Pathetic. Donald Trump, the wannabe president with a child’s brain and the attention span of a zoned-out teenager, pulled out an old poem about a snake and a kind-hearted woman this past week to tantalize the easily amused right wing nuts of the Conservative Action Committee near Washington, DC.
Trump used “The Snake” to exemplify what he claims are the threat of immigration.
Somewhere, soul singer and social activist Oscar Brown Jr. is rolling in his grave. He wrote “The Snake” and knows it had nothing to do with immigration Trump implies in his theft of the words.
Those words tell the story of a woman who found a half-frozen out in the cold and took it into her house to survive. The snake, of course, “rewarded” her with a fatal bite.
In the final verse, Brown wrote:
“Oh, shut up, silly woman!” said the reptile with a grin. ‘You knew damn well I was a snake before you took me in.”
Trump brought out a the “The Snake” during his 2016 presidential campaign and it brought cheers and chants of “U-S-A!” At CPAC, he got a standing ovation.
Typically, Trump knew nothing about the origins of the song when he started using it in 2016. He told one crowd that singer Al Wilson wrote it. Wilson’s recording of it became a hit in 1969 but the writer was Brown — a Chicago singer, songwriter, social activist and former member of the Communist Party.
Musical critics called Brown’s work a celebration of black culture and a repudiation of racism. He died in 2005 at age 78. Two of his daughters — Maggie and Africa Brown — say he often used biblical and animal allegories to tell simple stories with deeper meanings.
“In African tradition, you would say a proverb and pass that down,” Africa Brown told Eli Rosenberg of The Washington Post. “That’s the way you teach people to live.”
Understandably, the Browns are not happy with a racist like Donald Trump using their father’s music without their permission and to misuse its intent.
“Of course it had nothing to do with prejudice or racist thoughts that he’s twisting it into,” Maggie told the Post. “We always took it like, if you lay down with dogs, don’t expect not to wake up with fleas.”
“It would have been nice if you credited him for his work,” Sidakarav Dasa, Brown’s grandson, wrote to Trump via social media in 2016, the Chicago Tribune reports, “but I can see how telling your crowd that you were quoting a man who resigned from the Communist Party in 1956, declaring himself ‘just too black to be red,’ might be problematic.”
Conservative Republican political operative Steve Schmidt says what Trump is doing is disgraceful:
Trumps snake story is vicious, disgraceful, utterly racist and profoundly Un-American. That this is how an American President speaks of immigration is a tragedy. This crowd of cheering extremists are the heirs of the Know-Nothing’s and nativists that have always plagued us.
In other words, typical Trump: The idiot president speaking to his equally idiotic gatherings.
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