Donald Trump, Jr. unleashed a new meme on the world of right-wing cowards today, and it spread like wildfire. The meme isn’t a particularly recent meme — it has a long and sordid history — but it captures the ignorance and xenophobia of the right-wing perfectly.
So it should surprise nobody to learn that Donald Trump’s campaign has spoken out on the meme and . . . they support it.
A fistful of stupid
The meme is pretty straight forward: it posits that human begins are comparable to poisoned Skittles and that a certain amount of them are tainted. It then asks the reader if they would still take a handful, and then notes that it’s comparable to the Syrian refugee crisis for reasons.
I could detail the history of the meme, but Talking Points Memo already has an excellent if long-ish piece doing just that — including Nazi usage of a similar meme to promote anti-Semitism — so there’s no point in rehashing it here. It’s the same level of bigoted stupid that we find everywhere else in the alt-Right.
I will, however, note this: This year, approximately 11,000 to 13,000 Americans are going to die from gun violence, based on projections from previous years. We’re already at 10,460 some people as of this writing, or a 9/11 every month for almost four months straight. Of them, almost 500 are children ages 0-11, and over 2,000 are children ages 11-17.
It took terrorists a full 10 years before they could achieve a comparable number of dead Americans. This weekend, 29 people were injured during the bombing, and while that happened, there were almost twice as many killed by guns on Sunday alone.
The Cato Institute, hardly a pinko liberal organization, rates your chances at being killed in a terrorist attack carried out by one of the refugees at 1 in 3.6 billion per year — let me write that out: that’s 1 in 3,600,000,000. Here’s a list of things that are more likely to kill you:
- A motor vehicle accident, either in a car or on a motorcycle (1 in 113)
- Assault by firearms (1 in 358)
- Falling from a flight of stairs (1 in 1,797)
- Falling off a ladder (1 in 9,552)
- A cataclysmic storm (1 in 63,679)
- An earthquake (1 in 117,994)
- Lightning (1 in 174,426)
- A shark attack (1 in 11.5 million)
A shark is more likely to kill you than a Syrian is. And your fellow American armed with a firearm is far more likely to kill you than a shark is.
So until right wingers are willing to get serious and start cracking down on gun ownership, I simply refuse to take the, “oh my god, save us from the scary foreigners please!” seriously. They need to grow a spine and take steps to actually make the world safer, not Quixotically chase their paranoid fantasies and delusions while dragging the rest of us along for the ride.
This ranting does little, though, since the people who need to hear it the most are the least receptive to it. They want and need to live in a world where Syrian refugees are harboring terrorists. That’s why they refuse to listen to reason.
And that’s why Trump’s campaign can announce that it supports the meme without taking any flack from their own supporters for sharing what’s otherwise an anti-Semitic and bigoted lie couched in a meme.
The campaign released a statement on Tuesday afternoon defending Junior, calling him a “tremendous asset.” The spokesman, Jason Miller, said in a statement obtained by NBC news:
“Don Jr. has been a tremendous asset to the campaign. Speaking the truth might upset those who would rather be politically correct than safe, but the American people want a change.”
This has nothing to do with political correctness and everything to do with basic statistics. The only person being politically correct here is Junior, who’s perpetuating a lie in the name of the Party. That’s textbook political correctness. Stalin would be proud.
Miller also took the opportunity to take a shot at President Obama for his plan to increase the number of refugees, calling it, “a dangerous proposal that will put American lives at risk.”
No more at risk than the average American already is from being killed by a gun-nut neighbor — something Trump won’t ever acknowledge. That’d mean his otherwise white and entitled fan base would have to sacrifice something, and god forbid we ask white people to give anything up.
Taste the rainbow? Nah. It seems like more the same empty-headed xenophobic bullshit to me, mate.
Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images