On Monday, Donald Trump Jr. decided that he had a swell way of showing how dangerous the refugee”problem” is. He tweeted this:
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) September 19, 2016
Almost immediately the tweets began to fly. Some folks didn’t get the racist call-back to Trayvon Martin (looking at you, Brian Williams). But most did. Many people were caught by surprise when “Skittles” suddenly started trending on Twitter:
#Skittles is trending and without checking why I know it involves Trump aaaaand I'm guessing…race and/or immigration?
— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) September 20, 2016
Me: "oh, did Skittles get a new flavor?"
*clicks trending topic* pic.twitter.com/c3wG3CW35z
— Charles (@MrLXC) September 20, 2016
"Why is everyone suddenly tweeting about skittles?" asked the man who's gonna regret it
— Alex Burns (@alexburnsNYT) September 20, 2016
Some people went the comedy route, showering Trump Jr. with mockery and derision:
— Steve Marmel (@Marmel) September 20, 2016
“The Skittles meme was started in 2008 by the Clinton campaign“—any minute now…
— Dana Houle (@DanaHoule) September 20, 2016
Now the most dangerous thing, @DonaldJTrumpJr is when skittles intermarry with M&Ms
— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) September 20, 2016
Some attacked the racism:
The last time I saw a Skittles reference on Twitter was when George Zimmerman murdered Trayvon Martin.pic.twitter.com/spgDhGtBSG
— Victoria Brownworth (@VABVOX) September 20, 2016
Skittles will now be branded the racist candy of the nazi frog loving alt right just wait. pic.twitter.com/yDbQyxfw6N
— Jamie Schneider (@Korig) September 20, 2016
Some got really (and justifiably) angry:
Here's the difference tween skittles &refugees, @DonaldJTrumpJr As u giggle over infantile memes, 1000s of innocent "skittles" are dying.
— Kurt Eichenwald (@kurteichenwald) September 20, 2016
People aren't skittles.
— deray mckesson (@deray) September 20, 2016
— judy edwards (@AGoodAche) September 20, 2016
— Iraq Intelligence (@IraqAnalysis) September 20, 2016
A few waited to see what kind of reply would come from the candy’s maker:
A moment of silence for the poor @Skittles social media intern stuck in the aftermath of Trump idiocy.
You hang in there Skittlesperson.
— Exorcising Emily (@exorcisingemily) September 20, 2016
The fact that we are waiting for @skittles to respond to a presidential candidate's son is one of the least weird things about this election
— devin faraci (@devincf) September 20, 2016
And, yes, a Wrigley/Skittles representative offered the coup de grace:
— Seth Abramovitch (@SethAbramovitch) September 20, 2016
But the best response was the #SkittlesWelcome hashtag that sprung up out of Trump’s hate:
— Adam Bates (@AdamTaylorBates) September 20, 2016
— Bambi St Jay (@BambiStJay) September 20, 2016
— krista rankin (@kissssssta) September 20, 2016
— Pretty Hat Machine (@PrettyHatMech) September 20, 2016
Philip Bump wrote in The Washington Post about how the real math in this situation would go:
“The chance that an American would be killed in a terrorist attack committed by a refugee was 1 in 3.64 billion a year. In other words, for every 10.92 billion years that Americans live — one Skittle, if you will — refugees will kill an American in a terror attack in three… we’re talking about one-and-a-half Olympic swimming pools of Skittles. Wrigley produces 200 million Skittles a day, so this is the entire production line for more than 54 days, transported to an over-sized swimming pool and dumped in to the top. And in that pool: Three poison Skittles.”
But it gets even better. Plagiarism apparently runs in the family: someone found where Rep. Steve King of Iowa (he of the “cantaloupe calves”) had used the analogy. He, in turn, seems to have got it from the “poisonous M&Ms” analogy.
No comment yet from Marshawn Lynch.
Featured image via Otto Greule Jr./Getty Images