Logan Fairbanks says he wanted to "encourage people not to bully people online"
But the video caught the attention of White House Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett
White House Senior Adviser Valerie Jarett made good on her promise to host eleven-year-old Logan Fairbanks at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue on Tuesday after Fairbanks stood up to his internet bullies in a very public way.
“I thought what a brave young man who’s willing to put himself even further out in harm’s way, and give right back to the bullies what they tried to give to him,” Jarett told CNN Tuesday during Fairbanks visit to the White House.
Fairbanks has scored himself an invitation to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue by standing up to his Internet bullies in a very public way.
Fairbanks— who has a large online following posting funny prank videos with his father, Josh Fairbanks— began to receive cruel comments online, including a comment that read, “I hope he dies.”
“I noticed some bad comments, so I figured, Hey, why not take a stand,” Logan told CNN on his visit to the White House Tuesday.
“I’ve seen being bullied in school, and I’ve stood up for it, and I have gotten into some trouble for it. But I’m not going to stop standing up for non-bullying. And I decided I was going to do a video, and I had to beg by dad for about three months, and then he finally said yes.
In a video posted this week on his father’s YouTube account, the boy from Hartford, Michigan, reads a series of cruel comments that people have made about him online.
“He looks like such a stupid fatso,” one comment said.
Another: “I hope that he dies.”
And another: “He scared the gay right out of him.”
Logan, visibly sad while reading each comment slowly, says he wanted to highlight the negativity and face the comments head-on to “encourage people to not bully people online,” and “to encourage other people that have been bullied to not let words hurt them.”
Shortly after the video was posted, Jarett tweeted at the duo, “you are stronger than anyone’s hurtful words. We could all learn something from you and your dad!”
Later, she extended a loose invitation to the White House, tweeting, “If you’re ever in DC, pls stop by the @WhiteHouse and say hi. Logan may be a future occupant one day.”
Parts of the exchange were retweeted by the official White House Twitter account.
Josh Fairbanks tweeted back and later followed up saying they might try to raise money to get to Washington.
“@vj44 Thank you so much for your kind words. I can’t believe our video has hit this close to the White House. We are in awe right now,” he tweeted.
During his trip to the White House, Logan was not able to meet President Barack Obama as he was traveling in Pittsburgh and New York City, but Logan did get to tour the Oval Office and sit in the commander-in-chief’s chair.
Jarett told CNN that Obama would have been “proud” and struck by Logan’s bravery.
“I think often times, particularly in cyberbullying, it’s anonymous, you don’t really see the person that you’re hurting,” Jarett said. “So I think what Logan did was to try and put a face and a heart on what happened to him, in a very direct way, and obviously it touched a lot of hearts around the country.”