A 7-year-old Texas boy who decided to sell hot chocolate to fund President Donald Trump’s wall got branded a “little Hitler” for his efforts. Even so, he has raised more than $5,000 so far.
The angry comment came after the enterprising young man, Benton Stevens, set up a stand with large signs reading “Hot Chocolate $2” and “Proceeds help Trump build the wall.”
“Some people were mad at me, calling me a ‘little Hitler’ and stuff,” the boy told CBS Austin in a video interview.
While one person called Benton Stevens “little Hitler” in person, at least two did so on Facebook.
Others accused him of “supporting terrorism.”
His father, Shane Stevens, confirmed this account to PJ Media. When asked if someone called his son a “little Hitler,” the father said, “Yes. Right to his face by an adult male pointing his finger at him.”
Shane and Jennifer Stevens say their son decided to start the fundraiser after attending Trump’s inauguration and after watching the president’s State of the Union address earlier this month. While both the parents are members of the Republican National Convention, they said their son got the idea on his own.
The boy would beg his parents to let him set up the stand, and they finally relented this past weekend, the parents told CBS Austin.
“Every day he would get off the bus and say, ‘Mom can we go do my stand?'” the mother said.
Benton Stevens had it all: steaming hot chocolate with Beto O’Rourke-themed small marshmallows for free or Nancy Pelosi-themed large marshmallows for an extra fifty cents.
The “little Hitler” comment wasn’t the only attack Benton Stevens received. The boy said three women in pink hats walked by and mocked his “Make America Great Again” hat.
Shane Stevens said that “the usual crazy man” has been “threatening and wishing harm on my son” on Facebook. While Stevens has reported him, Facebook has not removed him.
The boy’s father said backlash is natural, but he wished adults would treat his son better.
“If he’s going to do it, he needs to learn that there’s going to be a little backlash,” the father said. “But I just wish [the critics] would do it in a little more respectful, adult-like manner.”
The little boy said he wanted to raise the money for the wall and mail it to the president, or go to Washington, D.C., and hand the money over in person. He did this “so that the illegal immigrants can’t get into our town illegally.”
CBS Austin reported that Benton Stevens raised $1,400 in two days, but his father set up a Venmo account and posted an update late Monday evening.
By the time Shane Stevens spoke with PJ Media on Tuesday, they had raised more than $5,000. The response has been “lots more positive” than negative, he said. He mentioned a radio show praising Benton Stevens and “lots and lots of support” on Facebook.
“Money is pouring in from two dollars to 209 to 500,” the proud father said. “There is an awesome guy buying a cup of hot choc for every negative comment and donating in their name.”
On Venmo, donors wrote supportive messages. One man wrote that he gave money to Benton Stevens “for being an amazing young man.” Another wrote, “Support for wall! So impressed with you, Benton!”
Follow Tyler O’Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.