Racist Bullied Kid’s Racist Mom Says Racism was Ironic

Remember Keaton Jones, the kid who cried over being bullied and had celebrities falling all over one another to tell him how great he is and inviting him to movie premieres? And then it turned out his family, and possibly the kid himself, were racist assholes?

Well, not wanting the GoFundMe donations to dry up, Keaton’s mother Kimberly went on Good Morning America to explain that the photos and Facebook statuses, which were clearly not ironic attacks on racism, were meant to be ironic.

Look, I grew up listening to Gen X alt comics like David Cross, Patton Oswalt and Sarah Silverman; I’m no stranger to how irony can be used to shine a light on the ridiculous emptiness of racist beliefs. Let’s take another look at what Kimberly Jones and her family did.

Okay, so, what’s ironic about taking normal-looking pictures with a Confederate flag? Or “I Stand For The Flag” with a Snapchat cat ear filter?

Actual irony has a context in which we view what we’re seeing or hearing as being self-evidently wrong or ridiculous. Jones’s Facebook posts don’t do that. There’s no context for these pictures of her and her family with a Confederate flag other than people have been taking down Confederate flags lately. There’s no message of “racism is wrong” here, just typical racism.

As for the reports of Keaton himself saying and doing racist things, you may think “Well, he’s only 12, he doesn’t know what he’s doing.” And that’s true. And he can change. But not if we reward him with movie premieres and tens of thousands of dollars because he didn’t like the reaction to his racism.

And even assuming that none of this is true, and that Kimberly Jones is 100% telling the truth when she says that her clearly not ironic racism was ironic, there are better ways to stop bullying than giving these people a bunch of money.

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5 years ago

None of you seem to know what the hell irony is.