Donald Trump Jr. made a post on Twitter on September 19 that is a perfect analogy to the problem America faces when deciding whether or not to take in Syrian refugees. Over a bowl full of Skittles was written the following: “If I had a bowl of skittles and I told you just three would kill you, would you take a handful? That’s our Syrian refugee problem.” The tweet has since been taken down.
Last I checked, it had 15.6K retweets and 24.4K likes. The backlash came from many sides, but they were all virtue signals. Many people said that it was insulting to compare human beings to candy. Some changed the analogy around to make fun of Trump. But no one seemed to disagree with the point: I didn’t see anyone say that they would indeed take a handful and eat it, nor did I see anyone say they would take Syrian refugees into their home – not even just three. Can anyone deny the argument or the strength of the analogy?
New Observer Online reported on the same day that 4 ISIS members were arrested in Germany posing as refugees. That’s four poisoned skittles removed from the bowl.
Still, Twitter users attacked the Trump, Jr. tweet. Wrigley – the owner of Skittles – responded: “Skittles are candy. Refugees are people. We don’t feel it’s an appropriate analogy. We will respectfully refrain from further commentary as anything we say could be misinterpreted as marketing,” said Vice President of Corporate Affairs Denise Young said in a statement.
Throughout the day, a few different hashtags popped up on Twitter as part of this “backlash.” Playing off of the comment made by Wrigley was #skittlesarenotpeople. This hashtag was duly mocked by those who believe the analogy to be strong:
A week after the initial tweet and the backlash that ensued, the word “skittle” is catching on as a term for terrorists from the Middle East and will probably soon be used for Moslems in general.
I anticipate that there may be readers who would like to blame Donald Trump, Jr. for this happening. Well then, be on the lookout for a new slur to be birthed every time an analogy is made. (Every time an analogy is made, a minority gets a name.) The name is catching on solely because of the backlash against the analogy and the virtue-signalers using the hashtag #skittlesarenotpeople. It is used now to make those who took part in the backlash regret their signaling – and it will likely work.