We live in a society where empathy and compassion is limited for Black, Indigenous, and children of color and it is instead reserved to white children, who only have agency due to their white privilege, period.
It’s hard not to look at the viral video of Keaton Jones, an elementary school boy, looking straight into the camera, completely distraught over the kids who bully him at school. In first watching the video, my initial instincts were those of pain and understanding, I too was a victim of bullying throughout grade school. Within days, Keaton’s video had gone viral — from celebrity invitations to a GoFundMe page that currently has over $56,000 in donations. Yes, it seemed that America’s compassion for Keaton was strong, but that’s just the way it seemed. It didn’t take long before the real story surfaced. A Facebook post, by Keaton’s mother, Kimberly Jones, showing family members posing with a confederate flag as she scathingly insults opposition — in short, supporting white supremacy as she bullied black people. The story of how the Jones family finessed the country began to unfold. But is it really finesse? Or another example of white supremacy supporting itself? You may just now be hearing about the story of Ashawnty Davis, a 10-year old black girl who was the victim of bullycide. But Ashawnty’s story came almost two weeks before the faux-bullying of Keaton Jones and a GoFundMe page set up by her family to cover funeral expenses, has exceeded its original goal of $10,000, but only after the wake of Keaton’s story. When you compare the coverage between Ashawnty and Keaton it reveals a lot: Ashawnty’s GoFundMe currently stands at $36,000 of its $10,000 goal, while Keaton stands at roughly over $56,000 of his $20,000 goal. On the surface it may seem as if this is only about money, but it’s far more than just about how many donations have been received — there were no celebrities pleading for justice, there were few funds raised, there was little coverage, and no viral video for the funeral of Ashawnty Davis. We live in a society where empathy and compassion is limited for Black, Indigenous, and children of color and it is instead reserved to white children, who only have agency due to their white privilege, period.