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Trump revives ‘The Snake’ reading at North Carolina rally

BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images
US President Donald Trump speaks during a Make America Great Again rally at Hickory Regional Airport in Hickory, North Carolina on November 1, 2020.

President Trump revived his use of a late left-wing activist’s song called “The Snake” during a rally in North Carolina on Sunday while warning supporters his opponent would undo his immigration policies.

Trump recited the song’s lyrics at his Hickory, N.C., rally. Trump once regularly recited “The Snake” at his rallies to warn about what he saw as the ills of immigration but the president hasn’t used it since February. He said Sunday that supporters had asked him to reprise it.

The piece, originally released in 1963 by singer-songwriter and activist Oscar Brown, is based on an Aesop’s fable called “The Farmer and the Viper” and is meant to teach how kindness can be exploited by malicious people.

Brown’s daughters told CNN in 2017 that they had sent cease-and-desist orders to the Trump campaign urging the president to stop using the lyrics, claiming that he was misconstruing the song’s meaning.

“Oscar Brown Jr.’s words are being stolen to promote his hate message and intolerance,” Africa Brown told CNN’s Don Lemon.

“When I see him doing it, I know that he is stealing. He’s twisting Oscar’s meaning to serve his own campaign and climate of intolerance and hate, which is the opposite of what the original author, Oscar Brown Jr., intended,” added her sister, Maggie Brown, on MSNBC.

“He’s perversely using ‘The Snake’ to demonize immigrants,” said Africa Brown during that same MSNBC interview. “My father never had anything against immigrants.”

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