On Monday, Donald Trump Jr. thought he was making the most brilliant of points when he shared a white supremacist meme comparing a bowl of Skittles to Syrian refugees.
“This image says it all. Let’s end the politically correct agenda that doesn’t put America first,” Junior added.
The Mars Company, which owns Skittles, issued a swift rebuke in response: “Skittles are candy. Refugees are people. We don’t feel it’s an appropriate analogy. We will respectfully refrain from further commentary as anything we say could be misinterpreted as marketing.”
Translation: Leave us out of this.
But the unexpected twist came late yesterday, when the BBC reported that the UK-based photographer who originally shot the photo of the Skittles featured in Junior’s meme is actually a former refugee.
Oh, the sweet, sweet irony.
“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,” David Kittos told the BBC.
Kittos says that this supposed “law and order” Presidential campaign used his photo without his permission, and, considering his own personal history, he certainly does not approve of the Trump campaign’s anti-refugee message:
“I don’t support his politics and I would never take his money to use it.”
“I would like the Trump campaign to delete the image, but they are probably not interested in what I have to say.”
“I was thinking about getting lawyers involved but I don’t know if I have the patience.
“This isn’t about the money for me. They could have just bought a cheap image from a micro stock library. This is pure greed from them. I don’t think they care about my feelings. They should not be stealing an image full stop.”
In one last twist, Esther Yu Hsi Lee of ThinkProgress noted that Junior’s “tweet was sent out via an iPhone — the smartphone created by Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Jobs, who was the son of a Syrian immigrant.”