Speed Reads

Late Night Tackles 2016

Stephen Colbert explains everything that's wrong with Trump Jr.'s Skittles meme

On Monday night, Donald Trump Jr. — adviser to and eldest son of GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump — tweeted an image comparing refugees to poison Skittles, drawing protests from the company that makes Skittles and the refugee who snapped the photo in the meme, and outrage from lots of other people. On Tuesday, Donald Trump's running mate Gov. Mike Pence said he did not understand all the "outrage about a metaphor used by Don Jr.," and on Tuesday's Late Show, Stephen Colbert counted the ways. "That's a powerful metaphor," he began. "It really makes me reconsider my stance on eating Syrian refugees."

Colbert started with the grammar in the image, especially, "If I told you that just three would kill you." "That's not right," he said. "As in, if you think that's a complete sentence, you've got your head up your." "But "also, it turns out the math is wrong," Colbert said. The odds of being killed by a refugee in the U.S. has been calculated at 1 in 3.64 billion, "so that's not three poison Skittles in a bowl, that's three poison Skittles in one and a half Olympic-size swimming pools of Skittles — and yes, for the record, I would eat all of them."

"Worst of all, this meme isn't even original," Colbert said, tracing its origins to a feminist idea using M&Ms. "Of course, the Trump family prefers Skittles, because there are no brown ones." Then he got down to "the real problem with the graphic: It compares refugees fleeing their war-torn country to pieces of sugar. These are people who dream of living in a country where food is so plentiful we waste our candy on metaphors." If none of that was persuasive enough, Colbert said, "let me explain to Donald Trump Jr. why he's wrong in language he can understand." It's pretty sweet. Watch below. Peter Weber