Benton Stevens, 7, from Austin, Texas was one of those who watched President Trump’s State of the Union address on February 5. What he did in reaction to that soon made him an internet sensation.
Benton’s mother, Jennifer Stevens, told KXAN-TV, “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.’”
Both the boy’s parents are members of the Republican National Committee and often 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.”
Benton begged his mom to give him permission to set up a hot chocolate stand in order to help raise funds for the wall. His older brothers helped make the signs while his mother made the hot chocolate. Benton also sold “Pelosi marshmallows” and “Beto marshmallows.”
In the one hour that Benton manned the stand, he managed to make $231.
However, Benton’s actions did not sit well with some people.
“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,” Benton’s mother said.
While the parents insisted that the stand was not on anyone’s property, they closed it down nonetheless.
But the issue still persists on Facebook with several users posting pictures of the stand and igniting an intense online debate.
The ruckus “fired up” Benton who managed to convince his parents to let him put up the stand again on Sunday.
That’s when someone drove by and called Benton “a little Hitler,” says Jennifer Stevens.
“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.”
A positive result of this was the outpouring of support from conservatives and liberals alike who didn’t approve of the boy being subjected to harsh language.
“Amazing things are happening in our community,” Jennifer Stevens. “People who were originally very mean have started apologizing for what they said and sticking up for Benton.”
And as news of Benton’s efforts spread online, the donations started pouring in and he has managed to raise over $6,000.
Now Benton 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” in the spirit of bipartisanship.