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Fri Nov 8, 2019, 10:12 PM

Woody Guthrie Wrote of His Contempt for His Landlord, Donald Trump's Father

This may be old news to some but I feel there's no harm in posting this for those that may have missed the tale.



More than a half-century ago, the folk singer Woody Guthrie signed a lease in an apartment complex in Brooklyn. He soon had bitter words for his landlord: Donald J. Trump’s father, Fred C. Trump.

Mr. Guthrie, in writings uncovered by a scholar working on a book, invoked “Old Man Trump” while suggesting that blacks were unwelcome as tenants in the Trump apartment complex, near Coney Island.

“He thought that Fred Trump was one who stirs up racial hate, and implicitly profits from it,” the scholar, Will Kaufman, a professor of American literature and culture at the University of Central Lancashire in Britain, said in an interview.

Mr. Kaufman said he came across Mr. Guthrie’s writings about Fred Trump while he was doing research at the Woody Guthrie Center’s archives in Oklahoma. He wrote about his findings last week for The Conversation, a news website.

In December 1950, Mr. Guthrie signed a lease at the Beach Haven apartment complex, Mr. Kaufman wrote in his piece. Soon, Mr. Guthrie was “lamenting the bigotry that pervaded his new, lily-white neighborhood,” he wrote, with words like these:

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

Mr. Guthrie even reworked his song “I Ain’t Got No Home” into a critique of Fred Trump, according to Mr. Kaufman:

<snip> The rest at https://www.nytimes.com/politics/first-draft/2016/01/25/woody-guthrie-sang-of-his-contempt-for-his-landlord-donald-trumps-father/

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Reply Woody Guthrie Wrote of His Contempt for His Landlord, Donald Trump's Father (Original post)
Tom Yossarian Joad Nov 8 OP
dewsgirl Nov 8 #1
Hoyt Nov 8 #2
Liberal In Texas Nov 9 #3
PCIntern Nov 9 #4

Response to Tom Yossarian Joad (Original post)

Fri Nov 8, 2019, 10:17 PM

1. I remember this from around the election.

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Response to Tom Yossarian Joad (Original post)

Fri Nov 8, 2019, 11:41 PM

2. That's what I've always liked about "folk" music.

But as much as I admire works like “Old Man Trump” and othe Guthrie songs, he was much like the majority white folks back then when it came to racial issues.

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Response to Tom Yossarian Joad (Original post)

Sat Nov 9, 2019, 12:06 AM

3. I think besides Woody others back in the 50s didn't like old man Trump too much

I hie back to the 50s TV show:

An episode of the 1950s western TV series 'Trackdown' featured a character named Walter Trump who claimed he would build a wall in order to protect a town from the end of the world.

If you haven't seen it, it is eerie.
Full episode:


George Takei's edited quick look:


Anyway! I'll bet the script writer for the this show had a personal reason to lampoon a guy called "Trump" when he wrote the script.

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Response to Tom Yossarian Joad (Original post)

Sat Nov 9, 2019, 12:14 AM

4. And I think the villain in that old

Robert Culp Western , Trackdown, was named after old man Trump. You can search Trump Trackdown on YouTube. The screenwriter must’ve had the same experience.

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