News

Actions

Guthrie lyrics show distaste for Trump's dad

Posted at 3:36 PM, Jan 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-22 16:36:49-05

TULSA – Recent evidence reveals that an iconic Oklahoma musician may have had some issues with a member of the Trump family.

The Washington Post recently spoke with a professor who says Woody Guthrie was actually a tenant of Fred Trump, Donald Trump’s father.

Will Kaufman, the professor of American literature and culture at Britain’s University of Central Lancashire says he was sifting through the documents at the Woody Guthrie Center in downtown Tulsa when he came across a familiar name.

“Donald did inherit his father’s racism, and was probably actively coached in his father’s racism, and worked with his father to perpetuate it,” Kaufman told The Washington Post. “He picked up the mantle and ran with it with his father at his side. That’s why people are interested in this I think.”

Kaufman says the lyrics were discovered in one of Guthrie’s notebooks, possibly written in the early 1950s.

I suppose

Old Man Trump knows

Just how much

Racial Hate

he stirred up

In the bloodpot of human hearts

When he drawed

That color line

Here at his

Eighteen hundred family project

There was also this:

Beach Haven ain’t my home!

I just cain’t [sic] pay this rent!

My money’s down the drain!

And my soul is badly bent!

Beach Haven looks like heaven

Where no black ones come to roam!

No, no, no! Old Man Trump!

Old Beach Haven ain’t my home!

The Washington Post went on to report that “Beach Haven” was an apartment erected by Fred Trump who later died in 1999. The building housed a large number of veterans from World War II, including Guthrie.

In Kaufman’s story he writes, “When Guthrie first signed his lease, it’s unlikely that he was aware of the murky background to the construction of his new home, the massive public complex that Trump had dubbed ‘Beach Haven.’ Trump would be investigated by a U.S. Senate committee in 1954 for profiteering off of public contracts, not least by overestimating his Beach Haven building charges to the tune of US$3.7 million.”

Kaufman’s telling states that "Old Man Trump" followed federal guidelines against “inharmonious uses of housing” — as one Trump biographer put it, “a code phrase for selling homes in white areas to blacks.” Thus, Beach Haven was an oasis with a “color line” where “no black ones come to roam,” as Guthrie put it, according to The Washington Post.

“These writings have never before been published; they should be, for they clearly pit America’s national balladeer against the racist foundations of the Trump real estate empire,” Kaufman wrote.

Kaufman went on to argue that not many have discussed the issue of the Trump housing empire, which was investigated for reports of discrimination against black tenants in the 1970s, having racist roots.

“It’s not a case of the whole apple not falling far from the tree,” Kaufman said of candidate Trump’s alleged shortcomings. “The apple is still connected to the tree.” Asked whether Donald Trump’s alleged sins were as bad as Old Man Trump’s alleged sins, Kaufman said: “I think he’s sneakier.”