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By Sunlen Serfaty
WASHINGTON — Eleven-year-old Logan Fairbanks has scored himself an invitation to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue by standing up to his Internet bullies in a very public way.
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.”
The Fairbanks have a series of videos on their YouTube page, mostly humorous in nature that show them pulling pranks on people.
Josh Fairbanks, Logan’s dad, wrote that he was hesitant at first to post this type of video, which has now been viewed over 550,000 times, but it was his son who insisted, saying “that if there was a chance it could help someone, then why not face his online bullies and try.”
But the video caught the attention of White House Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett.
She tweeted to the father-son 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.
In an email to CNN Saturday afternoon, the elder Fairbanks said the family was in complete disbelief after hearing from the White House.
“We were so amazed that our cause could reach so high,” Josh Fairbanks said in an email. “We are trying to find a way to make it to DC soon and take them up on their offer.”