kim kardashian is advising donald trump on prison reform
This is not fake news.
So, yesterday Kim Kardashian met with Donald Trump. But what looks like a photo manufactured just to fuel an inferno of Twitter memes, actually broaches one very serious issue: prison reform. As The Economist wrote in December last year, “No country imprisons a larger share of its people than America. Its incarceration rate -- 693 of every 100,000 -- is nearly five times Britain’s, six times Canada’s and 15 times Japan’s.”
But how does Kim Kardashian fit in with all that? It all started where every political storm seems to start these days: Twitter. In 2016, she stumbled on a Mic video about the case of Alice Marie Johnson, a 62 year old great-grandmother serving life without parole for a non-violent drug offence. As stated in the video, “Johnson is one of 3,278 people serving life without parole for a nonviolent offense. Like Johnson, 79% of these people are nonviolent drug offenders and 65% are black.”
Since then, Kim’s been pushing Johnson's case, among others. A follow up interview with Mic opens with Kim stating, “I’ll do whatever it takes to get her out.” And beyond storming the prison with her own heavyweight security force, she has. As her follow up tweet suggests, she may have gotten through to more than just Trump’s office. She may even have gotten through to him -- if Trump grants the clemency Kim’s hoping for.
Obviously, the idea that it takes Kim Kardashian to get through to the US President is somewhat disconcerting -- if not surprising: Trump speaks "celebrity" and measures success in "followers". He made his own name a household one by firing people on TV for The Apprentice. Clearly, it takes a reality TV star to get through to a reality TV star. Which isn’t the most comforting thought to send you to sleep at night, but at least in this case, Kim seems to have a relatively solid grasp on reality -- and some ideas about how to make it better.