ATLANTA — A selfie taken by white man Gerod Roth at his work with his co-worker’s three-year-old black son became the subject of controversy after he made it his Facebook profile picture and people started making racist comments, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
According to Fox 5 Sydney Shelton, the boy’s single mother takes her son Cayden Jenkins to work after school, and didn’t know about the picture until after the fact. Shelton told Fox 5: “People post things in a jokingly manner and it gets taken a completely different way but I don’t believe any of these people were joking.”
The comments on the photo posted under Roth’s Facebook profile name Geris Hilton made references to slavery and starving African children. Roth joined in the tasteless jokes by saying the boy was “feral.” A message from Roth was also uncovered where he claims that the boy is deaf mute and was abandoned in the Atlanta projects. He later wrote an email apology to Shelton, but she hasn’t responded, according to Fox 5.
A GoFundMe page was started to raise scholarship money for Cayden when he gets old enough to attend college, and hashtag #IStandWithCayden is trending on social media to spread awareness of the controversy. Michael Da Graca Pinto, the president of Polaris Marketing Group told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Roth was fired for unrelated reasons, and also posted a letter addressing the incident online. – TN