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Racist Facebook users relentlessly mocked a 3-year-old black child -- then the internet struck back

Black Twitter has little tolerance for slave jokes at the expense of a defenseless child


Sophia Tesfaye
October 6, 2015 2:59AM (UTC)

Internet trolls rarely make sense but they are usually tucked away to the dark corners of comment sections or pass themselves off as eggs on Twitter. But now we've reached the juncture when racist internet trolls are so shameless that they freely use their Facebook profiles and full names to spout their disgusting nonsense.

That was the case when a defenseless and rather adorable three-year-old boy became the center of racist and abusive Facebook comments after a white Georgia man decided to sneak a selfie with the child and post it to his page for all his trollish friends to lampoon, implying that the child was a slave and referring to him as “sambo.”

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Zellie Imani of the Atlanta Black Star first reported on the Facebook post by Geris Hilton -- real name Gerod Roth -- and the ensuing backlash:

“I’ll feed you, but first let me take a selfie,” wrote one of Hilton's Facebook friends.

“I didn’t know you were a slave owner,” wrote a commenter named Emily Irene Red.

"Send him back dude those f--kers are expensive," another Facebook user, by the name of Dylan Kleeman, reportedly wrote.

Commenter Tim Zheng described the young child as "feral."

But before long, Black Twitter (it's a thing -- the LA Times has even dedicated a reporter to it) got a hold of Hilton's post and proceeded with swift social media justice:

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help me find out their facebook addresses or any info at all...THIS is why I am what I am...

Posted by G Devan Smith on Thursday, October 1, 2015

The boys mother, Sydney Jade, was a coworker of Hilton's and took to social media to defend her child, Cayden:

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This Cayden Jace! The love of my life, the apple in my eye, my EVERYTHING. All this lovely personality wrapped up into one small person’s body. When people hear about him, these are the pictures I want them to know about. Not that disturbing image and its comments. We are above all of this nonsense that has been going on. Cayden and I truly appreciate all of the love that we have been shown in the last 24 hours. You guys warm my heart, more than words could ever express. This little guys has every piece of my heart, he is my world and #HisNameIsCayden.

Hilton's employer, Michael Da Graca Pinto of the Polaris Marketing Group, said little Cayden visits his office every afternoon after daycare, adding "he's sat at my dinner table," before announcing that Hilton was now a former employee:

This morning I was disgusted to learn that one of my former employees made several racially charged comments on his...

Posted by Polaris Marketing Group on Friday, October 2, 2015

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Sophia Tesfaye

Sophia Tesfaye is Salon's Deputy Politics Editor and resides in Washington, D.C. You can find her on Twitter at @SophiaTesfaye.

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