When Gerod Roth posted a photo of himself and a coworker’s black son to Facebook last month, he probably didn’t think he’d be fired just a few weeks later.
Roth (whose Facebook account is under the name Geris Hilton) posted the now-deleted photo of his coworker’s three-year-old child while at work. The act of taking and posting a photo of another person’s child online without permission could be considered inappropriate to begin with. Roth’s friends upped the ante, however, by leaving a series of racially-charged comments mocking the child.
Comments included, “Help feed this poor child today,” “Dude where the hell did you get a black kid??” and “But Massuh, I dindu nuffin.” There is also a description, from Roth, of the child being feral.
Twitter users began investigating the identities of the racist commenters. But blogger Ife Johari went in another direction: she tracked down the boy’s mother, Sydney Shelton, and got to speak with her.
Shelton posted a response on her own Facebook wall on October 3, complete with photos of the little boy. She ended the post with a hashtag that made it clear how she’d rather see the story framed: #HisNameIsCayden. Cayden is a happy and healthy three-year-old who joins his mom at work after daycare, which is how Roth had access to take his photograph.