What do you do when you are an organization known for supporting mass murder of children and a white supremacist politician, and maybe having involved yourself with possibly treasonous money laundering? You attack children’s television! The National Rifle Association, best known for hate-filled jingoistic rhetoric—and probably misrepresenting their membership and finances—is still trying to chug along with their television network, NRA TV. Dana Loesch decided to use the last moments of her show—let’s call it “Hating things not white, with Dana Loesch”—to attack one of the bigger problems in society today: Thomas the Tank Engine!
Loesch begins by saying how her daughter loved Thomas but Loesch always found Thomas and Friends “creepy.” Thanks for that info, Loesch.
Loesch: Anyway they’ve decided that the next stop is “virtue town,” as the tank is now bringing gender balance to the show—by adding girl trains.
Here’s a quick note for those of you who didn’t have children in your life, that overlapped with Thomas and Friends: They’ve had “girl trains” for a very long time. They’ve had “international,” non-United Kingdom train personalities for at least 10 years now.
Loesch: Seriously. One of those trains, Nia, will be from Kenya to add ethnic diversity to the show. And — which that by the way, that’s where it gets really strange to me because I’ve looked at Thomas and Friends, at their pictures, and I see gray and blue. Am I to understand this entire time that Thomas and his trains were white? Because they all have gray faces. How do you bring ethnic diversity, I mean they all have gray faces. I guess they like paint what I guess they thought was some kind of African pattern along the side of Nia’s engine?
Yes. That, and the voice and an accent, and stories about Kenya that Nia will tell Thomas, and by extension the children watching Thomas. That’s how you go about trying to make your show a) more diverse, and b) fucking interesting after hundreds of episodes about basically the same thing.
The piece ends with Loesch saying that they’re trains, and then they flash the above image of tracks burning and the Thomas characters wearing white hoods—like the KKK! The joke is that there was never any need to “diversify” the Thomas cast because it wasn’t about race—it was about trains!
Probably the greatest irony here is that the initial worldview of Thomas and Friends was incredibly strange and conservative, with steam-driven trains and diesel engines working away with a strong Lutheran/Protestant ethic. Run by a railroad baron-looking guy named Sir Topham Hat, you would think that people like Loesch might love the old western, guns-a-blazing environs of the Thomas series. Sadly, the NRA has been and will always be a white supremacist organization set up as a so-called Constitution watchdog and any challenge to that, even the introduction of someone who isn’t white to a kids show, is far too low a hanging fruit for them to resist serving it up to their angry and “economically anxious” followers.
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.