“This Land Is Your Land” – with its message of inclusion and generosity – is about as benign as it gets, right?

Not in 2019. Somehow, the song has become a target in America’s never-ending culture war. To some on the left, the song completely ignores the fact that “this land” was stolen from the Native Americans; to the right, the backlash is a perfect example of how even “Commie Woody Guthrie” wasn’t liberal enough for the “fascist woketards.”

Woody Guthrie scholar Will Kaufman wonders what Guthrie would have had to say about it all. Sure, the song does have a glaring omission. But recently discovered recordings and lyrics show that Guthrie wasn’t oblivious to the plight of Native Americans.

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Some of Guthrie’s greatest champions have had difficulties with the song. Al Aumuller/Library of Congress

The misguided attacks on ‘This Land Is Your Land’

Will Kaufman, University of Central Lancashire

Woody Guthrie’s anthem has become a rallying cry for immigrants. But did he really have a 'blind spot' for Native Americans, as some have claimed?

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