It feels like the Trumps are making headlines every week. Ivanka Trump recently presented the Trump campaign’s paid maternity plan, which would have no benefit for fathers or same-sex gay couples. In the words of Ivanka, “the original intention of the plan is to help mothers in recovery in the immediate aftermath of childbirth.” It makes a very clear statement that women belong in the house, and men belong in the workplace.
This past week, Donald Trump Jr. tweeted the following image about Syrian refugees.
Not only does Jr. compare refugees to Skittles, thusly stripping them of their humanity, but also implies that we should not accept any Syrians because of a few “poisoned” ones.
I don’t even know where to begin.
1. Letting refugees into the country is not the same as letting terrorists into the country.
According to an article from The Economist featuring Kathleen Newland at the Migration Policy Institute, refugee resettlement is “the least likely route for potential terrorists. Of the 745,000 refugees resettled since September 11th, only two Iraqis in Kentucky have been arrested on terrorist charges, for aiding al-Qaeda in Iraq.”
The most common form of terrorism is homegrown or domestic terrorism; acts of violence from citizens or permanent residents already living in the country. When people like Donald and Jr. blame refugees for terrorist attacks, they are not only dangerously misinformed, but also dangerously ignorant. This ignorance permits these acts of violence to continue, because the real source of the events is overlooked.
2. You cannot compare a human being to a piece of candy.
The Syrian crisis is much more complicated than a few “poisoned Skittles” mixed into the bowl. These are real people trying to escape unthinkable violence. What Jr. (and his father) lack is the respect to recognize their humanity and the experiences they’ve endured.
3. If you’re going to share a racist metaphor with the internet, be original.
That’s right; Jr. didn’t even think of this atrocity of a tweet on his own. The only thing he can be credited with is photoshopping in a bowl of Skittles and slapping his father’s logo on the bottom of the image.
Not that Joe Walsh should be making such a big deal about Jr. stealing his metaphor (because it’s still a terrible thing to say), but it’s amusing that the discriminatory tweet wasn’t even from Jr.’s own wit.
4. We don’t have a Syrian problem.
We have an ignorance problem. We have a problem with privileged people speaking out about issues they know little about. We have a problem with [white] non-Muslims making dangerously misinformed assumptions about Islam.
Jr. and his father need to be held accountable for the fear they’ve instilled in their voters about Islam, the Syrian crisis, and refugees. Xenophobic ideologies like these need to be corrected before they’re permanently ingrained in our society.