In perhaps the most tortured leap of logic in the most illogical of campaign seasons, Donald Trump Jr., the eldest son of U.S. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, compared Syrian refugees to a batch of poisoned Skittles Monday night.
"If I had a bowl of Skittles and I told you just three would kill you," read the graphic that Trump Jr. tweeted, "Would you take a handful? That's our Syrian refugee problem."
"The image says it all," he wrote in the caption. "Let's end the politically correct agenda that doesn't put America first."
Stamped with the imprimatur of the Trump/Pence campaign logo, the graphic was presumably approved by his father’s communications staff, if not the nominee himself.
Wrigley Americas, the candy manufacturer that produces Skittles, told The Hollywood Reporter they feel the analogy is inappropriate. "Skittles are candy. Refugees are people. We don't feel it's an appropriate analogy."
The company concluded: "We will respectfully refrain from further commentary as anything we say could be misinterpreted as marketing,”
The analogy is not new. The popular candy, M&Ms, has been employed in the past. As blogger Emil Karlsson notes, the "poisoned M&Ms analogy" is "often deployed as a way to prop up indefensible stereotypes by taking advantage of human ignorance about base rates, risk assessment and criminology."
As celebrities and other social media users took offense at the younger son's baffling comparison, others joined them in communicating outrage.