut down her Facebook account as of Monday morning.
Instead, the woman has launched a PayPal account, soliciting donations from well-wishers.
Also on Monday, MMA fighter Joe Schilling took to his Instagram page and posted an exchange he had with the user @kimberlyjones_38, who is believed to be Keaton’s mother, in which she called what happened to the middle-school ‘an opportunity’ for her son and noted that she is poor, ‘not rich.’
When Schilling responded by accusing the woman of using her son’s pain ‘as a platform’ and declaring that he was no longer interested in getting involved, the user replied: ‘What happened to use whites sticking together and helping one of [sic] another against the predator?’
‘Whites sticking together’: MMA fighter Joe Schilling shared this exchange with a social media user believed to be Kimberly Jones
Cashing in: Jones has launched a PayPal account in the wake of her son’s video going viral
A heartbreaking video of Keaton Jones (pictured) pleading to be left alone by bullies goes viral as celebrities offer him their support
Keaton (center with his sisters), of Tennessee, asked his mother, Kimberly Jones (left), a question that so many people would like the answer too: ‘Just out of curiosity, why do they bully?’
In the video recording, which Jones posted at her son’s requested, as she claimed, Keaton tells his mother: ‘Just out of curiosity, why do they bully? What’s the point of it? Why do you find joy in taking innocent people and finding a way to be mean to them. It’s not okay.’
His mother then asked: ‘What did they say to you?’
‘They make fun of my nose. They call me ugly. They say I have no friends,’ Keaton answered as tears poured from his eyes.
‘What did they do to you at lunch?’ his mom asked.
Keaton replied: ‘Poured milk on me and put ham down my clothes. Threw bread at me.’
In the video, Keaton said it’s not just him, but others are bullied by kids at school.
‘I don’t like that they do it to me and I for sure don’t like that they do it to other people because it’s not okay,’ he told his mother.
‘People that are different, don’t need to be criticized about it. It’s not their fault. If you are made fun of just don’t let it bother you. Stay strong I guess. It’s hard.
‘But it’ll probably get better one day,’ Keaton concluded.
His tearjerking video captured the hearts of more than 16 million viewers on Facebook after it was posted by his mother.
‘For the record, Keaton asked to do this AFTER he had he me pick him up AGAIN because he was afraid to go to lunch,’ his mother Kimberly wrote.
LeBron James, Chris Evans and Justin
Celebrities quickly came out the support the young boy, all offering their support and kind gestures.
LeBron James, Chris Evans, Justin Bieber, Demi Lovato, Hailee Steinfeld and Mark Ruffalo all expressed their well wishes and pledged to stand with Keaton.
Both Evans And Ruffaloo offered Keaton and his mother to be guests the Avengers: Infinity War premiere in Los Angeles next year.
And Steinfeld asked Keaton to be her date to the Pitch Perfect 3 premiere on Tuesday.
Justin Bieber reached out to Keaton on Instagram: ‘You got a friend in me Lil bro! Hit me on dm and we can chat!!! Love you buddy!!’
‘What did they do to you at lunch?’ his mom asked. Keaton replied: ‘Poured milk on me and put ham down my clothes. Threw bread at me’
In the video, Keaton said it’s not just him, but others are bullied by kids at school. ‘I don’t like that they do it to me and I for sure don’t like that they do it to other people because it’s not okay,’ he told his mother. Keaton is pictured with his mom and two sisters
His tear-jerking video captured the hearts of more than 16 million viewers on Facebook after it was posted by his mother. Keaton is pictured with his sisters
Keaton’s mother (right) also pleaded with parents to ‘talk to your kids’ in an effort to shed light on how damaging bullying can be
After the video went viral, even more celebrities sent kind wishes and messages of support to Keaton.
Mark Hamill encouraged Keaton to not be discouraged by bullies but that they were just jealous because ‘you’re so smart and handsome’.
Country music star Kelsea Ballerini promised Keaton to visit him in the lunchroom when she visits her hometown of Knoxville.
Fox News host Sean Hannity took things a step further and asked if anybody could help put him in contact with Keaton or his parents.
‘I will gladly fly them to NYC to be my guests & visit Fox News,’ he wrote.
‘My kids are by no stretch perfect, & at home, he’s as all boy as they come, but by all accounts he’s good at school. Talk to your kids. I’ve even had friends of mine tell me their kids were only nice to him to get him to mess with people.
‘We all know how it feels to want to belong, but only a select few know how it really feels not to belong anywhere,’ she wrote.
Dr. Phil was moved to tweet out his encouragement and support to Keaton, offering to walk the halls of his school with him and to sit down and eat lunch.
He reminded Keaton to remember that bullies are cowards.
Donald Trump Jr. also weighed in to offer his support after UFC chief Dana White told Keaton that he would be welcome to visit the organizations headquarters in Las Vegas.
Trump Jr. offered Keaton and his family a place to stay if they accepted White’s offer.
The video has garnered more than 330,000 shares on Facebook, even reaching the eyes and ears of several celebrities who have tweeted their support for young Keaton, including Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown.
‘Keaton, this is so accurate. Why do people do this? I think your sooo cool Keaton! I wanna be your friend ( but srsly) ur freakin awesome [sic]’ Brown tweeted.
Brown then tweeted at Keaton’s sister, Lakyn Jones. ‘Tell him to stay strong! Truly a great person… to all the bully’s: take not from Keaton.’
Words of support: Dr. Phil strong encouragement to Keaton and told his sister that not only does he stand with Keaton but he wants to sit down and eat lunch with him at school
UFC President Dana White tweeted about Keaton’s emotional video early Sunday morning.
‘Meet Keaton Jones a very smart little boy who is being bullied at school. This video is heartbreaking!! I want to bring Keaton to Vegas and hang out at UFC Headquarters. If anyone knows how i can reach the family please let me know. Thank u everyone,’ White wrote.
Tennessee Titans football star Delanie Walker offered Keaton tickets to an upcoming game, and even recorded a video of himself reading a poem just for Keaton.
Tennessee wide receiver Tyler Byrd said he’s going to go eat lunch with Keaton at school this coming week.
‘We going to the middle school next Tuesday show young Man some love we will also TWITTER LIVE some of it so everyone can show there love and support #vols #StopBullying,’ Byrd tweeted.
Actor Will Poulter, executive producer of The Vampire Diaries & The Originals, Julie Plec, Chris Brown, Cardi B, actress and activist Patricia Arquette, actor Patrick J Adams and actress Jaimie Alexander, all expressed their support Keaton.
Keaton is an inspiration to the more than 3.2 million students who fall victim to bullying each year.
His story echoes that of the 17 per cent of American students who report being bullied two to three times a month or more within a school semester.
Now that Keaton has your attention, stand up against bullying by visiting StopBullying.gov to learn more about what you can do.