Bowl of M&Ms
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Bowl of M&Ms is an image macro series featuring a photograph of a bowl containing a button-shaped candy, typically M&M's or Skittles, captioned with a message excusing fear-based stereotypes about a particular group of people.
On May 26th, 2014, Tumblr user The Frogman published a post denouncing the Men's Rights Movement in the context of the 2014 Isla Vista killings. At the end of the post, he compared violent men to a percentage of poisoned M&Ms in a bowl.
"You say not all men are monsters?
Imagine a bowl of M&Ms. 10% of them are poisoned.
Go ahead. Eat a handful.
Not all M&Ms are poison."
On May 28th, Redditor stensaas submitted a graphic of The Frogman's post titled "This is such horrible logic" to /r/TumblrInAction, where it received upwards of 2,000 votes (95% upvoted) and 600 comments prior to being archived (shown below).
On June 3rd, TheFrogman published a viewer-submitted post comparing featuring Islamophobic and anti-Semitic versions of his M&M statement, which he argued were "false equivalencies."
"oh, you say not all muslims are terrorists? imagine a bowl of m&m's…. oh, you say not all black people are criminals? imagine a bowl of m&m's…. oh, you say not all women cut their husbands' penises off and murder them while they sleep? imagine a bowl of m&m's…. oh, you say not all jewish people are greedy? imagine a bowl of m&m's…"
On July 5th, 2014, the DebunkingDenialism blog published an article condemning the M&Ms analogy as an "irrational monstrosity of bigotry." On November 15th, 2015, Redditor Royalflush0 submitted a picture of a bowl of M&Ms with the caption "You're saying not all muslims are dangerous / Some of the M&M are poisoned. Would you eat a handful?" to /r/facepalm (shown below, left). Two days later, a similar image macro reached the front page of /r/facepalm (shown below, right).
Syrian Refugee Crisis
That month, Republican politician Mike Huckabee compared Syrian refugees to a poisoned bag of peanuts. On November 22nd, John Oliver denounced Huckabee's statement during a segment on Last Week Tonight (shown below).
"If you bought a 5-pound bag of peanuts and you knew that in the 5-pound bag of peanuts there were 10 peanuts that were deadly poison, would you feed them to your kids?"
On April 24th, 2016, Redditor GlassSmithOfTheStars submitted an image macro titled "Muslim immigration is like Russian roulette" to the /r/The_Donald subreddit. In the comments section, Redditor BLSPolitics noted the similarity to a "bowl of Skittles" meme that "feminists" use to excuse fearing men. On July 2nd, 2016, a "bowl of M&Ms" image macro comparing poisoned candies to Syrian refugees was submitted to the /r/forwardsfromgrandma subreddit (shown below).
On September 19th, 2016, Donald Trump Jr. tweeted a photograph of a bowl of skittles with the caption "If I had a bowl of Skittles and I told you just three would kill you. Would you take a handful? / That's our Syrian refugee problem" (shown below). Within 24 hours, the tweet gained over 19,500 likes and 12,800 retweets.
Immediately after, Trump was widely criticized for posting the image, with many accusing him of promoting Islamophobia. On September 20th, 2016, The Hollywood Reporter senior writer Seth Abramovitch tweeted a response from a Skittles representative, stating that the company did not feel it was "an appropriate analogy" (shown below).
In the coming days, several news sites published articles about the online controversy, including NPR, The Daily Dot, UpRoxx, The Guardian, NY Mag, Slate and Reason.
 Reddit – You say not all men are monsters?
 Tumblr – thefrogman
 Debunking Denialism – Poisonous M&Ms
 Tumblr – The Frogman
 Twitter – @SethAbramovitch
 Twitter – @DonaldJTrumpJR
 Reddit – This is such horrible logic
 Reddit – Muslim immigration is like Russian roulette
 Reddit – /r/forwardsfromgrandma
 Reddit – This shit appeared multiple times
 Reddit – But I dont want to eat muslims
 NPR – Taste the Outrage
 The Daily Dot – Donald Trump Jr
 UpRoxx – Today in Terrible Trump Sibling Tweets
 The Guardian – Donald Trump Jr compares Syrian refugees to poisoned Skittles
 NY Mag – Whats wrong with this tweet
 Slate – Donald Trump Jr Thinks Syrian Refugees Are Like Killer Skittles
 Reason – What If Donald Trump Jrs Skittles
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Sep 20, 2016 at 01:41PM EDT
Sep 20, 2016 at 01:36PM EDT
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