On Kamala, King, Lies, The Media And The Julie Principle

King and Harris

Vice-President Elect Kamala Harris has a favorite story she likes to tell about her childhood, most recently in Elle Magazine. The article begins with the anecdote: Harris was attending a civil rights march in Oakland, California as a toddler. She fell out of her stroller, and,

“‘My mother tells the story about how I’m fussing,and she’s like, ‘Baby, what do you want? What do you need?’ And I just looked at her and I said, ‘Fweedom.’”

The story also appears in Harris’s 2010 book “Smart on Crime” as well as her book published in 2019 titled “The Truths We Hold.” Yet it sounded strangely familiar to some people this time around, and sure enough, it seems that the tale is oddly similar to a story Rev. Martin Luther King related in his famous interview published in Playboy a half-century ago. During the interview, King recalled an incident:

“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.”

Now Harris is being mocked on social media and by conservative pundits for her apparently fake and stolen story.

Observations:

  • I doubt that King’ story was true either. Like Jimmy Carter’s infamous anecdote about daughter Amy’s observations on nuclear arms policy, politicians have been putting cute and too-perfect words in kids mouths  since the beginning of time. Maybe King’s version was an urban legend. The civil rights leader was not immune from using a good parable to help his cause.
  • Nobody seems to want to give Harris the benefit of the doubt, but I will: she could well have been told this story by her parents, and they were the ones stealing King’s story. I doubt that she would remember it herself, if it had happened. Though no one will believe her if she says so, it seems plausible that she wasn’t aware of the King story. Heck, I read that interview, and I don’t remember it. (Though I think my reaction when I read about “Fee-dom” would still have been, “Yeah, sure, MLK. Tell me another.”)
  • If, as many seem to assume, Harris is making stuff up to pander to the crowd, why fixate on this episode? We all know, or should, that the woman is shallow, has no core, and that saying whatever she thinks will endear herself to the most people at the moment is her defining characteristic. As Julie sang, “Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly”: Kamala’s gotta make stuff up to pretend she’s something she’s not for the gullible, the naive, the hopeful and the blind. This latest example doesn’t tell us anything we already don’t know. Just point out the similarities between the stories, and move on.
  • But only Fox News among the major networks seems to think this episode is newsworthy. The only newspaper so far covering it is the Washington Times, and on the web its Breitbart, The Daily Caller, The Daily Wire and the other usual suspects. After four years where every Twitter typo or inappropriate word was week-long fodder for mainstream media Trump-bashing, after trivial Trump hyperbole like his boast about the size of his Inauguration crowd was cited over and over again as eternally damning, after non-lies were routinely added to the absurd running lists maintained by the Washington Post and others (From Nov. 5, 2020: “Democrat officials never believe they could win this election. Honestly, I really believe that. That’s why they did the mail-in ballots where there’s tremendous corruption and fraud going on.” Not a lie, and I think his “belief” was spot on), suddenly a Harris whopper on par with Elizabeth Warren’s claim of Native American heritage is shrugged off as no big deal. It isn’t a big deal, but what’s the standard? Obviously the standard is “Protect Democrats, and look for ways to denigrate Republicans.”
  • Imagine if Dan Quayle, Dick Cheney or Sarah Palin—heck, imagine if Joe Biden had recycled another politician’s anecdote—wait, he did that, didn’t he? But back when Biden outright plagiarized a British politician’s life story, the news media was a) practicing something closer to journalism than it is today and b) was helping out another Democrat, Michael Dukakis. Harris, however, is not merely a Democrat but a female Democrat of color.She has a “Get Out of Embarrassment Free” card.
  • The Washington Post Factchecker could prove me wrong by exploring the “Fweedom” trail, but I expect that Kamala Harris will have to proclaim she is the Lizard Queen before the mainstream media shows any concern about her veracity.

36 thoughts on “On Kamala, King, Lies, The Media And The Julie Principle

  1. Kamala Harris could proclaim she was the archangel Gabriel tomorrow and the media wouldn’t say a word. Get ready for four more years just like the Obama years, where the media can’t stop kissing the administration’s ass. the thought that this woman is probably going to be president sometime within the next two years is a scary thought. However, the fact is that we the people either let this happen or made it happen, so I don’t give too many damns if this country collapses at this point. You get the government you elect. you would think that people would look to almost all of America’s major cities and ask “if liberal policies are so great, why aren’t these cities in better shape?” or “why haven’t these cities solved all of their problems long ago?” They won’t, though. You would think that people would look at California and wonder why, if progressiveism is so great, that California hadn’t solved all of its problems long ago, and recoil at Democratic promises to make the rest of the nation like California. But they won’t. It’s going to be a difficult next 4 years, but hopefully we will come out on the other side of this. However, I believe that at the end of that four years we will be poorer, sicker, and angrier. Unfortunately, I have probably 15 years to go before I can consider retiring and telling the rest of the world “I did my part, now it’s on you millennials and Zers to keep on working 50 hours a week to keep me in my pension checks. Have fun, and don’t pull up the shade when you leave.”

  2. Oh, this story is true. Yes, it is. In fact, Little Kamala was that same girl MLK talked about from Birmingham who told that mean old white police officer that she wanted “fee-dom” or “fweedom” or “cookies” or something. Kamala is the messiah and was born to be President, to save us from our evil ways.

    Oh, Four Years, you are going to be hard on the heart.

    jvb

  3. This is like Michelle Obama not being able to decide whether she was singled out at Target by someone who thought she was an employee because she was black or because someone just needed help and she felt good being able to help.

    No question we’re going to get all these glowing stories about how wonderful Kamala is and how she has all the answers and…black incarceration rates? What are you talking about? That’s a conservative conspiracy theory….how anyone who criticizes her is a racist sexist deplorable who doesn’t deserve to live while she tucks Biden into bed each night with a cup of warm milk.

    • That is why people turn to alternative sources like the new black media. Check out Prof BlackTruth

      When traditional media sources are believed to be suppressing the truth, people will look towards alternatives.

      • And the traditional media sourced will try that much harder to suppress any alternative source as crackpot and crazy.

        • ThevNew Black Media, ftom what I obaerved, does stray perilously close to crackpot territory.

          When the network broadcast and print media are perceived to suppress the truth, many will seek the truth from the crackpot and crazy.

    • Michelle Obama was singled out at Target because she is TALL. The person needed something off the top shelf and they could’t reach. People in the store ask me to help them get stuff off the top shelf about once/month and I am only 5’8″.

      • All true but the real offense was someone, anyone, would deem themselves worthy of speaking to, and asking, Michelle Obama to do something so menial and pedestrian as retrieving a toaster off the top shelf at a Target, without said person having reflected on his/her privilege and whether asking Michelle Obama to do such a thing would be another example of systemic microaggressions patriarchy heaped on wymyn of color. .

        jvb

  4. Sadly, I’ve found most people don’t want a politician who tells the truth. They want one who tells their lies. A person who tells the truth shows their loyalty to the truth, but it’s the lies they tell that demonstrate loyalty to the tribe – especially the lies they tell themselves.

  5. Years ago I was talking to a friend who is a Democrat. I asked them why they were going to vote for ‘Candidate X’ because ‘Candidate X’ had stated positions A, B, and C that my friend was quite firmly against. I was told “‘Candidate X’ isn’t really in favor of those positions, they are just saying that to get votes from the stupid people”. Republicans vote for candidates and hope they will do what they say they will. Democrats vote for candidates and hope they won’t do what they say. Democrats are HOPING their candidates are liars and they fully support them when they are. No Democrat is going to lose votes by lying.

    • I see that a lot from black gun owners. Never mind that Biden’s anti-firearm agenda is right there in his written platform, it’s “Well, he won’t really do (or be able to do) all those things….and anyway, Trump is a racist!”

  6. Sorry for a second post, but this keeps playing in my head.

    It was the year of fire…
    the year of destruction…
    the year we took back what was ours.
    It was the year of rebirth…
    the year of great sadness…
    the year of pain…
    and the year of joy.
    It was a new age…
    it was the end of history.
    It was the year everything changed.
    The year is 2021, the year the Great Stupid fell upon us all.
    The name of the place: Texas

      • When Kamala Harris was just a toddler she led the Scottish rebellion against England. On the eve of the final battle, some of the men looked down at her and said, “Ach, what’re ye fightin’ fer?”, and she looked up at those men with glimmering, saucer shaped eyes and said: “They may take owr wives, but they wiw nevew take OWR FWEEDOM!!!!!!”

        • Awesome. You know that whole story about Joan of Arc? Well, it’s all true but they got the name wrong. It was “Kamala of Oakland”. She led the Fwench army to bictowy over the Engwish at Owléans.

          jvb

      • When Kalama Harris was just six, and Jim crow was rampant, there was this time she decided, with the wisdom of children, that she’d had enough. Instead of sitting at the back of the bus, she sat in the front. Later, when some of the adults asked her why she did it, she said; “I’d wike to be wemembered as a pewson who wanted to be fwee and wanted othew peopew to be also fwee.”

      • Back in South Africa’s apartheid, a young Kamala Harris was in a jail cell after speaking out against the system, when asked by a journalist what she wanted, and why she wasn’t ok with what she had, she said; “Thewe is no such thing as pawt fweedom!”

  7. She must be something to have a grasp of anything at less than 18 months old.

    Harris was born on October 20 1964 and the King interview took place in 65. At best she could have been 14 months old; and probably a lot younger as it takes time to get an interview published.

    At 56 she should be able to discern a family myth from truth based on timing. She is banking on her illiterate and apathetic constituents to simply accept this garbage as truth.

    I will not give her the benefit of the doubt on the reasoning her Jamaican mother told her the story.

    The allusions to Elmer Fudd have been entertaining however.

    • Follow up
      The only demonstrations or protest marches in Oakland for civil rights occurred on Sept 4 1964 at the Oakland Tribune and when armed black panthers took over a municipal building in 67.

      So was she part of the Panther terrorist group or was her fweedom statement heard through a sonograph given that she would not pass through the birth canal for another 46 days.

    • While a young Kamala Harris was leading the Cuban revolution; smoking cigars, drinking rum, and saying questionable things about “negwos” (her word, not mine, she was mature for her age), there was a time when some of her fellow freedom fighters questioned all the killing they were doing, and asked whether Marxism would eventually be worth it. “Of cowse,” she said, “We have no wight to bewieve that fweedom can be won wifout stwuggle!”

  8. In 1953, Kamala Harris found herself back in time when Sir Edmund Hillary hit the top of Mount Everest and told him how inspiwing his name is and how a little five-year old girl in Chicago was being named after him.

    • Back in the 1860’s, when Kamala Harris was just a sprat of a child, and President of the United States, she sat in the oval office, pondering over reports that the war was going poorly, her presidential advisors told her that if they lost, she’d probably go to jail without snacks, and asked her if the war was going to be worth it, she looked them directly in the eyes and sad: “Thows who deny fweedom to ofers desewve it not fow themsewvs.”

      • Back before iPhones and SnapChat, in time when pyramids were still the height architectural designs, Kamala got herself into a bit of a political and amorous pickle. Torn between her love of her homeland, a ruthless emperor, and an all-around good guy, she was recorded saying,

        “”In pwaising Antony I have dispwaised Caesa.”

        jvb

        • There was never a more proud moment in the life of the mother of Kamala Harris, when at a very early age, she uttered her very first words: “Fwee at last, fwee at last, thank God almighty, we’re fwee at last!”

      • Over two millennia ago, there was a poor family from Nazareth caught up in a caravan. Well, they were making a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, when the impetuous pre-teensge son got lost.

        Well, as you can imagine, her parents were frantic, terrified for their lost child. They returned to the city, only to find her in the temple teaching the Kwanzaal Elders about sacred scripture. Her mother bent her ears back, reprimanding her for being lost. Kamala, in her own defense, flatly asked why they were worried. She stated, “Don’t you know that I am hewe to do my fathew’s work?”

        As history shows, that impetuous child grew in strength and wisdom, suffering mightily at the hands of the Romans, was tried as an insurrectionist, nailed to a tree, and on the third day rose like a phoenix from the flame, to establish justice, peace, and mercy.

        Kamala is just doing what she was destined to do.

        jvb

  9. It’s going to be all hagiography, all the time, boys and girls. For at least the next four years, and who knows how many more. This effort will make what happened with Michelle Obama and Hillary look like a walk in the park. Remember “The Politics of Meaning?” I do. I’m sure there’s a cadre of DNC employees ginning this stuff up as if they were a team of writers for a sitcom.

  10. I believe her. Her sense of entitlement probably kept her being pushed around in a stroller by her mother until she was eight or nine, that awkward arrangement being likely why she fell out. A good face-plant could account for the temporary lisp.

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