*Editor’s note: Views of the author do not reflect the views of BUnow.
Donald Trump Jr. took to Twitter on Monday to express his opinion on the Syrian refugee issue. Trump Jr. posted this tweet:
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) September 19, 2016
*Note: the image in Donald Trump Jr.’s tweet has since been removed because the image did not originally belong to him and he failed to credit the original content creator/owner.
The image featured a bowl of skittles reading, “If I had a bowl of skittles and told you just three would kill you. Would you take a handful? That’s our Syrian refugee problem.” Along with the image, he tweeted, “This image says it all. Let’s end the politically correct agenda that doesn’t put America first. #trump2016.”
Social media almost instantly erupted into chaos regarding Trump Jr.’s statement. Not only were there grammatical errors in the image he posted, but he took an extremely complex and worldly issue and dumbed it down into an over-simplified metaphor for a political correctness issue.
The Syrian refugee issue that is causing so much controversy in the political realm, and especially in the Presidential election, is not simply a political correctness issue. It is a human rights, national security, safety, and moral issue involving real, live people attempting desperately to escape their own regions where they and their families are unsafe, and individuals fear them for the slight chance they may be tied to terrorism.
And Trump Jr. compared those individuals, refugees, and the entire situation, to candy.
The issue of whether or not Syrian refugees should be allowed to enter our country is a complex and controversial issue. It contains valid arguments on each side of the issue. The problem is not that he is against Syrian refugees being allowed into the U.S., which is what many people ridiculed him for. The here issue is that he is the son of a man running for the President of the United States, whom wants him to be heavily involved in his presidency. He also believes that it is appropriate to summarize the complicated issue of refugees, specifically Syrian refugees, being allowed to enter the United States of America into a metaphor involving Skittles.
Whether an individual supports or denies the proposition of allowing Syrian refugees into our nation is insignificant. No matter which side of the argument someone finds themself on, they must recognize that the issue is perplexing, intricate and so controversial because it has so many positives and negatives from both sides.
The issue regards people and, more specifically, their lives. It involves the lives of those desperately hoping to escape their own country of despair and enter one which would grant them safety and opportunity. It involves the lives of those who have witnessed and experienced terror, both through the media and personally, who have fear now embedded in their minds. From either standpoint, the main argument is the protection of people. So, Trump Jr. equating the situation of refugees wanting to enter the U.S. and wanting to protect themselves to people deciding whether or not they’re going to eat a candy that may or may not be poison is ludicrous.
The issue here is not that Trump Jr. argues against Syrian refugees entering the U.S., but how he presented it. His tweet demonstrates that his knowledge about the subject must be limited, for anyone who holds convictions on a matter like this must understand how complicated the issue truly is when it is laid out in front of them. As Trump Jr. showed the world, he does not understand this.
Mars Inc., which owns Skittles, responded promptly to Trump Jr.’s post with a tweet of their own.
— Mars, Incorporated (@MarsGlobal) September 20, 2016
They wrote, “Skittles are candy: refugees are people. It’s an inappropriate analogy. We respectfully refrain from further comment, as that could be misinterpreted as marketing.”
So, the candy company was able to see the flawed logic in the political candidate’s son’s analogy for a worldly political issue, which he still sees no issue in. Trump Jr. recently stated at a press conference, “To me it was a simple metaphor,” Trump Jr. said. “You know people will today make what they want of anything, and they see the worst in everything and they look for subtext that doesn’t exist.”
A simple metaphor cannot be used in this scenario. This issue is too large, too controversial, too complex, and too sensitive to be dumbed down to something as simple as a bowl of candy. It is not appropriate. It is not acceptable for someone standing on a political platform to express this kind of undermining of a situation that goes far beyond a political correctness issue.
So, that is the fire to which we need to hold not only Trump Jr., but also all standing on a political platform, and all other individuals. Each of us is entitled to our opinion, but respect must be given to each issue to which there is an opinion to be formed about. Whether or not someone agrees with something is irrelevant, it is how they present their opinion and how they express the understanding they have about it. As Trump Jr. showed us, he is in no position to make any claims about the Syrian refugee issue. He obviously does not understand the magnitude of the situation and the lives involved.