Kimberly Jones sat down with NBC News to address the controversy that's surfaced following her son's viral video.
Over the weekend, Kimberly shared a video of her son Keaton Jones tearfully describing the bullying he experiences at school. The video went viral and attracted the attention of several celebrities, including Selena Gomez, Millie Bobbie Brown and Demi Lovato. It also led a person named Joseph Lam to create a GoFundMe campaign and help fund the 11-year-old child's future.
The campaign has raised nearly $57,000 dollars but has been put on pause amid controversy. Kimberly has been criticized for the donations and received backlash for social media posts that include pictures of the Keaton family with a Confederate flag.
"I mean that, you know, yesterday he was a hero. You know, the world loved us. Today, the world hates us," Kimberly said during a Today sneak peek of NBC News' interview. "And again, I'm trying really hard to think that I was trying not to get caught up in the positives. So, we're not going to get caught up in the negatives."
Kimberly's Facebook page has been made private. In a separate interview with Good Morning America, the mother revealed the pictures weren't intended to be racist.
"It was meant to be ironic and funny and extreme," she told GMA. "I am genuinely truly sorry. If I could take it back, I would."
After Lam paused the campaign, he posted an update on the GoFundMe page and argued the fundraising was never about Kimberly.
"THIS IS NOT ABOUT THE MOM!!" part of the post read. "However passing judgement on her before you know her is a form of bullying. Condemnation before evaluation is the ultimate form of ignorance. I can't even say for sure that any of whats being said is true. I don't know the family personally and never claimed to have known them."
He continued, "This is about a kid who's been bullied and not just one kid, Keaton, there are many unspoken cases about kids being bullied. We have to be the voice for the voiceless. In the video I saw a kid crying not just for himself but for others. To me thats a kid with a heart of gold and deserves praise. Im hoping that we can turn the money into something good whether it be for private school or college fund. Im in touch with GFM on how to proceed at this point. Thank you every one that donated."
Despite the recent controversy, Keaton hopes his video will continue to help others.
"To inspire people that are bullied, well, just give them a voice that they might not have to speak out about it and how it's not right to bully," he said in the Today clip.
Watch the video to see Today's preview of the interview.
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