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Skittles analogy meaningless

Regarding Donald Trump Jr.’s proposed explanation of the Syrian refugee situation with the analogy “If I had a bowl of Skittles and I told you just three would kill you, would you take a handful?” (Spokesman-Review, Sept. 23):

Running with the analogy mathematically, we already live in a large bucket of Skittles (the U.S. population), many of which have the potential to kill you. In fact, our bucket is 32 thousand times larger than the bowl of Syrian refugees allowed into the U.S. (How big is that difference? Spend a day counting to 32,000.)

And unlike U.S. citizens, the bowl of refugees has been carefully screened. By letting the refugees in, it’s eminently possible that the proportion of deadly Skittles in the expanded bucket has actually gone down. But either way, the numbers are so small as to make Trump’s analogy meaningless. We would do better to worry about driving more carefully so as not to be killed in a car accident than worry about death-by-refugee.

Ernest Boyd


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