Having built its political platform on xenophobia, the Trump campaign has escalated the use of fear-mongering by attempting to paint individuals fleeing a war zone as a threat.
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) September 19, 2016
On Monday night, Donald Trump Jr., the candidate’s son, tweeted an ad with the Trump/Pence logo comparing Syrian refugees to poisoned candy.
"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." The punctuation mistakes are Trump’s own.
Naturally, many were quick to criticize the comparison.
— Jon Favreau (@jonfavs) September 20, 2016
— Daniel Lin (@DLin71) September 20, 2016
The Clinton campaign called the tweet "disgusting," and in yet another surreal moment of a very surreal election season, the incident forced the candy company to respond.
"Skittles are candy. Refugees are people. We don’t feel it’s an appropriate analogy," Wrigley America’s vice-president of corporate affairs Denise Young said in a statement, according to the National Post.
— Mars, Incorporated (@MarsGlobal) September 20, 2016
"We will respectfully refrain from further commentary as anything we say could be misinterpreted as marketing."
The Trump campaign is not the first to compare refugees to tainted foods.
— Jason Sparks (@sparksjls) September 20, 2016
— Gabriel Snyder (@gabrielsnyder) September 20, 2016
"When Chipotle had an outbreak of E. coli just recently, what did they do? They closed all the Chipotle restaurants," former presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee said in November 2015. "I mean, how many gallons of tainted milk do we tolerate before we say, 'take it off the shelves.'"
Chipotle does not sell milk.