A seven-year-old boy from Austin was called ‘a little Hitler’ by a neighbor over the weekend for setting up a hot chocolate stand and raising $6,000 for President Trump’s border wall.
Benton Stevens became an internet sensation over the weekend when he was filmed manning a hot chocolate stand at a strip mall in northwest Austin on Saturday.
The youngster watched President Trump’s State of the Union address on February 5.
‘He wanted to know about the wall so we explained what it was about and he (Benton) was like “I want to raise money for the wall”,’ the boy’s mother, Jennifer Stevens, told KXAN-TV.
Jennifer and Shane Stevens are members of the Republican National Committee. They say they frequently share their political views with their son.
‘People think he’s brainwashed,’ she said.
‘Well, of course, he supports Trump because we do, and he hears how we talk and this and that.
‘Call that brainwashing, but I call it parenting, because we instill our values in him.’
Jennifer Stevens said her son begged her to allow him to set up a hot chocolate stand to help raise money for the border wall, KEYE-TV reported.
Benton’s older brothers helped make signs and his mother helped make the hot chocolate.
Along with hot chocolate, Benton sold ‘Pelosi marshmallows’ and ‘Beto marshmallows’.
In the one hour that Benton manned the hot chocolate stand, he made $231 in sales.
But there were some who did not approve of what the boy was doing.
‘I guess some liberals – or whatever you want to call them – they were griping at the owner (of the store) and going in and yelling at him and slamming him on Facebook,’ Jennifer Stevens said.
The parents claim that the hot chocolate stand was not on anyone’s property, but they nonetheless decided to close it down.
But the issue refused to die as several Facebook users posted photos of the hot chocolate stand, sparking intense debate online.
The controversy ‘fired up’ Benton, who convinced his parents to let him set up the stand again on Sunday.
That day, Jennifer Stevens said someone drove by and called her son ‘a little Hitler.’
‘A guy pointed at him in his car and then he said that we didn’t like brown people,’ she said.
‘I don’t understand that at all.’
The family said they were surprised by the outpouring of support they received from conservative as well as liberals who were upset that the boy was being subject to harsh language.
‘Amazing things are happening in our community,’ Jennifer Stevens told KXAN-TV.
‘People who were originally very mean have started apologizing for what they said and sticking up for Benton.’
As Benton’s efforts became known to more people on social media and news reports, donations kept pouring in.
So far, he has raised more than $6,000.
In the spirit of bipartisanship, the boy is ‘thinking about doing a free hot chocolate stand for people from both sides of the debate since there are so many people sticking up for him,’ his mother said.
Despite Benton’s good intentions, there is no guarantee that the money raised for the wall will be used for that purpose.
Funds meant to be donated to the federal government are categorized as ‘Gifts to the United States,’ according to Business Insider.
In order to allocate money for the Department of Homeland Security, Congress must give its approval.