“If I had a bowl of Skittles and I told you three would kill you, would you take a handful? That’s our Syrian refugee problem.”
This is the tweet that Donald Trump Jr. sent out on Monday, and there are more than a few things wrong with it. After I saw the tweet I was shocked by the image’s demeaning ( and not to mention inaccurate) message. But, then again, I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
After all, what can we really expect from the same campaign that has likened Mexican immigrants to rapists, made fun of a disabled reporter, proclaimed that veterans who are captured during war are not true war heroes, and faulted a female news anchor for having a period.
The list of the Trump Campaign’s trespasses could go on for days, but back to the issue at hand.
First and foremost, Donald Trump Jr.’s tweet it is severely dehumanizing. I mean seriously, is it really that hard to muster up the common decency required to refer to people as people instead of food?? I don’t care how good skittles are, if somebody ever negatively referred to me as a poisonous candy (or a peanut — shoutout to Mike Huckabee) I would be pissed.
And, can we just think about how big that bowl of skittles would have to be for this analogy to be even remotely accurate? All it takes is some basic math to understand how ridiculous this tweet really is.
*Side note: I haven’t used skittles to do math since I was in the second grade learning how to add and subtract, but desperate times call for desperate measures.
According to the Migrant Policy Institute, the US has admitted a total of 784,000 refugees (or skittles, if you asked Donald Trump Jr.) since 9/11. Of these 784,000 only 3 — I repeat: THREE — have been arrested for suspected terrorist activity. So, let’s do some simple division:
784,000 / 3 = 261,333
For one, I wouldn’t advise anyone to eat 261,333 skittles ever, much less in one sitting. But, for the sake of Trump’s analogy, lets say that this was a rational idea. The bowl that Trump pictures in his tweet is relatively small, but i’ll be generous and assume that it would hold 200 skittles.
How many bowls of skittles would you need to eat to be at risk? 251,333 / 200 = 1,306.
I can only speak for myself, but I certainly don’t have that many bowls (or skittles) in my possession.
On top of all of this, the image featured in Trump’s tweet is actually copyrighted…from a refugee. I mean honestly, if you are going to be an insensitive jerk to all refugees the least you could do is make sure that you have authorization to use the photograph in your advertisement.
In my opinion, the best response to Trump’s tweet came from a Wrigley Co. (the creator of skittles) representative himself, when he astutely pointed out that “Skittles are candy. Refugees are people.” going on to explain that Wrigley did not feel that it was “an appropriate analogy.” I don’t know how to dumb it down any more than that.
I guess that it is too much to ask for that a presidential campaign would be informed (and respectful) enough to know that comparing people who have literally been forced from their homes and separated from their loved ones to poisonous skittles isn’t okay.