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PC Insanity Story of the Day: “Thomas & Friends,” the cartoon series featuring Thomas the Tank Engine and his other little talking train buddies, is racist. The reason? Only Thomas and the “good trains” pump out white smoke, while the “bad trains” pump out - wait for it - black smoke.

So, has political correctness finally gone 'round the bend? Not according to Tracy Van Slyke, writing for The Guardian:

For every Sesame Street, there is an annoying Caillou or an acid-trippy Yo Gabba Gabba. But Thomas and Friends is the one show with enough subversive messages to make me turn it off for good.

 

Thomas and those friends are trains that toil away endlessly on the Isle of Sodor ... and, on its surface, the show seems to impart good moral lessons about hard work and friendship.

 

But if you look through the steam rising up from the coal-powered train stacks, you realize that the pretty puffs of smoke are concealing some pretty twisted, anachronistic messages.

Ms. Van Slyke is particularly miffed by an episode in which one of the trains has his red paint removed - and is repainted pink. To her shock and dismay, the other trains make fun of the newly-pink “James.” But it's her analysis of the train engines' smoke that takes the cake:

For the record, all the “villains” on Thomas and Friends are the dirty diesel engines.

 

I'd like to think there was a good environmental message in there, but when the good engines pump out white smoke and the bad engines pump out black smoke ... it's not hard to make the leap into the race territory.

As Zip over at Weasel Zippers observed, it appears that we've finally reached the pinnacle of PC insanity.