The National Rifle Association was so disgusted this week by the creators of Thomas the Train introducing two new characters that it dressed these cartoon locomotives in Ku Klux Klan hoods.
It's true. This really happened.
Go ahead and read that sentence again.
The bizarre and controversial segment aired on the Web series "Relentless," which is hosted by NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch.
Apparently VERY upset over Thomas the Train adding a pair of women named Rebecca and Nia to the team, Loesch ranted and raved over the concept of diversity and why the show's creators felt a need to include two females.
She seemed especially distressed over Nia being a native of Kenya.
It's difficult to decipher exactly what Loesch was trying to say while dissecting and slamming the inclusion of these female trains...
... but her point seemed to be that Thomas and his friends weren't considered white in the first place; so why did producers feel a need to make the show more diverse?
Like we said: we think this was her point.
It's a little confusing.
But the image that played in the background while Loesch grew more and more agitated was definitely of Thomas and company wearing KKK hoods.
This is what Loesch rambled about while said image
Thomas the Tank is now bringing gender balance to the show by adding girl trains. 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 had to paint, what I guess they thought was some sort of African pattern on the side of Nia’s engine? How do you bring ethnic diversity to a show that literally has no ethnicities because they're trains.
They don't even have skin pigmentation. Where -- was there some concern that the show had racist undertones? Because, Sir Topham Hatt clearly is white, but the trains?
I mean, 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. Oh, was it because, I see it.
It was the white hoods. And the burning train tracks. OK, fine, fair point. Fair. I get it.
Thomas the Tank Engine has been a blight on race relations for far too long. Clearly this is overdue. Right?
Ummm... good point, NRA?
Good, salient and totally sensible point.
As you might expect, depicting a long-time children's character as an unabashed racist has not gone over well on the Internet.
"Such a hateful nightmare they are," Tweeted Judd Aparow. "We are all so exhausted by dumb, vicious people. Vote in November. Let’s enjoy ending this nightmare."
"The NRA literally has gone off the...rails," added George Takei.
Both these statements are obviously true.
But our initial response is not to get mad, it's to legitimately feel sorry for Loesch and the people she represents.
Can you imagine getting this worked up over characters on a cartoon? What a sad existence that must be.