“It was the white hoods. And the burning train tracks.”
What: To a backdrop of anthropomorphic trains wearing KKK hoods, National Rifle Association spokeswoman Dana Loesch mocked the attempt to make “Thomas the Tank Engine” more diverse, saying sarcastically that the children television program has been a “blight on race relations.”
During a September 7 segment of “Relentless,” the NRATV host expounded on what prompted her salvo against the beloved kids show: The addition of Nia — a female, Kenyan train — to the show’s cast.
“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?” Loesch said. “I mean they had to paint, what I guess they thought was some sort of African pattern on the side of Nia’s engine?”
She continued by bemoaning the perceived absurdity of bringing ethnic diversity “to a show that literally has no ethnicities because they’re trains.”
“Relentless” really went off the rails when an image showing trains wearing KKK hoods appeared behind Loesch.
“I’m looking at this picture and I’m really, really struggling to understand how in the world there isn’t any diversity in any of this,” she riffed. “Oh, was it because, I see it. It was the white hoods. And the burning train tracks.”
Why: Conservatives have long been concerned about the alleged liberal bias of mainstream media culture, including the press and Hollywood — sometimes to the point of paranoia and self-parody.
They accuse the media of aggressively pursuing progressive ideals such as political correctness and reducing diversity to rank tokenism, whereby minorities are integrated into TV shows, movies, and prominent positions to serve as empty quota-fillers.
That bias, some on the right have claimed, extends even to children’s programs like “Thomas the Tank Engine” and “Sesame Street.”
In 2011, The Blaze reported on “Primetime Propaganda: The True Hollywood Story of How the Left Took Over Your TV,” a book by conservative pundit Ben Shapiro.
“While the theme song to the kids show Sesame Street encourages people to ask how to get there, one author just finished an expose exploring what’s really in the popular show: left-wing propaganda,” The Blaze’s Jonathan M. Seidl wrote in the article’s lede.