A Halloween party at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building had a “concerning” station where children were encouraged to help “Build the Wall” with their own personalized bricks.
The party included the families of executive-branch employees and VIP guests inside and outside government. Many of the attendees were members of Trump’s administration, but not everyone thought the Halloween game was a cool treat. More like a nasty trick.
An attendee, who requested anonymity to avoid professional retaliation, said,
“Horrified. We were horrified.”
The “Build the Wall” mural was on the first floor of the EEOB which stands across from the White House and houses a large portion of the West Wing support staff. Outside the speechwriter’s office and next to the office of digital strategy, the mural featured red paper bricks, each bearing the name of a child.
Kids dressed as superheroes and ninjas were given brick-colored paper cards and told to write their name with a marker and tape them to the wall. Alongside the paper wall were signs. On that had a slogan often used by Trump (and previously employed by the Ku Klux Klan) was,
The activities were intended to be kid-friendly for trick-or-treaters that were interactive and inspiring. They were all supposed to address the party’s theme:
“When I grow up I want to be…”
Nate Snyder, who previously served in the Department of Homeland Security as a counterterrorism official said,
“We never did anything like this in the Obama administration. We hung up skeletons and ghosts.”
But a person who works with the Trump administration said people were making too much out of a children’s display.
“Everyone loses their minds over everything, and nothing can be funny anymore.”
A Republican congressional staffer was a bit more blunt,
“Who gives a shit about EEOB having Halloween decorations?”
Erika Andiola, the chief advocacy officer for the immigration rights organization RAICES, said,
“I don’t think they understand the amount of pain that people are going through at the border for them to make a joke out of it. We still are dealing with children in cages even if people are not calling it that, so it’s not a joke.”