'Benghazi? It’s a Town in West Virginia.'

Chester Cook, 61, of Bim, W.Va., a retired coal miner who lives next door to one of the entrances to the Brody Mine No. 1 in Wharton, W.Va., talks about the mine Tuesday, May 13, 2013. Two workers died after they were trapped as the ground failed at a West Virginia coal mine with a history of safety violations, federal and state officials said Tuesday. (AP Photo/Charleston Daily Mail, Craig Cunningham)A vital new opinion piece on Fredericksburg.com exposes the glaring underappreciation for the dangerous jobs that workers do in the mining sector, and the selective concern for the lost lives of American who can be wielded for political purposes.

In “As Working Class Sinks, Where’s the Outrage?,” Marc Munroe Dion waxes sardonic when getting this important point across:

Did you see any Facebook posts today about the two hillbillies killed in a West Virginia coal mine accident?

They were Americans, working guys refusing to take welfare in a poor part of the country during a recession. They join the 29 miners killed in 2010 about 10 miles away.

Did you hear any tea party jibber jabber demanding a “full investigation”? Any dark muttering about “how would you feel if one of those miners was your son”?

Nope. The silence is as thick as it is in a coal mine, just after the blast but before they start digging for the bodies.

Dion’s point is bullet-proof. People are dying because of safety violations, because of being considered expendable, because of dangerous work that simply has to be done by someone. And they’re dying in numbers that far exceed any single incident, like Benghazi, that can be pontificated upon for months on the talk shows:

They weren’t in Benghazi, which is the one holy, sacred, important place to die.

America is full of Benghazis, leaky gas pipes, unsafe machinery, forced overtime until you’re tired enough to feed your left hand into a machine, until your eyes are blurry enough to run the log truck off the road.

A Benghazi a day. Maybe two. And no cries for a “thorough investigation,” no toad-fat congressmen reading statements of outrage. Stick the hillbillies in the ground and get the next shift to work. Tow the log truck to the shop and hire another driver. The last driver is being dug out from under the load.

The piece sends chills up the spine. If you’re a true patriot, that is. Read it now.

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Chaz Bolte
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