Former President Donald Trump again called immigrants wicked “snakes” at his rally in Texas on Saturday, using his oft-repeated narrative that ironically hijacks lyrics penned by a black civil rights activist.
Trump asked the receptive crowd at the rally in Conroe on Saturday night if they wanted to hear “The Snake” again, adding: “It really has to do with immigration.”
He then read for the umpteenth time the story of a kind woman who brings a frozen snake to her home to save it – only to be bitten and killed by it.
“You knew damn well I was a snake before you welcomed me,” the callous reptile told her from Trump’s mouth at the rally.
Trump’s take: “And that’s what what is happening in the united states of america with immigrationhe told the Texas audience. “I think it’s pretty accurate.”
Trump always incorrectly referred to the story as a “poem”. In fact, each time he tells the story, he reads the lyrics to a song written in 1963 by Black civil rights activist Oscar Brown Jr. The song was popularized by R&B singer Al Wilson five years later.
Trump misused the words of a civil rights activist to serve his own racist and xenophobic ends, his daughter Africa Brown complained about it to Don Lemmon on CNN in a 2018 interview. is Trump who is “the living embodiment of the serpent”. that my dad talked about in that song.
She said she was “absolutely outraged” that “her late father’s words were being stolen to promote [Trump’s] message of hatred and intolerance,” she said. “And that is absolutely false.” Her father, she says, “always worked with all people of color. He was never against immigrants.
His daughter Maggie Brown described Trump’s political agenda as supporting “separatism, racism, sexism…it’s the opposite of what Oscar Brown Jr. was.” She said it was heartbreaking to watch Trump repeatedly pull his father’s words out of his “breast pocket” to “quote his words verbatim every time.”
Brown, who died in 2005, based the lyrics on Aesop’s fable “The Farmer and the Viper”, illustrating that kindness can be betrayed.
The sisters told Lemon that they sent cease-and-desist letters to Trump to stop using their father’s words from his first campaign, but they were ignored.
Check out Maggie and Africa Brown’s interview with Don Lemon about Trump’s exploitation of their late father’s words in the music video above.
Recordings of the song by Oscar Brown Jr. and Al Wilson can be heard here: