Members of the Trump family seem to love passing off “borrowed” speeches (and other ideas) as their own words as if the internet hasn’t become a receipt-checking juggernaut in recent years.
Last night, Donald Trump Jr. posted what I’m sure he thought was a very clever analogy to Twitter, likening the Syrian refugee crisis to a bowl full of Skittles.
“If I had a bowl of Skittles and I told you just three would kill you. Would you take a handful?’ the meme asked. “That’s our Syrian refugee problem.”
What Trump was trying to say was that while the vast majority of refugees displaced by violence in Syria are simply people looking for safety from political and social unrest, statistically speaking, there have to be a few people amongst their ranks who could be considered potential terrorist threats. As Twitter was quick to point out to Trump, though, refugees, unlike Skittles, are living breathing people whose livelihoods can’t be compared to hypothetical pieces of candy.
As the Huffington Post’s Elise Foley accurately noted, the chances of a refugee carrying out a terrorist attack here in the US is about 1 in 3.64 billion. Anyone attempting to eat 3.64 billion Skittles would almost certainly die regardless of whether the candies were tainted or not.
Things got awkward for the younger Donald Trump when former congressman Joe Walsh gently pointed out that he was also a fan of the Skittles analogy and that he’d been using it before Trump. While Walsh stopped short of accusing Trump of plagiarism, Trump did initially present the meme as a comparison of his own creation.
While the internet worked itself into a roiling froth over the rainbow-colored controversy, Wrigley, company that makes Skittles, made sure to clarify its stance on the refugee crisis and the role that Skittles were unwittingly playing in this year’s presidential election.
“Skittles are a candy. Refugees are people. We don’t feel it’s an appropriate analogy,” Wrigley Americas’ VP of corporate affairs Denise Young told The Hollywood Reporter. “We will respectfully refrain from further commentary as anything we say could be misinterpreted as marketing.”