Toby Keith’s Pro-Lynching Publicity Tour Hits Colbert, CBS, And More!

Leo Frank

Despite his background as a comedian, Stephen Colbert is known by many of the authors who have appeared on his show as one of the toughest interviewers in the business. But on July 28, when country music superstar Toby Keith stepped on the set of the Colbert Report to promote his movie, “Beer For My Horses,” he was greeted by his host with nothing less than reverential admiration. After a jovial, back-slapping sit-down with Keith, Colbert turned the stage over to his guest for a performance of the song that inspired the title and theme of his forthcoming “Southern comedy.”

While Keith belted out “Beer For My Horses,” Colbert’s studio audience clapped to the beat, blithely unaware that they were swaying to a racially tinged, explicitly pro-lynching anthem that calls for the vigilante-style hanging of car thieves, “gangsters doing dirty deeds…crime in the streets,” and other assorted evildoers.

The lyrics to Keith’s ode to lynching are as follows:

Well a man come on the 6 o’clock news
said somebody’s been shot
somebody’s been abused
somebody blew up a building
somebody stole a car
somebody got away
somebody didn’t get to far yeah
they didn’t get too far

Grandpappy told my pappy back in my day, son
A man had to answer for the wicked that he’d done
Take all the rope in Texas
Find a tall oak tree, round up all of them bad boys
Hang them high in the street
For all the people to see

That Justice is the one thing you should always find
You got to saddle up your boys
You got to draw a hard line
When the gun smoke settles we’ll sing a victory tune
And we’ll all meet back at the local saloon
And we’ll raise up our glasses against evil forces singing
whiskey for my men, beer for my horses

We got too many gangsters doing dirty deeds
too much corruption and crime in the streets

It’s time the long arm of the law put a few more in the ground
Send ‘em all to their maker and he’ll settle ‘em down
You can bet he’ll set ‘em down…

During the days when Toby Keith’s “Grandpappy” stalked the Jim Crow South, lynching was an institutional method of terror employed against blacks to maintain white supremacy. According to the Tuskegee Institute, between the years 1882 and 1951, 3,437 African-Americans were lynched in the United States, mostly in the heart of Dixie. Felonious assault and rape (read: corrupting “the flower of white womanhood”) were the two most frequent justifications for lynch mob actions.

lynching
During the glory days of Keith’s “Grandpappy,” lynching brought the whole community together

Georgia was ground zero for lynch mob activity. Though most of the Peach State’s victims were black, one of its most high-profile hangings claimed the life of a Jew, Leo Frank. Frank, a college-educated Northerner, was wrongly convicted in 1913 of murdering a 13-year-old girl after a show trial in which his prosecutor portrayed him to a grand jury as a bisexual pervert. Before the trial, one juror remarked, “If I get on that jury, I’ll hang that Jew for sure.”

A crowd gathered outside the courtroom as soon as the verdict came down. “Hang the Jew!” they chanted. Above the mob’s cries rose the voice of a country fiddler named John Carson who had come to debut his ode to Frank’s supposed victim, Mary Phagan. He sang:

Leo Frank he met her

With a brutish heart, we know;
He smiled, and said, “Little Mary,
You won’t go home no more.”

The terrifying spectacle outside the courtroom prompted Jewish families to flee Atlanta in droves. Two years later, after the governor commuted Frank’s sentence, a lynch mob spirited Frank from his prison cell, dragged him into the woods and lynched him — from “a tall oak tree,” as Toby Keith sang.
Leo Frank, a Northern Jew, was lynched in 1915 — from “a tall oak tree,” as Toby Keith sang

Those who doubt the presence of racist undertones in Keith’s “Beer For My Horses” should see the song’s video. (The embed link to the video’s Youtube version was disabled by Keith’s record label so you have to click here to watch it). Cue ahead to 3:00 and watch as Keith intones, “We got too many gangsters doin’ dirty deeds.” The singer’s words are not-so-subtly accompanied by the image of a swaggering black man sporting short dreads and baggy clothes. Thus the profile of Keith’s ideal lynching candidate is revealed.

Keith’s whirlwind publicity tour continues on July 30 with his appearance on CBS’s Early Show, then sit-down interviews with Esquire Magazine and Us Weekly. The following week, Jay Leno will play host to another raucous rendition of “Beer For My Horses.” Thanks to Keith and his unsuspecting hosts, lynching is becoming cool again.

10 thoughts on “Toby Keith’s Pro-Lynching Publicity Tour Hits Colbert, CBS, And More!

  1. Diana

    You are dangerous the way you twist things around. Not the song, the video nor the movie are about racism.

  2. James

    Please please please beat this topic into the ground. Go on every news show you can, blog about it half a dozen times a day, whatever you need to do to get this theory out to the wider public. Maybe even go back and analyze those old Pace salsa commercials where the poor chuckwagon cook provides his hearty cowboy friends with salsa made in liberal NEW YORK CITY (a liberal stronghold!), prompting the search for a rope.

  3. L. K. Dodd

    Geez, you are so off base it is scary. Read your history book about vigilante justice, which in most cases had nothing to do with race. It is the only form of law and order many places had at that time. Toby, racist? Go ask his black horn player who is from Texas!!! Willie will set you straight!!!

  4. Andrew

    Uber Liberalism that is practiced by Mr. Blumenthal has no place in American society. He is on the same level as Obama, Pelosi, and Reid. Not a moderate dem, nor liberal, but a flaming liberal that is brings political correctness and ridiculousness to a new level.

  5. Toney

    Go jump in the lake, Max Blumenthal.Get some modern day crime statistics to write about. The problem in this country today is black crime, not lynching. You don’t care about this country, or you wouldn’t articles like this.

  6. Artie

    You sure do paint a pretty picture of poor Leo Frank, and you include even the lies that have been discredited by liberal historians. There’s no evidence that the crowd chanted hang the Jew. There’s a lot of evidence that Frank was guilty. But you have to push your agenda so you ignore the shades of gray. Maybe Frank was innocent, but a jury didn’t think so and the governor only commuted his sentence from death to life in prison. Frank showed the same pattern of behavior preying on underage boys and girls that convicts sexual predators in courts today, at least according to witnesses who testified under oath.

    To make a long story short just because two wrongs don’t make a right doesn’t make Leo Frank righteous.

  7. Bax

    Wow. This is so contrived, it’s not funny. Blumenthal is soon going to include every song that mentions the word lynching as racist. Talk about thought police, Blumenthal is that. Or he could be just out to make a name for himself. My bet’s on the latter.

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