Kim Jones, the mother of Keaton Jones, appeared Tuesday on ABC News’ Good Morning America and CBS This Morning, to respond to the controversy sparked after social media revealed photos of Jones, and her children, including Keaton, posing with Confederate flags.
“The only two photos on my entire planet that I am anywhere near a Confederate flag,” she insisted in an interview on CBS This Morning, calling it “ironic” and “funny.”
Asked if the photos showed “racist intent” she responded, “No. Absolutely not,” and insisted she too has been “bullied and judged” because she ”wasn’t racist.”
“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 ABC News. “I mean, people that know us, know that.”
The heartbreaking video of a tearful Keaton Jones asking “why do they bully?” posted on Facebook by his mother went viral, prompting an outpouring of support for the boy by Hollywood celebrities and others. But questions arose after the photos of the Confederate flag emerged.
In addition to pictures of Confederate flags, the old posts crudely criticize Colin Kaepernick and others protesting police brutality against black Americans. Some accounts include allegations of racism against the 11-year-old boy, saying he was bullied because he used racial epithets.
And on Monday, Gregory Clay, the principal of Keaton’s middle school, told local press that bullying isn’t “as rampant as the video would have you believe.” He also said the incident had happened prior to Friday, and the students involved dealt with.
The attention also drew financial support – a Go Fund Me page for the boy surpassed $58,000 Monday (Deadline could not verify the page’s connection to the Jones family; by late afternoon, the page had stopped accepting donations.)
You can watch Jones’ interviews on GMA and CBS This Morning below: