‘Build the Wall’ Botch

It is well known that Donald Trump is not one for avoiding controversy, but this Halloween, Trump generated much debate and disagreement, not over his tweets (for once) but instead over one of his distasteful children’s Halloween activities.

On the 25th October, children of executive employees and ‘VIP’ people from inside and outside the White House were invited to a Halloween party in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in which they were given sweets and invited to take part in an array of activities such as creating and flying aeroplanes, whilst dressed up in accordance with the theme ‘When I grow up I want to be…’.

Doesn’t sound too bad, right? However, not all of the activities at the party remained as innocent and child-friendly as they should’ve been with one activity in particular standing out as peculiar and controversial, especially for a children’s Halloween party. The game involved the children placing personalised paper bricks with their names on, onto a mural whilst being prompted to “build the wall”, mimicking Trump’s contended border proposals with Mexico.

The mural was said to have been surrounded by construction style signs reading “America First”

The mural was said to have been surrounded by construction style signs reading “America First”, a common phrase used by President Trump that is considered distasteful, as it was originally a regular phrase of the Ku Klux Klan. The wall also included a large cut-out figure of President Donald Trump in a hardhat and also child-sized construction vests hung on hooks under a sign reading “Trump’s Crew”.

The activity not only generated controversy from onlookers who heard about the event but also people at the party too. According to Yahoo news, a person who was there, yet wanted to remain anonymous, commented ““Horrified. We were horrified,”. Former officials also told Yahoo news too that they found the ‘Build the wall’ display disturbing.

“Everyone loses their minds over everything, and nothing can be funny anymore”

However, on the other side of the argument a person from inside the Trump administration commented to the same news company that it was simply a children’s activity, and that people were overreacting and almost taking the humour and fun out of it. They said “Everyone loses their minds over everything, and nothing can be funny anymore”

Personally, I can see where the latter interviewee is coming from when they say that sometimes things can be taken out of proportion and made out to be worse than they are, taking the intended ‘fun’ out of it, however I believe that this is an exception.

This activity was extremely distasteful and disrespectful

I think that, like many I expect, that this activity was extremely distasteful and disrespectful especially since the young children were clueless to what the display referred to. In this way, these children, by taking part, can be made to look like they and their family are supportive of this despite being far too young to even have an inkling of what it represents.

To the children at this party, this was simply a game that would appeal to any child. Yet, I believe it was unfair to impose such an activity on the parents who perhaps would not want to combine the very real issues of politics with their children’s games and innocence.

Isabelle Raikes

Featured image courtesy of Gage Skidmore via Flickr. Image license found here. No changes were made to this image. 

In article image 1 courtesy of @KTHopkins via Twitter. No changes were made to this image. 

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