It's Wrong to Racialize the Ohio Train Disaster
The response to the fiery derailment has nothing to do with the area's culture
The fiery derailment of a freight train carrying hazardous chemicals in eastern Ohio is coming to represent bigger societal failures. It is a story about profit-driven rail companies underinvesting in safety, lobbyists weakening rail regulation and the government's failure to assure residents security from lingering toxins.
But in certain right-wing media precincts, the disaster is about something else: A campaign of discrimination being waged against White people. "East Palestine is overwhelmingly White, and it's politically conservative," Fox News' Tucker Carlson recently said of the roughly 4,700 residents of the disaster zone. "That shouldnt be relevant," he added, but "it very much is."
It very much isn't. But ever since the Feb. 3 disaster, Carlson and his comrades have sought to transform East Palestine's plight into a tale about "woke" Democrats abandoning White communities in the virtuous, forgotten heartland.
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