Donald Trump Jr. used a photo of Skittles to make a point about Syrian refugees Monday that has a lot of people upset.
“This photo says it all,” he tweeted, along with the meme that’s been circulating on Facebook. “Let’s end the politically correct agenda and put America first. #trump2016.”
The meme is a photo of a giant bowl of skittles overlaid with the words: “If I had a bowl of skittles and I told you just three would kill you. Would you take a handful?”
The meme illustrates the point presidential nominee Donald Trump’s campaign is making regarding refugees from war-torn countries in the Middle East. Officials can’t properly vet refugees from those countries, the argument goes, and the risk of even a handful carrying out terror attacks makes the risk of letting any of them in too great.
Critics of his view often point out the extremely low probability of any one refugee carrying out an act of terror in the United States, and argue the benefits of resettling the refugees outweigh any risk.
Trump Jr’s tweet infuriated some of these critics, who pointed out that Syrian refugees are not in fact Skittles, and capitalized on the viral photo of a little boy named Omran after he was rescued from an airstrike to make their point.
“Not a skittle,” Daily Beast reporter Betsy Woodruff tweeted, along with a photo of the little boy.
Others similarly replied to Trump Jr.’s tweet with photos of injured or dead Syrian children. Woodruff’s tweet in turn led supporters of Trump Jr.’s sentiment to flood her account with graphic photos of people killed in various terror attacks.
The uproar led to a statement from Skittles.
“Skittles are candy,” Denise Young, the vice-president of corporate affairs for the company said. “Refugees are people. … We don’t feel it is an appropriate analogy. We will respectfully refrain from further commentary as anything we say could be misinterpreted as marketing.”
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