U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) has rallied progressives with a series of rousing statements throughout her campaign as Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s running mate.
In a recent statement from Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s niece, however, she faces accusations of lifting part of a statement she made last year from a 1965 speech by the renowned civil rights leader.
“My mother tells the story”
According to the Daily Wire, Alveda King fired back at the prospective vice president is nothing like her uncle, declaring that it is a “big stretch” for Harris to make any such comparisons.
King’s dispute stems from Harris’ interview with Elle magazine in October during which she recounted a supposed event from her childhood.
During a civil rights march in Oakland, California, Harris said, she became separated from her parents before she was ultimately found amid a large crowd.
When her mother asked why she was “fussing,” the senator offered a response that struck King as all too familiar.
“My mother tells the story about how I’m fussing, and she’s like, ‘Baby, what do you want? What do you need?'” Harris said. “And I just looked at her and I said, ‘Fweedom.'”
“What do you want?”
She had previously recalled a similar narrative in the preface of a 2010 book and again nine years later in another book.
Of course, the problem seems to be that the narrative is eerily close to an account Dr. King relayed to a Playboy reporter some 55 years earlier.
“I will never forget a moment in Birmingham when a white policeman accosted a little Negro girl, 7 or 8 years old, who was walking in a demonstration with her mother,” he said at the time. “‘What do you want?’ the policeman asked her gruffly, and the little girl looked at him straight in the eye and answered, ‘Fee-dom.'”
In response, King slammed Harris for representing much of what her uncle opposed.
“Kamala knows that her worldview is totally different than the worldview of Martin Luther King Jr,” she said. “So it’s a big stretch for her to compare herself or to sound like him or to use some of his some analogies.”