Vice President-elect Kamala D. Harris told a story about her participation as a little girl in a civil rights march that mirrors an account told by the Rev. Martin Luther King.
Social-media users Monday noted the similarities in an account Ms. Harris gave in an October interview with Elle magazine with an anecdote King told Playboy about a march in Birmingham, Alabama.
In the interview with Alex Haley for the January 1965 issue of Playboy, King described a moment “I never will forget.”
“A little Negro girl, seven or eight years old … was walking in a demonstration with her mother,” King said. “‘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!”
Apparently Ms. Harris also answered a question about her desires as a young girl at a civil-rights march with a mispronunciation of the same word.
According to the fawning Elle profile, Ms. Harris “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.”
The circumstances were different, but what followed next resembles King’s account.
“My mother tells the story about how I’m fussing,” Ms. Harris told Elle. “She’s like, ‘Baby, what do you want? What do you need?’ And I just looked at her and I said, ‘Fweedom.’”
The similarities prompted charges of plagiarism from GOP officials and conservative and other social-media users, some of whom noted that President-elect Joseph R. Biden had a history of lifting others’ words too.
“Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are two plagiarizing frauds. Biden plagiarized during law school and from RFK, Hubert Humphrey, JFK, and he stole the family history of a British politician,” rapid response director Steve Guest wrote on Twitter.
“Now Kamala Harris plagiarized from MLK,” he wrote.
Seth Mandel, executive editor of the Washington Examiner Magazine let out a hearty guffaw — “Lmmmaaaaoooooooo” — on Twitter and then wondered aloud about telling famous stories.
“Plagiarizing an MLK interview seems like the kind of thing you’ll get caught on. Why do ppl do this to themselves,” he asked.
• Victor Morton can be reached at email@example.com.
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