As long as this little thing called “government” has been in existence, elected officials and those who want to be in those positions have told stories that they hope will give off the impression that they were “born” to represent the people simply because they were supposedly civic-minded very early on in life at a time when most young people have other things on their minds that understandably have nothing to do with politics.
In the case of Vice President Kamala Harris, she has sought to portray herself to voters as having the hunger to serve the public since she was a toddler. For instance, there is the story she’s told since 2004 about how she allegedly responded “Fweedom!” when her mother purportedly asked Harris, who was young enough to still be in a stroller, about what she wanted during a civil rights rally.
But as we reported at the time, Harris may have actually plagiarized a similar story originally told by the late civil rights icon Martin Luther King, Jr. But the accusation didn’t keep her from telling it again and again.
Here we are in September 2022 and it appears that Harris – like her boss Joe Biden, who is also notorious for telling stories about his political history that have no basis in reality – has been caught spinning a tall tale yet again, this time on the issue of her support for labor unions.
In a glowing piece published at The Nation website on Labor Day that detailed how Harris was seemingly a perfect fit to be tasked by President Biden with raising the visibility of and jumpstarting support for the faltering labor movement, Harris told a story about how she didn’t eat grapes until she was in her mid-20s, in solidarity with a long-running boycott unions staged against growers at the time:
Growing up in California in the late 1960s and early ’70s, with a mother who was “very deeply rooted” in the movements for economic, social, and racial justice, the vice president was inspired by Cesar Chavez, Delores Huerta, and the United Farm Workers, which used grape boycotts to force growers to negotiate. “The farmworkers movement was very much a part of my childhood,” she recalled. “This sounds quaint, and so I’m reluctant to say it, but, you know, I didn’t eat a grape until I was in my 20s. Like, literally, had never had a grape. I remember the first time I had a grape, I went, ‘Wow! This is quite tasty.’ It was absolutely ingrained so deeply in me: Never cross a picket line.”
The problem with Harris’ story, however, is that the third decades-long union boycott of grape-eating didn’t start until just before she turned 20:
Eating table grapes was shunned by labor activists from the time Harris was 19 to 36 — meaning Harris would have indeed flouted a picket line if her story is true.
But Harris’ story is inconsistent with the timeline of the three major grape boycotts spearheaded by the Cesar Chavez-led United Farm Workers.
The UFW launched its third and longest California grape boycott in June 1984, just over four months before Harris’ 20th birthday, and it lasted until 2000 when Harris was 36.
Harris has told so many whoppers over the rocky course of her political career that I’m not inclined to give her the benefit of the doubt that she merely made a mistake on this one and maybe meant she didn’t have one til she was in her late thirties. In fact, one doesn’t even need to go out on a limb to suggest that Harris’ story is another on her growing list of “youth activism” fables which are usually easily researchable and debunked.
Gee, who knew Harris had such an authenticity issue? Oh yeah, we did. Sadly for her, it’s still shining through in a most unflattering way and at a very inconvenient time for her as the murmurings about Joe Biden’s 2024 intentions grow louder.
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