The public’s knowledge of Keaton Jones began with a viral video of a crying, bullied middle school boy whose mother, for whatever reason, decided to record his misery and broadcast it to the internet.
Then the world saw those photos of Keaton’s mom with a Confederate flag. And of Keaton himself beside a Confederate flag. And there were other, troubling posts. Suddenly, the “sad, bullied boy” sounded like a sad story of a different, much more racist variety.
Well, photos of Keaton Jones’ father have surfaced, and it looks like Keaton’s mom’s racism pales in comparison to his father’s.
The very viral story of Keaton Jones starts off as incredibly sympathetic. A bullied child in tears, confessing to his mother that he was afraid to go to lunch because of bullying?
It’s heartbreaking. And, even with everything that we now know about his parents, we feel sorry for him. Just … maybe not for the reasons that his mother thought that we would when she decided to post her child’s emotional pain for public consumption.
Because on top of photos with the Confederate flag — which is about as anti-American a symbol as I can think of — there were some alarming posts from Keaton Jones’ mother, Kimberly Jones.
She had a lot of negative things to say about NFL players kneeling for the National Anthem, a controversy that has powerful racial undertones.
Her apparent suggestion that perhaps people would be less likely to complain about inequality if only they had been beaten as children was alarming to say the least.
Keaton Jones and his mother addressed the backlash … sort of … with Kimberly Jones trying to dismiss the Confederate flag photos as her poor attempt at humor.
(Incidentally, Kimberly’s daughter tried to defend her mother in a now-deleted tweet and basically undercut her mother’s defense)
But where, you might ask, is Keaton Jones’ father?
TMZ found Keaton Jones’ dad, and Shawn White is in prison where he clearly belongs.
If Shawn White’s tattoos, hand gestures, criminal history, and social media history are any indication, the guy is a full-blown white supremacist.
In the photo above, you can see Shawn White (far right) with some other men, making a symbol that is apparently not “the shocker” but in fact a white power symbol.
(So apparently he associates with others of his ilk)
When Shawn White (and we cannot get over that being his name, considering the hateful path that he chose in life) was free, as recently as 2015, he posted upsetting posts like:
In case that’s too subtle … and it says “ARYAN,” in case that atrocious blue-on-black is too hard to read … Shawn White’s other posts are also pretty horrific.
“Holy F–k I Love Being White!”
“Keep Calm and be White Pride.”
White is locked up because of a probation violation following a 2012 conviction for aggravated assault. And, bad news folks, but he’s scheduled for release some time next year.
In case you thought that maybe White had accidentally shared some posts in poor taste or perhaps as a tone-deaf inside joke with some friends … the guy also has some scary tattoos.
A tattoo on his chest reads “Pure Breed.”
The tattoo on his stomach reads “White Pride.”
As you look at the photos of this 36-year-old man, remember that he apparently believes that he is genetically superior to the majority of the human race.
While it’s not clear how close Keaton Jones is with his father (he doesn’t share his dad’s last name, and no one can find any record of Kimberly and Shawn having gotten married), they were photographed together just a few years ago.
There’s a theory that perhaps Keaton Jones was bullied less over his appearance and more over spouting racism that he would have picked up at home, but we don’t know that.
We’d say that Keaton Jones deserves our sympathy. His mother — who, on top of everything else, was clearly once in some sort of relationship with Shawn White — cannot be a good influence, and his father is even worse.
It’s everyone’s hope that Keaton Jones and his siblings will rise above their upbringing and be immeasurably better people than their parents.
Considering what we know about Kimberly Jones and Shawn White, that’s not setting the bar too high.