Why play this song? Because Woody Guthrie was a hillbilly and a communist. And because both the Bundy militia and the vast majority of mainstream reportage on the Oregon wildlife refuge occupation would never mention that such a combination could exist.
Because while it's true there would be far less tolerance for the occupiers if they were Black, race and culture aren't the only factors at play. Because the Bundys don't represent rural America as a whole, and are in fact representatives of a wealthy and privileged minority. As a comrade recently pointed out to me, cattle barons are called "barons" for a reason.
Because the notion of "land management," while certainly tied up in all sorts of unsavory and racist hangovers from America's genocide, should ideally exist to prevent overgrazing and mis-use of the land by private interests.
Because the rain does not follow the plow. Because the last time land was mismanaged to the degree the Bundys would like, it precipitated a previously unseen ecological crisis, devastating countless small farmers. (Guthrie was not a small farmer, but was impacted enough by the surrounding crisis that he too had to famously join the ranks of Okie migrants. And he came to realize the role that this unsustainable model of farming played in the Dust Bowl.)
Because the Bundys, should they get their way, will be free to overgraze and mis-use the land in a similar way. Because California is no longer "a garden of Eden" potentially providing refuge and respite, but is quickly becoming its own Dust Bowl.
Because ghosts exist and haunt the present. Because the past is not only neither prologue nor really past; it has repeated itself on the same loop for so long that the worn groove is warping the record.