Kim Kardashian is no expert on the criminal justice system, and ideally, she should have shown up to the White House with a team of legal advisors by her side. That being said, Kim Kardashian is arguably the biggest star in the world and used her influence to make change in the Black community. After all, isn’t that our biggest criticism of the reality TV star turned mogul — that she constantly appropriates Black culture but is missing on the front lines of the battle? If so, why are we so hesitant to praise her for a job well done?
Kim K’s talk with #45 resulted in the pardoning of Alice Marie Johnson, a 63-year-old grandmother, who up until this week, had been serving a life sentence for a non-violent drug crime committed in 1996. Kim claims she saw Johnson’s story on social media and had been working behind the scenes for seven months leading up to her sit down with Trump.
“I can cry thinking about it,” she told CNN’s Van Jones in a candid sit-down. “Hearing her scream was like… I know I’m going to cry when I see her. Just to know that we changed one person’s life,” she said. Kim tearfully described the moment she broke the news to Johnson that she would be freed. “I was like ‘you’re going home.’ They continued to cry on the phone.
And in a rare moment not about herself, she gave credit to the team who had been fighting for Alice’s freedom. “I have to credit to Alice’s team who has been working on this for years. I did step in late in the game. I don’t want to take attention away.”
In an interview with TMZ, Johnson praised Kim’s efforts and called her an “official member of the Johnson family,” but why is it so hard for us to accept Kim’s good deed?
For one, it’s hard not to revel in the fact that despite all the efforts from Johnson’s family and legal team, a campaign on Mic.com, and countless social media tweets, it took one bat of Kim’s lashes to get the President to grant Johnson a second chance at life. It’s a privilege and opportunity we might never know. But should our anger be directed at Kim or at the shallow man, who only pays attention to Black pain when it’s presented in a White package? When it’s presented by a cool kid, because we all know, deep down inside Trump seeks the approval of the celebrated.
It’s can’t be ignored there are men and women who have dedicated their lives to prison reform, who will never be asked about their work or given a chance to appear on CNN.
We also haven’t forgotten how long it’s taken for Kim to come to a point of reckoning. It took her having a Black child to realize racism still exists and even then, she says things like “I don’t see color.” (In her defense, she did tweet about Sandra Bland). And we hold her a certain amount of accountable for her husband’s coonish behavior.
The public shames Kim for being a political pawn used for Trump’s advantage. A way for him to entice Black voters. And while that may be true, it doesn’t change the fact Kim helped a Black woman get out of jail. Kim is no stranger to publicity stunts, but I don’t believe this is one of them.
“He heard me out and we got the job done, so what could he really use me for?” she said.
Johnson pledged her allegiance to Kim and her efforts for prison reform. “Kim was the key. Without Kim going in personally going in an presenting my petition to Trump and showing him the compelling evidence of my rehabilitation, this would not have taken place.” She added, “I want to encourage her against any naysayers. I know the heart of Kim Kardashian for me and it’s genuine.”
Alice Marie Johnson Praises Kim Kardashian, But Why Won’t We? was originally published on hellobeautiful.com