As part of an "interactive and inspirational" children's activity, young kids were forced to "build a wall" at a Halloween party attended by White House staff last week.
On October 25, a Halloween party took place at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. Several members from the White House, including officials from the Trump administration, were in attendance. While there were numerous features for young children set up, including candy and paper airplanes, one activity, in particular, has raised concerns. With card paper taped to the wall to look like bricks, the organizers of the party had initiated a "Build The Wall" activity for children. The kids were instructed to write their names on pieces of card paper and stick them onto the wall, Yahoo! News reports. However, it is currently unclear what the purpose of the activity actually was. Many believe it was simply a way to indoctrinate children into believing United States President Donald Trump's ideologies.
One of the most twisted and disgusting things I’ve seen in a while: Children were urged to ‘build the wall’ at White House Halloween party. It’s a new low, even for this administration. https://t.co/wjUwnkCJYU pic.twitter.com/EvpnQOs5E9— Joe Árvai (@DecisionLab) November 4, 2019
The Eisenhower Executive Office Building is utilized on the regular by White House staff members. It stands right across from the White House and houses a big chunk of the West Wing support staff. Additionally, it is home to Vice President Mike Pence’s ceremonial office. Therefore, families of executive-branch employees and VIP guests both inside and outside government were invited to attend the party. Funnily enough, though many attendees were part or supporters of the Trump administration, not everyone approved of the activity. One individual who requested to stay anonymous stated, "Horrified. We were horrified."
White House asks kids to "Build the Wall" at #Halloween event. Erika Andiola, of the immigration rights organization RAICES, said,— Hamilton County Democratic Party (@hcdp_us) November 3, 2019
“We still are dealing with children in cages even if people are not calling it that, so it’s not a joke.” | https://t.co/bYyfB5gUSA @RAICESTEXAS pic.twitter.com/nN46YJ1eeh
The "Build The Wall" activity was located on the first floor of the building outside the speechwriter’s office and next to the office of digital strategy. Large black letters were printed out and stuck onto the wall to read "Build The Wall." Next to the feature were stickers that read "America First" and alluded to keeping jobs in America. As is now popular knowledge, the slogan has been re-popularized by President Trump. It was first used by the Ku Klux Klan. In order to participate in the activity, the children would need to collect pieces of red card paper, write their names on it, and then stick their card paper on the wall, essentially "building the wall." There is little doubt that this is a method to indoctrinate young children and perhaps make bigotry seem fun and even exciting.
“We were horrified.”— Trinity Resists 💚☮️ 🇺🇸✊🍑 (@TrinityResists) November 2, 2019
This is what a propaganda driven, racist, xenophobic, genocidal fascist regime looks like.
Trump’s dehumanizing atrocities must never be normalized.
Children were told to ‘build the wall’ at White House Halloween party—@VP attended.https://t.co/Oaz0mNUqzg pic.twitter.com/QbXobWCDmC
Earlier that week, offices inside the Eisenhower Executive Office Building were instructed to create kid-friendly displays for trick-or-treaters. Clearly, the organizers of this party missed the message. It has been reported that the organizers originally meant to put together an activity that would prompt children to cite what they wanted to be when they grew up. The activity that transpired clearly missed the mark; while it was interactive (as the building had encouraged), it did not come close to being inspirational. Furthermore, Vice President Mike Pence was in attendance, though it is alleged that he did not leave his office on the second floor. The organizers of the party are yet to respond to the criticism, but it has angered users across the internet ever since news of the activity first broke. At present, no real apology or explanation is expected. Regardless, children should not be forced to play "games" that normalize the heinous act of preventing helpless individuals fleeing poverty, violence, and instability from seeking refuge in the United States.
‘’At a White House Halloween party, children were encouraged to help “Build the Wall” with personalized bricks”— Khanoisseur 🐶🤦🏻♂️🌎 (@Khanoisseur) November 3, 2019
Did their parents help them? Were there any immigrant kids at this party? Did they write nice things on the bricks? So many questions.