This week, Donald Trump Jr. tweeted an image comparing Syrian refugees to a bowl of Skittles with three deadly pieces.
As I wrote about back in November, the poisoned food/Syrian refugees analogy is very similar to the one many feminists were making against men. After the 2014 Isla Vista shootings, the poisoned M&Ms/men analogy went viral. It was widely shared on Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook in typed out words, or in various images, such as the one included in the collage here. Both are wrong.
This is an example of the horseshoe theory in effect. Instead of showing the linear left-right continuum that we’re most used to seeing, the horseshoe shows that the far left and far right are closer to each other in ideology than we may have realized. While the M&Ms meme was about dangerous men, and the Skittles analogy is about Syrian refugees, both use the same illogical thought process.
Donald Trump Jr.’s tweet has been widely discussed and criticized on news and social media for the past several days now. There is no doubt that many people who originally shared the M&Ms/men meme have seen the Skittles/Syrian refugees image with an official Trump/Pence logo on it. And most of them aren’t Trump supporters and they disagree with the message. There has to be some people who now realize they were wrong, whether they admit it to others or not.
If you’re one of them, I encourage you to come out and admit it. It’s OK! I’ve been wrong about stuff before. We all have. If you read my blog posts or follow me on social media, I make no secret about that. I share my learning experience and the reasons I believed what I did so that I can help others. And if it’s issues I’d spoken about publicly before, I want to make sure I correct that bad information, so I can let others know who saw it that it was incorrect.
It’s time to admit the poisoned M&Ms/men meme was wrong. You may want to weasel out of it by explaining that men aren’t a minority, so it’s different. But be honest with yourself. It’s still wrong, regardless of minority status, or lack thereof. I won’t hold my breath, but it’d be awesome to witness people come out and say, “Hey, I messed up and this is why it happened.”