June 19, 2019

WOODY GUTHRIE TO JOIN KATE SMITH IN THE MEMORY HOLE? This Land Is Not Your Land: Woke Culture Now Demanding Woody Guthrie Be Canceled Over Folk Music Faux Pas.

In a grueling 3,000-word article for Folklife, Native rights activist Mali Obomsawin calls the song an embarrassment for liberal culture, and admits to being “shaken up like a soda can” every time she hears the lyrics — to the degree that she believes the song itself should either never be played again, or come with a trigger warning about Guthrie’s limited, mid-20th century view of American culture.

“These lyrics shake me up like a soda can every time I hear them. As an activist, folk musician, and songwriter (in Lula Wiles), and recent label-mate of Woody Guthrie on Smithsonian Folkways Recordings,” she says, “my social circles tend to worship Guthrie as the father of all musical protest. But as a Native person, I believe ‘This Land Is Your Land’ falls flat.”

The problem is that Guthrie simply wasn’t woke enough about “this land.” Although one of the founding fathers of protest music, Guthrie somehow missed that the land he was singing about — the United States — was, in fact, land stolen from Native Americans, so it wasn’t really “his land” at all.

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“By critiquing ‘This Land Is Your Land,’ I don’t mean to imply that Guthrie himself promoted conquest, but the song is indicative of American leftists’ role in Native invisibility,” Obomsawin says, “The lyrics as they are embraced today evoke Manifest Destiny and expansionism (‘this land was made for you and me’). When sung as a political act, the gathering or demonstration is infused with anti-Nativism and reinforces the blind spot.”

I eagerly await apologies from Bruce Springsteen and Barack Obama over their rampant anti-Nativism and all-around lack of wokeness.

(Via Ace of Spades.)

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