Kamala Harris accused of plagiarizing MLK anecdote in October interview with Elle magazine

Critics say story told by VP-elect resembles 1965 reminiscence by King

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Vice President-elect Kamala Harris apparently appropriated an anecdote first told by civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr. when she was interviewed by Elle Magazine for a feature that was published in October, at the height of the 2020 presidential election campaign

Harris has repeatedly boasted of her parents' involvement in the civil rights movement of the 1960s. In the Elle interview, she recalled accompanying them to marches as a toddler in a stroller.

"Senator Kamala Harris started her life’s work young," writer Ashley C. Ford led off the piece. "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 ... 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 told the magazine. "And she’s like, ‘Baby, what do you want? What do you need?’ And I just looked at her and I said, ‘Fweedom.’"

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After the interview resurfaced Monday, Twitter user @EngelsFreddie and Andray Domise, contributing editor of the Canadian publication Maclean's, noted that Harris' story resembled one told by King in a 1965 interview published in Playboy.

"I will never 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," King 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.' 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."

Domise accused the vice president-elect of "lifting" her story from King, a sentiment that others agreed with.

"Read this too-perfect Kamala Harris story," former New York Times op-ed writer editor Bari Weiss tweeted. "Then click on this 1965 Alex Haley interview with MLK and search for the word 'fee-dom,'"

"Plagiarizing an MLK interview seems like the kind of thing you'll get caught on. Why do ppl do this to themselves," Washington Examiner executive editor Seth Mandel asked. 

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"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 [Neil Kinnock]," GOP rapid response director Steve Guest wrote. "Now Kamala Harris plagiarized from MLK."

"Guess we know why Biden chose his running mate. He saw a lot of his own plagiarism in her," conservative commentator Stephen Miller quipped. 

The Biden transition did not immediately respond to Fox News' request for comment.

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The issue of plagiarism wasn't exactly foreign to the Democratic ticket. Biden himself was plagued by plagiarism allegations during his first presidential run back in 1987. The controversy ultimately derailed his campaign. 

Despite the attacks Biden received during the election about the issue, he was never pressed about the controversy by the mainstream media.