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Donald Trump Jr. took to Twitter on Monday night to comment on the Syrian refugee crisis with a Skittles analogy that is being widely criticized on social media.
“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,” read the words above a bowl of Skittles and the Trump-Pence logo.
Trump Jr. posted the message with the caption: “This image says it all. Let’s end the politically correct agenda that doesn’t put America first.”
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) September 19, 2016
Users were swift to respond to the Trump campaign’s breakdown of the crisis, as “Skittles” quickly made its way to the top of Twitter’s trending terms on Monday night.
President Barack Obama’s chief speechwriter Jon Favreau shared the haunting photo that recently went viral of Omran Daqneesh, the 5-year-old Syrian boy who survived an airstrike in August, to say: “This is one of the millions of children you compared to a poisoned Skittle today.”
The analogy has been similarly used in the past with M&Ms and peanuts, to make a sweeping generalization about the crisis.
Wrigley, which owns the Skittles brand, issued the following statement to The Hollywood Reporter on Monday night:
“Skittles are candy. Refugees are people,” Denise Young, vp of corporate affairs for Wrigley Americas, told THR. “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.”
On Tuesday, the Trump campaign then issued a statement to THR. “Don Jr. has been a tremendous asset to the campaign,” began the statement. “America has become less safe under Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, and Clinton’s planned 550 percent increase in Syrian refugees is a dangerous proposal that will put American lives at risk. Speaking the truth might upset those who would rather be politically correct than safe, but the American people want a change, and only Donald Trump will do what’s needed to protect us.”
Here are some of the social media reactions from Monday night below:
— Jon Favreau (@jonfavs) September 20, 2016
10s of thousands of Syrian children have been killed in the war. They aren’t Skittles. They’re children. Like yours. https://t.co/y51TW9Jeq1
— Jason Sparks (@sparksjls) September 20, 2016
This is disgusting. https://t.co/Qygl03Cnc1
— Nick Merrill (@NickMerrill) September 20, 2016
Oh and human beings fleeing oppression and terror aren’t skittles. https://t.co/wXK24wvurK
— John Legend (@johnlegend) September 20, 2016
That skittles analogy has been going around in Europe for years. I know that cause many Germans say it to me, forgetting that I’m a skittle
— Lexi Alexander (@Lexialex) September 20, 2016
— Malcolm Nance (@MalcolmNance) September 20, 2016
Sept. 20, 12:40 p.m. PT: Updated with statement from Trump campaign.
Sept. 19, 9:45 p.m.: Updated with statement from Skittles rep.
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