File this in the “Why Are We Not Surprised?” drawer.
Donald Trump Jr.’s widely-mocked meme yesterday — where he ridiculously compared a bowl of Skittles to the Syrian refugee crisis — was apparently ripped straight from white supremacist memes (although former Tea Party Congressman and deadbeat dad Joe Walsh did whine on Twitter about wanting credit).
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) September 19, 2016
The analogy isn’t new, and has been used for years by white supremacists to overgeneralize about various minority groups.
“It is often deployed as a way to prop up indefensible stereotypes by taking advantage of human ignorance about base rates, risk assessment and criminology,” wrote Emil Karlsson on the blog Debunking Denialism. “In the end, it tries to divert attention from the inherent bigotry in making flawed generalizations.”
More recently, variations of the meme have been used by white supremacists to despicably defend the murder of Trayvon Martin, shot and killed by noted racist and domestic abuser George Zimmerman. Martin was carrying a package of Skittles when he was killed:
The analogy, which has been used on message boards and shared as social media memes, originally used M&Ms as the candy in question — but that changed after George Zimmerman gunned down Trayvon Martin while the unarmed black teen was walking home from buying a drink and some Skittles.
A Google image search of “skittles trayvon meme” reveals a horrible bounty of captioned images mocking the slain teenager, whose killer was acquitted after claiming self-defense under Florida’s “stand your ground” law.
But the poisoned candy analogy goes back even further, to an anti-Semitic children’s book published by Julius Streicher, the publisher of the Nazi newspaper Der Stürmer who was executed in 1946 as a war criminal.
The book tells the tale of “the poisonous mushroom,” and was used to indoctrinate children in hate.
“Just as poisonous mushrooms spring up everywhere, so the Jew is found in every country in the world,” the story’s mother explains to her son. “Just as poisonous mushrooms often lead to the most dreadful calamity, so the Jew is the cause of misery and distress, illness and death.”
Don Jr.’s tweet marks the second time this month he has shared a white supremacist meme on social media. A little over a week ago, Junior shared a meme featuring the unofficial mascot of the white supremacist “Alt-Right” movement, Pepe the Frog.
Junior’s daddy has himself shared tweets from users including “an anonymous Nazi sympathizer and white supremacist” with the Twitter handle “WhiteGenocideTM”, and more recently an anti-Semetic meme attacking his opponent Hillary Clinton.
More from Mother Jones:
Since the start of his campaign, Donald Trump has retweeted at least 75 users who follow at least three of the top 50 #WhiteGenocide influencers.Moreover, a majority of these retweeted accounts are themselves followed by more than 100 #WhiteGenocide influencers.
As we’ve noted before: Like racist father, like racist son.
UPDATE: The man who photographed the Skittles bowl in Donald Trump Jr.’s tweet tells the BBC he is a refugee:
“This was not done with my permission, I don’t support his politics and I would never take his money to use it,” Mr Kittos told the BBC.
“In 1974, when I was six-years old, I was a refugee from the Turkish occupation of Cyprus so I would never approve the use of this image against refugees.”
Talk about a plot twist.