Kamala Harris has outdone herself.
While being interviewed by Elle for a feature story, Harris recounted a time where she marched for civil rights in a stroller. Her highly suspect story results in her toppling out of the stroller, her parents not realizing she was gone, and her telling them she wanted “fweedom.” Take a look:
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.’”
How touching. The only problem with this little anecdote is that it is eerily similar to something that Martin Luther King Jr. told Playboy in an interview conducted in January 1965.
In the back and forth, Alex Haley asked Dr. King whether he ever felt “awed by this burden of responsibility” as a primary leader of the civil rights movement. His response might sound similar to what Harris told Elle:
I subject myself to self-purification and to endless self-analysis; I question and soul-search constantly into myself to be as certain as I can that I am fulfilling the true meaning of my work, that I am maintaining my sense of purpose, that I am holding fast to my ideals, that I am guiding my people in the right direction. But whatever my doubts, however heavy the burden, I feel that I must accept the task of helping to make this nation and this world a better place to live in—for all men, black and white alike.
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.
The similarity of the stories naturally has people questioning the veracity of Harris’ anecdote.
Harris’ interview with Elle concluded with another inspiring tale of courage. After the 2016 election was called for now-President Donald Trump, Harris explains an interaction she had with her godson:
“My godson, Alexander, who was seven years old at the time, came up to me, crying, and said, ‘Auntie Kamala, they’re not going to let that man win, are they?’ And you know the babies in your life.…” She closes her eyes and swallows. “I held him. I mean, it still brings me pain to remember how he felt, and what it made me feel, which is that I needed to protect this child. I had one way, in my mind, I thought the evening would go. And then there was the way it turned out. And so by the time I took the stage, I had ripped up my notes, and all I had was Alexander in my heart. And I took the podium and I said, ‘I intend to fight. I intend to fight.’” If there’s anything we can know about Senator Kamala Harris, it’s that. When it comes to freedom, she will fight.