Hip Hop’s response to Keaton Jones embodies an incredible Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. sentiment, and that type of call to action is exactly what our society needs right now.

“Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that.” — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Jones, 11, a middle school student from Knoxville, Tennessee, recorded a tearful lamentation about being bullied that went viral last week. Many people showed an outpouring of love and support to the kid, while others chin-checked his mother, Kimberly Jones, for taking family photos with the Confederate Flag.

To make matters worse, it has since come out that Jones’ estranged father, Shawn White, is an apparent white supremacist and jailed convicted felon.

To be as clear as Pimp C’s diamonds, it is absolutely vital for people to call out Keaton’s parents. White, who has been jailed since 2015 for a probation violation stemming from aggravated assault, has a history of racist social media posts and even has tattoos that read “Pure Breed” and “White Pride.” Kimberly Jones has her own history of offensive Facebook posts, which hollows out her apology for the Confederate flag photos. And there are rumors that Keaton’s “bullying” was a result of him using the n-word towards black classmates.

Keaton’s parents could very well be deplorable humans, which makes it all the more important for him to have outside positive influences in his life.

Support the kid not the parents

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MMA star Joe Schilling may or have not been communicating with a fake Kimberly Jones account, but his message remains the same.

By stepping in, even briefly, as that influence, several rappers showed the best Hip Hop has to offer. These rappers, ranging from Snoop Dogg and T.I. to Cardi B and Plies, graciously decided not to hold a child responsible for the sins of his parents. And that’s wise, because Keaton is not his mother or father.

He’s a kid, and kids are impressionable, which is why the kindness shown to him by these rappers via heartwarming Instagram posts is so essential. By showing love to this kid, they gave him a window into a culture he’s likely foreign to, and might help him see past the racist propaganda he’s potentially being fed at home.

Ok… So it seems as though we were somewhat mislead by what we saw yesterday in regards to Keaton. Now while I still stand by initial standpoint whole heartedly,I also believe in the laws of karma & reciprocity. I've always heard "What make ya laugh'll make ya cry." I'm thinkin this is a true example of that. But I STILL support Lil dude… even IF he's truly being given a taste of his own meds because when it's all said & done… while his family is spewing hatred around him… he himself will be able to speak from experience how much LOVE was shown to him on the gram by the very ones he's been taught to DISPISE!!! That's how we unlearn racism. THAT DONT MEAN GO DONATE NO MONEY THO!!!! I'm completely against ALL THAT🙅🏽‍♂️!!!!✊🏻✊🏽✊🏾✊🏼✊🏿

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Think about it for a second. If you were in that proverbial hell dubbed junior high and were being cruelly picked on for the way you look, messages from some of the coolest celebrities in the world would not only boost your confidence but would help you to see Hip Hop culture and Black America in a favorable light. Not to generalize an entire region, but Keaton lives in the South, where they are still fighting to preserve Confederate statues. In addition to his household, Keaton is probably seeing racism at school, the grocery store, the playground, etc. Rappers are not responsible for shedding the ill-informed stigma surrounding Hip Hop, nor is it their duty to change the minds of racists. But in going out of their way to show compassion, MCs can make a huge difference.

Hopefully, Keaton is grateful for all the support he’s gotten, because there are two girls who never had his platform. Rihanna took to Instagram to pay tribute to 13-year-old Rosalie Avila and 10-year-old Ashawnty DavisAshawnty Davis, who committed suicide because of bullying. RiRi used the hashtag #BulliesKill, and it’s efforts like hers that will bring awareness to an overwhelming problem in our society.

I personally know the positive effect Hip Hop can have on a young life. I didn’t grow up in a racist home, but I was told the same things many misinformed suburbanites teach their children; Hip Hop is bad. However, I was brutally bullied at school, and rap music became my refuge. The music’s soothing qualities opened my eyes to a culture that champions creativity, awareness, and perseverance in the face of struggle. Maybe Keaton will come to love Hip Hop as I did, or at the very least maybe he’ll grow up to be an understanding, compassionate man without a racist bone in his body.

I’m not here to play doctor and determine whether or not Keaton has one in him now; only that he clearly has harmful influences in his life. It’s unclear whether or not the rappers knew of his parents’ nature when they reached out to him. Regardless, I’m very glad that they didn’t double back on their efforts once that information came to light. By relating to a tearful, hurt kid, they may have permanently changed his life for the better.