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Culture Feb 21, 2020 11:17 AM EST

The sad story of Quaden Bayles is more complicated than it seems

On Thursday, a heartbreaking story about a 9-year-old child with dwarfism went viral. But is there more to the story?

The sad story of Quaden Bayles is more complicated than it seems
Ian Miles Cheong Montreal, QC

This article was published more than 1 year ago, information might not be up to date.

Bullying may build character, but sometimes it can also build your bank account. On Thursday, a heartbreaking story about a 9-year-old child with dwarfism went viral. In the video, the disabled child, Quaden Bayles, is seen crying and saying he wants to die because of the bullying he suffers at school.

His mother, Yarraka Bayles, filmed and uploaded footage of her son’s apparent trauma onto Facebook live, where it racked millions of views and eventually became a trending news story on social media and in the tabloid press. Celebrities and millions of others, emotionally overcome by the heartbreaking display of a disabled child wanting to kill himself, opened their hearts and offered the boy’s mother support both emotional and financial—in the form of a GoFundMe, which has since raised hundreds of thousands of dollars.

It’s entirely possible that they were just marks in an ongoing grift.

It’s not the first time that the 9-year-old child has been in the news. Bayles was previously in the news in 2015 when his mother uploaded a video on Facebook of her son staring at a mirror. It was allegedly targeted by trolls in screenshots she provided to Daily Mail Australia. His mother says the negativity her son received convinced her to raise awareness of achondroplasia, or dwarfism, by creating the Stand Tall 4 Dwarfism campaign.

“The first one was ‘s*** what an ugly kid’ then ‘look at that little midget’ and ‘crack house kid,'” Ms. Bayles told Daily Mail Australia at the time.

“Another person wrote ‘that’s what happens when you do drugs’ when you are pregnant. It was quite overwhelming. I posted it on my own personal page not expecting that to happen. It was shared a few times from my page and that’s how the not so nice comments appeared,” she continued.

The campaign received the endorsement of several celebrities, including Russell Crowe.

Quaden resurfaced on Thursday, with many unaware of the child’s previous brush with celebrity. Essentially catching people unawares, the public responded with an outpouring of sympathy and open wallets.

Then came the cynics—me included—who doubted the Bayles’ sad story. Having previously read about Quaden years ago, my blackpilled senses immediately tingled to the possibility that his mom was trying to reignite the clout grab she managed years ago.

Footage of Quaden waving around hundreds of Australian dollar bills (which possess actual value and aren’t, in fact, worth as little as monopoly money) and donning hype branded clothing, including Gucci.

Whether the bullying was real or fake hardly matters—what matters is that Quaden’s mother monetized it by blowing it up on the Internet. As Matt Walsh of the Daily Wire writes:

“Defenders of the mother will say that she is trying to ‘raise awareness’ about bullying. But what sort of parent sees their own child’s bullying as an opportunity for cultural awareness? They’ll also say that she was “desperate” and “didn’t know what else to do.” Well, I can see a desperate parent kicking the doors of the school down and finding their child’s bullies and maybe even administering a little physical punishment to the brats. I can see a desperate parent, if all else fails, pulling their kid from the school and homeschooling. There are many things that desperate and loving parents might do for their child, but turning him into a viral celebrity is simply not one of them.”

Much of the internet eventually came to its senses. In typical fashion, the internet has gone overboard by pushing “Tyrion Lannister” into Twitter’s trending topics—thus once again attacking the child for dwarfism. If the bullying wasn’t real before, it will be now. You hate to see it.

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