Culture

Skittles (And The World) Have Responded To Donald Trump Jr. Comparing Refugees To Poisoned Candy

Turns out Skittles are not, in fact, Syrian refugees.

Skittles… refugees… tiny pellets of candy… the mass flow of people desperate seeking safe haven. They don’t seem to have to much in common, right? Wrong! In the bizzaro, alternate universe that is US politics they are actually the same thing.

This morning, Donald Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr, tweeted a campaign image comparing the Syrian refugee crisis to poisoned Skittles.

It’s hard to know where to start with this one. Firstly, it was posted on the same day the world’s leaders have gathered in New York to discuss the global refugee crisis. What better way to engage in that important conversation than by posting up a campaign image for the next potential US President comparing refugees to skittles? Secondly, it just… doesn’t make sense.

Let’s assume the bowl of candy in Trump Jr’s image is a full packet. A packet contains, on average, 56 skittles. If three of those are poisoned, that means 5 percent of the skittles are deadly. So, for Trump Jr’s analogy to hold up, 5 percent of refugees would have to be terrorists.

Since 9/11 the US has accepted 784,000 refugees, and only three have been found to have links to terrorism. That’s 0.0004 percent. To help Trump Jr. understand we can put in terms of Skittles.

If each refugee was a Skittle (I know this is incredibly dumb, but bear with me), you would have to be offered 14,000 packets before coming across three “poisoned”/terrorist ones. So in case you were in any doubt, it’s a dumb comparison and I can’t believe I just did the maths on it.

Unsurprisingly, Trump Jr. got absolutely slammed Twitter.

While management over at Skittles HQ no doubt spent the whole day cradling their heads in their hands, wondering how their innocuous candy become the centre of a political maelstrom, they did end up releasing a statement this afternoon.

In a brief response, the Vice-President of Wrigley Americas (the parent company that owns Skittles) said, “Skittles are candy. Refugees are people. We don’t feel like it’s an appropriate analogy. We will respectfully refrain from further commentary as anything we say could be misinterpreted as marketing.”

There you go: Skittles are candy, not refugees. Straight from the horse’s mouth.