Democrats are excited by the thought of having Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) in the White House. She checks off numerous boxes for them: she’s a woman, she’s a person of color and they have the ability to say they successfully elected the first black president and vice president.
Members of the media also swoon over her. It’s why Elle magazine did an entire feature piece on Harris and her life. Interestingly enough, the first two paragraphs of the article focus on how Harris wanted “fweedom” from a young age. But it turns out she stole the line from an interview Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. did with Playboy back in 1965.
Below is the Elle interview (emphasis mine):
Senator Kamala Harris started her life’s work young. She laughs from her gut, the way you would with family, as she remembers being wheeled through an Oakland, California, civil rights march in a stroller with no straps with her parents and her uncle. At some point, she fell from the stroller (few safety regulations existed for children’s equipment back then), and the adults, caught up in the rapture of protest, just kept on marching. By the time they noticed little Kamala was gone and doubled back, she was understandably upset. “My mother tells the story about how I’m fussing,” Harris says, “and she’s like, ‘Baby, what do you want? What do you need?’ And I just looked at her and I said, ‘Fweedom.’”
This past August, that same precocious child, now a member of the U.S. Senate, stood on a stage in a nearly empty auditorium flanked by American flags and accepted the Democratic nomination for vice president, making history as the first Black and Indian American woman to do so. A week later, flanked by those same flags, she delivered a speech designed to deflect attention from President Donald Trump’s own speech later that night at the Republican National Convention. “Justice,” she said forcefully, boring into the eyes of viewers as she defended the right of peaceful protesters to take to the streets after the recent shooting of Jacob Blake by a police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin. “Let’s talk about that. Because the reality is that the life of a Black person in America has never been treated as fully human. And we have yet to fulfill that promise of equal justice under law.”
Canadian reporter Andray Domise mentioned the stolen story on Twitter.
So it turns out Kamala Harris lifted her “Fweedom” story from a 1965 Playboy interview with Martin Luther King, by Alex Haley. Much thanks to @EngelsFreddie for spotting the similarityhttps://t.co/zDONW4Ueqs pic.twitter.com/yQuWZHYEMz
— Q. Anthony (?p? asem) (@andraydomise) January 4, 2021
Here’s what Dr. King’s interview with Playboy said (emphasis mine):
I never will forget a moment in Birmingham when a white policeman accosted a little Negro girl, seven or eight years old, who was walking in a demonstration with her mother. “What do you want?” the policeman asked her gruffly, and the little girl looked him straight in the eye and answered, “Fee-dom.” She couldn’t even pronounce it, but she knew. It was beautiful! Many times when I have been in sorely trying situations, the memory of that little one has come into my mind, and has buoyed me.
Out of all the things to lie about, this is one of the most bizarre. Why? Why make up something like that? Especially when the story is stolen from one of the greatest Civil Rights movement icons. It makes you wonder what else she’s lying about.