Meet Maria Gunnoe. We’ve met her before. She’s an anti-coal activist from West Virginia whose water supply had been tainted by run-off from nearby coal mining. Or, according to the coal industry and their lackeys, the GOP, her water got polluted by magic and the coal industry can’t be blamed. Ever. Under any circumstances. That’s business as usual but how the GOP attacked her wasn’t.
This is a picture of a five year old bathing in water polluted by the coal industry:
This picture represents the human cost of the greed of the coal industry. When a coal mine pollutes the water supply of nearby residents, that’s it for them. They have a choice: bathe their children in polluted water or do not bathe them at all. These are not rich people. They cannot afford to move, they cannot afford expensive filters that will only remove some of the filth and they can’t live off of bottled water. The coal industry would rather we not know about this kind of thing and the Republican Party is complicit in this deception.
Maria planned on showing this rather disturbing image as part of her presentation to the House Committee on Natural Resources in DC. This is how the GOP reacted:
Yesterday, on the other hand, Maria was told that she would not be allowed to show that photo. It was not appropriate. She had the blessing of the child’s parents, but Republicans on the subcommittee alerted the capitol police (according to Spencer Pederson, a spokesman for GOP panel members), and after the hearing, the capitol police took Maria aside for questioning about “child pornography.”
Child pornography? I don’t know a single parent that doesn’t have a picture or video of the unrestrained joy children exhibit when taking a bath. That’s what makes this picture so disturbing and powerful; that something so normal and taken for granted by most Americans should be a source of disgust, even for the child taking the bath. Instead of outrage that children are being subjected to this, however, the House GOP was “outraged” at the fact the child was naked.
And now the GOP has resorted to labeling their opponents as pedophiles to silence them? Maria should be fully prepared to have “rumors” of her possible pedophilia to spread throughout her community as easily as the run off from the coal mines spread throughout her water supply. Joe McCarthy would stand in awe of the moral vacuum the modern Republican Party exists in.
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