Donald Trump Jr., whose Twitter account is arguably more deplorable than his dear dad’s, Tweeted this sweet meme today:
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) September 19, 2016
The tweet is characteristically childish, but it’s also more than that.
To start, while it’s a terrible metaphor for Syrian refugees, it is a fitting reflection of Donald Trump’s blatant racism and likely racist policies in office. Trump Jr. is suggesting blanket treatment of an entire group (not eating all Skittles; blocking all Syrian refugees) based on the traits of a few (poisoned Skittles; radical terrorists) that isn’t actually linked to the core characteristic on which the discrimination is being premised (Skittles aren’t intrinsically susceptible to poisoning; Syrian refugees are not especially prone to plot terrorist attacks).
Trump Jr. tweeted this crude meme on the heels of two attacks in which his father was quick to find political opportunity. What Trump Jr. failed to acknowledge is that neither of the perpetrators of the recent attacks were Syrian refugees.
Dahir Adan, who stabbed patrons of a St. Cloud mall before being shot by an off-duty officer, was a Somali who “was born in Kenya but grew up in the United States.”
And the man who planted explosives in Chelsea, Ahmad Khan Rahami, “was born in Afghanistan and is a naturalized US citizen.”
Trump Jr. posted this meme knowing that these facts don’t matter to followers of the Trump klan. “Syrian refugees” is a catch-all term for all Muslims and brown people of African or Middle Eastern descent in America. It’s fodder for the racists who call Trump their hero.
In true Trump fashion, this juvenile image isn’t even original Trump work — though Trump Jr. neglects to credit the source. The metaphor was actually the brilliant work of another prominent racist, Joe Walsh.
Hey @DonaldJTrumpJr, that’s the point I made last month.
Glad you agree. pic.twitter.com/Nssw6KC1HY
— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) September 20, 2016
This one tweet from Richard Lawson of Vanity Fair sums up the issue perfectly:
.@DonaldJTrumpJr what else is candy
— Richard Lawson (@rilaws) September 20, 2016