Tom Morello calls Donald Trump a frat-house racist
Tom Morello has some harsh words for Donald Trump. In a video introducing Ryan Harvey’s newly released “Old Man Trump,” where Morello guests alongside Ani DiFranco, the guitarist sharply condemns the presumed Republican presidential candidate.
“I’m standing up against Old Man Trump,” he proclaims at the outset of the clip. “When it comes to race relations, he’s like an old-school segregationist. When it comes to foreign policy, he’s like an old-school napalm-ist. When it comes to women’s issues, he’s like a frat-house rapist. So let’s not elect that guy.”
The track’s lyrics were penned by Woodie Guthrie more than 60 years ago and originally took aim at Trump’s father, Fred. “I suppose Old Man Trump knows just how much racial hate he stirred up in the bloodpot of human hearts,” Guthrie wrote in the song, referring to the late real estate developer’s policies. (According to a 2015 report from the Village Voice, Trump’s organization was sued by the U.S. Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division in 1973.)
Will Kaufman, a professor at University of Lancashire in the U.K., uncovered Guthrie’s cut during a recent visit to the Woody Guthrie Archives in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Harvey then repurposed the track into a spirited folk rock arrangement. “Some say there are two Americas,” Harvey told Rolling Stone of the new take. “I’d say there are a lot more than that. Woody Guthrie’s egalitarian dreams represented a country vastly different from the racially segregated one of Old Man Trump.”
Like Harvey, Morello felt Guthrie’s version still carried weight today, translating Fred’s alleged bigotry to The Donald’s widely controversial campaign. “I want you to stand against Old Man Trump too,” Morello said. “Not just him, but the history that he represents and the policies that he’s put forward.”
Morello, whose former band Rage Against the Machine (sort of) predicted Trump’s presidential run, joins a hefty list of stars that have denounced the politician, including Miley Cyrus, Mac Miller, and J.K. Rowling.
He and Harvey will appear in Denver on July 23 at a show protesting the Trans-Pacific Partnership. On Aug. 19, Morello sets out on a lengthy tour with Prophets of Rage, a new supergroup featuring his Rage Against the Machine bandmates Tim Commerford and Brad Wilk, plus Public Enemy’s Chuck D and Cypress Hill’s B-Real.
Watch the video of Morello above.