krista ford

Doug Ford's daughter Krista just went full Trump with her latest anti-vax meme

As Ontario premier Doug Ford pumps the brakes with new restrictions to curb the tide of the Omicron variant, his eldest daughter Krista Haynes (née Ford) has been generating her own headlines, sharing her firm positions against the very vaccine, lockdown, and mask mandates imposed by her own father.

The outspoken Krista has been going off on Instagram for months, spouting all kinds of wild conspiracy theories that fly in the face of the sobering statistics regularly presented by her father's government.

But the latest meme shared by Krista — while appearing on the surface like the typical anti-vax ramblings of the self-proclaimed Jesus and freedom lover — is being criticized for apparent racist undertones.

The meme falsely (and ridiculously) suggests that one in every 100 vaccinations causes death, five per cent cause "a life-changing condition," and ten per cent cause "some kind of adverse reaction."

But it's not misinformation or questionable data that's really concerning about this tweet; These things have come to be expected from Krista, who subscribes to so many QAnon-inspired conspiracy theories that her detractors have taken to playfully referring to her as Qrista.

For once, her scaremongering is a mere sideshow in the online discussion, overshadowed by the hateful origin of this bowl of candy meme.

The meme looks strikingly similar to another famously used by Donald Trump Jr. to support his father's 2016 U.S. election campaign, when a photograph of a bowl of Skittles was used to stoke fear among voters about a potential influx of refugees looking to escape war-torn Syria.

It may be a different type of candy in the bowl, but Krista has co-opted the rhetoric and imagery (even if unintentionally) of what may have been the most divisive political campaign of the 21st century by repurposing a meme that was widely criticized as racist.

The reaction to that 2016 meme was so negative that Skittles even had to go so far as issuing a completely bonkers statement clarifying that "refugees are people" — words you'd never have expected to hear uttered on behalf of a candy brand before 2016.

The connection to this anti-Syrian meme is something that lawyer and political commentator Caryma S'ad thinks may be lost on a large share of Haynes' audience, though she cautions that this is "exactly the danger if things go unchecked, and how the anti-vaxx movement can be hijacked as a vehicle to disseminate white supremacist talking points."

Just as troubling, S'ad worries that "those who do recognize the origins of the meme presumably see that as some form of validation."

To be clear, S'ad isn't alleging specific racist intent with the tweet, though she warns that "few people set out with the intention of promoting racism, but it gets normalized in these spaces, whether online or in person."

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