The sister of Keaton Jones, the Knoxville boy who went viral after speaking out about bullying, is defending her family against allegations of racism after pictures were uncovered allegedly showing her father with white supremacist affiliated attire.
On Wednesday, photos from the Facebook page of Shawn White, Keaton’s allegedly estranged father, show him sharing white supremacist propaganda. In one picture, White, who has been in prison since May 2015 after violating his probation following an aggravated assault conviction in 2012, is seen wearing a sweater with the symbol for the SS of Nazi Germany.
In another picture on his Facebook page, White seems to support calling the white supremacist prison gang the Aryan Circle, a “family.”
The emergence of the pictures escalated criticism and compelled Keaton’s older sister, Lakyn Jones, to defend her family in a tweet to her more than 47,000 followers on her private account. In it, Lakyn alludes to them having severed ties to white supremacists in the family.
“You all can go look back at every tweet from every father’s & mother’s day to see that all we have is our mom,” Lakyn wrote on her Twitter account on Wednesday. “We have no contact with our dads. BECAUSE of their actions. That’s why all the articles say ‘estranged’ because we don’t talk to them. Leave us alone.”
Lakyn further insisted that her family is not racist following the appearance of a series of pictures showing her family holding Confederate flags. In an interview, Keaton’s mother, Kimberly Jones, said the photos, which did not include White, were meant to be “ironic and funny,” and that she isn’t racist. She also defended a GoFundMe account she approved of in Keaton’s honor.
“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,” she told ABC News. She added: “It was meant to be ironic and funny … I am genuinely truly sorry. If I could take it back, I would.”
Family friend Kaley Katz tells PEOPLE the accusations of racism are “rumors” and that it’s not true that Keaton is the target of bullying because he was using a racial slur.
“The rumors are fake,” family friend Kaley Katz tells PEOPLE. “She is not a racist, Keaton did not bully anyone at his school, and she did not start the GoFundMe account in order for it to be a scam.”
The news has quickly chilled what was an emotional story that captured the hearts of many on social media, including celebrities such as Chris Evans and Mark Ruffalo. On Monday, a GoFundMe set up to help the family was paused after it raised more than $55,000. The fundraiser’s owner recently announced he is thinking of using half of it for a college fund for Keaton, with the rest going to other charities.