Details of Keaton Jones' father's dark past emerge
This week has been a rollercoaster as far as Keaton Jones is concerned. A very short time ago we didn't even know the name, but soon after we had seen his face and heard his story of bullying at school. The video, in which he asks his bullies, "Why do you find joy in taking innocent people and finding a way to be mean to them?", spread all over the internet, ultimately gaining the attention of various celebrities.
The likes of Justin Bieber, Demi Lovato and Katy Perry came forward to spread his message and support him during the rough time he was going through. On top of this, he got an invitation to join Chris Evans to the premiere of the next Avengers movie next year. While the underlying issues were not solved, it looked as if Keaton's life was on its way up - but then the story got a little more complicated.
Just a few days later people found controversial images of Keaton's mother, Kimberly, who was the one who filmed the initial video. Multiple pictures showed her alongside the Confederate flag, which many take as a symbol of a period of slavery and white supremacy. In a later interview she was asked about these photos, where she explained that they were "ironic".
"I've said I spent most of my life being bullied and judged because I wasn't racist," Kimberly told the interviewer. "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".
She was also criticised for the many GoFundMe accounts that appeared online in Keaton's name, accusing her of profiting from her son's misfortune. She claimed they were all fake, except for one that received $58,000 before being shut down. "They want to hate me, I mean, whatever, that's fine, but still talk to your kids," said Kimberly of the criticisms. "Talk to your kids because this is - this is - this is an epidemic."
As all of this dies down, another level to the story has emerged, as it turns out that Keaton's father is apparently a white supremacist currently serving time in jail.
Keaton's father, Shawn White, has been in prison since 2015 for a probation violation related to a 2012 aggravated assault conviction. TMZ have claimed that he is set to be released from Knox County jail in 2018, but his Facebook page revealed his support for white supremacy, both in his posts and photos displaying his tattoos.
He has "Pure Breed" tattooed on his chest and "White Pride" on his stomach, and also shared a number of white supremacist memes relating to 'white pride' and 'aryan pride'. In addition, he is shown several times to be holding a hand sign connected to the Aryan Circle, one of the largest white supremacist gangs in US prisons.
It is unclear the nature of the relationship he has with the family. The last shared photo of them together was before his imprisonment, and obviously Keaton shares a surname with his mother, so it may be that he is out of his life entirely.
Regardless, the behavior of the parents doesn't need to reflect on Keaton himself, and his message of anti-bullying that started this all off.