At his Texas rally, Trump recited the lyrics to a '60s R&B hit to warn against immigration. It was written by a Black civil rights activist who was a member of the communist party.
- Trump used a 1968 Al Wilson song to compare immigrants to a freezing snake that bites its rescuer.
- Trump recited lyrics to "The Snake" at rallies throughout his first campaign for president.
Former President Donald Trump once again used 'The Snake" to push anti-immigrant sentiments at a rally in Conroe, Texas, on Saturday.
The crowd erupted in applause after Trump asked if they wanted to hear the song, which he referred to as a poem.
The 1968 soul hit, which was sung by Al Wilson, a Black man, is about a "tender-hearted woman" who saw "a poor half-frozen snake" and took it in.
The woman "wrapped him up all cozy in a coverture of silk" and "laid him by the fireside with some honey and some milk."
When the woman returned, the snake was "revived" but "instead of saying thanks, that snake gave her a vicious bite (ooh)," the lyrics continue.
When the woman cries and asks the snake why he bit her, the snake replies that she knew he was a snake before she took him in.
"And that's what's happening to the United States of America with immigration," Trump said. "I think it's pretty accurate, do you agree?"
—Newsmax (@newsmax) January 30, 2022
Trump has recited the song – using the snake as a metaphor for immigrants – at multiple rallies throughout his first bid for president.
In 2016, Wilson's daughter, Alene Wilson-Harris, told Business Insider's Allan Smith that she's not sure her father would "see eye-to-eye" with Trump or his use of the song.
"While I think that he would've had, at least some sort of appreciation for the fact that his music is appreciated by Trump to the affect that he would utilize the song, there are some things in my father's life that may have been an interesting perspective for him to have to grapple with in light of how [the song] was used," she said. "And, some of the things that are the platform of Trump."
The song was written by Oscar Brown Jr., an African-American activist and musician, PBS reported.
His daughter, Maggie Brown, told PBS she was actually relieved that Trump cited the song to Wilson, adding that she "hated the idea of him using Oscar's words to create such a platform."
"Wait until Republicans find out that he's quoting a former Black nationalist and former communist party member," she said.
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