Skittles are candy. Refugees are people. This shouldn’t be difficult.
Refugees are not Skittles. Plain and simple.
Comparing human beings to candy robs people of their God-given dignity. Plain and simple. http://www.americamagazine.org/content/all-things/refugees-are-people-not-candyPosted by America Magazine on Tuesday, September 20, 2016
"Skittles are candy. Refugees are people.” A spokesperson for Skittles understands the basics. Comparing refugees to poisoned Skittles is immediately abhorrent, and totally misses the point.
Why? Because the analogy violates the human dignity of the refugees.
Again, Skittles are candy. Refugees are people.
The issue here is human dignity. The comparison should—and does—grate on us because it violates the dignity of refugees.
At the level of objects, the logic of the comparison holds. If a few objects in a certain group can harm you, perhaps you should avoid the entire group. If we stay at the level of simply analyzing risks, then the logic of the Skittles analogy is sound, with respect to objects. But the analogy breaks down when applied to human beings, because the risk they may pose is not the most important fact about them. For human beings, our duties toward them often outweigh risks.
The only way the analogy to Skittles even seems to work is by deliberately ignoring what is most important. Attention to human dignity is crucial, a fact that Catholic moral teaching insists on over and over again. Once we recognize the someone’s dignity (note someone not something) it changes the calculations. People have inherent dignity. People are not objects, and therefore you can’t simply figure out how risky they are and stop there.
Human beings cannot be fully characterized by numbers, ratios or risk assessments. The more than 65 million refugees in the world and nearly 5 million from Syria have dreams, desires, fears and needs. These are people displaced from their homes—lands that hold precious memories. These are people who need and deserve love. These are people made in the image of God. These are people who have the right to be recognized as human, not dismissed with a superficial analogy to a piece of candy, designed to excuse our own fear as prudence.