Using your vehicle to make a political statement is not new. What is new and has recently appeared on the horizon now is coal rolling. Coal rolling is buying the coal rolling equipment for a mere $500, a diesel truck to install it on, a tall smoke stack for the exhaust, and begin rolling down the road. The vehicle is tricked into needing more fuel, thus blowing an exclamatory amount of black smoke on anyone behind, next to, or within the local vicinity of said vehicle. Rolling coal as a political party statement is currently riding a wave of mass notoriety.
It is a political statement concerned with President Obama, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and anyone who happens to own a “rice-burner” or non-American made vehicle that seeks to lower emissions while in use. Videos of those diesel drivers actively “rolling coal” at other vehicles are popping up everywhere on the internet, most notably on Facebook, and other popular sites for diesel truck owners. Truck pulls, another popular activity for truck owners, brought about the rolling coal feature on diesel trucks as an attention-getting device, bringing notoriety to drivers who used it.
Many of these diesel drivers feel that anyone driving a small car is a liberal and “rolling coal” is viewed as a form of protest against such persons. Many of these people are against anything that does not fit their version of America, and this method is an extremely visible message of how they feel about Obama and his policies, or any other considered liberal activity.
Liberals, on their side of this fence, appeared slightly surprised anyone would violate laws of conservation for the sake of protest. Perhaps liberals might want to take stock of their position and re-consider. Rolling coal is akin to the purchase of guns and ammunition whenever a mass shooting occurs in this country. Almost every time those take place, liberals speak up and advise the country to enact stricter gun-control laws. This of course leads others to purchase more guns and bullets, some as a form of protest against liberals. Party politics and rolling coal seem strange bedfellows, however, political statements have a way of aligning themselves with unusual groups when it is convenient.
Vocativ, an online news agency, has estimated “rolling coal” followers number about 16,000 with more than 100,000 posts visible on Tumblr and Instagram. Now the environmentalists and conservative opponents are using the internet social media to play out their views, gain followers, and influence those on the political fence with this brand of notoriety.
While this smoke blowing contest is on the up swing, another group who many thought might align themselves with the “Rolling coalers,” is steadfastly maintaining their own stance. Those individuals who hang a rifle in the back window of their pickup trucks are waiting for either side to destroy the other, as they look down the barrel of their rifles with disdain. Some rifle touting people see it as a step in the right direction against liberals, but not much.
Many commenters on the Vocativ site made more comments regarding the activity as not environmentally friendly and not treating people with basic human decency as they allowed the black, dirty, unfiltered, soot infested smoke to pervade highways, streets and homes of innocent by-standers. Some advised both groups to “Go home, take your toys to your room, and play with them there.” implying the immature nature and a lack of manhood decidedly showing on both sides of the aisle. Political parties aside, rolling coal may disappear when the pocketbook of diesel drivers who practice this protest become more moth-ridden than a closet full of wool coats.
By Andy Towle