In the latest installment of some member of the Republican presidential campaign running off the rails, Donald Trump Jr. compared Syrian refugees to Skittles. Unsurprisingly, people were none too happy with the comparison. With the intention of shedding a light on his perceptions of the dangers of immigrants through the literary device of metaphor, Trump Jr. shared a tweet on Monday displaying a pristine bowl of Skittles that said:
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.
While there could be tireless articles devoted to unpacking the obvious false equivalency between eating Skittles and allowing human beings to emigrate out of a war-zone, the fact that Trump Jr. confidently made a statement that is deeply disrespectful towards victims of war is becoming scarily commonplace for the young businessman.
Just last week Trump Jr. casually used a gas chamber metaphor while lamenting what he considers a media bias towards Hillary Clinton. The irreverent use of a Holocaust reference faced immediate backlash, which caused Trump Jr. to admit that it was a "poor choice of words, perhaps," according to a report from POLITICO.
However, Trump Jr.'s confident Monday night likening of Skittles and Syrian refugees suggests that the young Trump remains steadfast in his questionable use of metaphor.
Tying together the anti-Semitism of Trump Jr.'s "gas chamber" remark with the xenophobia of his Skittles metaphor, a report from The Intercept reveals that the root concept of the Skittles metaphor was originally made popular as anti-Semitic rhetoric in a German book titled The Toadstool. Published by Julius Streicher in 1938, the book features a scene in which a mother warns her son of the perils of Jewish people:
Yes, my child! Just as a single poisonous mushrooms can kill a whole family, so a solitary Jew can destroy a whole village, a whole city, even an entire Volk [nation].
Moreover, thoroughly keeping on-brand with the alarming trend of white supremacist inspiration, last week Trump Jr. tweeted a photo-shopped satirical Expendables meme renamed the "Deplorables" featuring Pepe the Frog, an internet character that in the past year has become an internet mascot for white supremacist leaning groups. According to a report from The Daily Beast, the photo-shopped meme mocking Clinton's criticism of Trump supporters was also tweeted out by David Duke of the KKK, who was initially frustrated to not receive credit.
Considering the ways Trump Jr.'s commitment to using inflammatory language is increasingly mirroring his father, it might be safe to say that the apple hasn't fallen far from the tree, or should I say, the Skittle.