Man Who Got Fired Because of Racist Facebook Photo Says He’s Being ‘Targeted’

Gerod Roth
YouTube Screenshot
Gerod Roth
YouTube Screenshot

"My entire post was taken out of context."

That's what Gerod Roth said during his interview with Fox 5 Atlanta when he was asked to explain why he and his friends posted racist comments underneath the photo of a little black boy that Roth posted to Facebook under a different name. Roth, a white man, lost his job over the incident. He is also in the photo, which was taken at Roth's now former job, since the little boy, Cayden Jenkins, is the son of Roth's former colleague.


Roth and his friends made jokes referring to "Kunta Kinte" and "slaves" and to Cayden as "feral." The photo went viral, and several of the commentators, in addition to Roth, were subsequently fired.

Now he is backpedaling away from the idea that his comments were racist. 

"A person said, 'Oh, you mean to tell me that you just have wild kids running through your office building?' And that's when I said 'He was feral,' which of course was interpreted as racist, but that was, honestly, not my intention whatsoever," Roth said. 

During the interview, Roth, who is from Atlanta, had the gall to suggest that while Cayden was victimized, he himself is being "targeted," and seemed to be trying to elicit sympathy from the public. 

"I just really feel upset, not only with myself but also with the character that was based off the comments that my friends had made. I feel as if, not only poor Cayden himself has been victimized but also myself for being targeted," Roth said.

Roth revealed more information about the incident, like how he made the photo of himself and Cayden his Facebook profile photo. Anyone familiar with social media antics knows that Roth likely did that because he thought the photo was somehow funny and would elicit humorous responses from his friends.

He said he made the photo his profile picture because it was the most recent picture in his phone and he was the process of changing his profile photo.  

Roth also said that he didn't think that taking the photo or posting it online was inappropriate because "up until that point, I thought Sydney and I were personal friends," Roth said. 


Cayden's mother, Sydney Shelton, was also interviewed by Fox 5 and said that she's happy her employer fired Roth, but she was very emotional about how her son was subjected to all of this negativity. 

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Diana Ozemebhoya Eromosele is a staff writer at The Root and the founder and executive producer of Lectures to Beats, a Web series that features video interviews with scarily insightful people. Follow Lectures to Beats on Facebook and Twitter.

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