In America’s reality show presidency, there’s very little that can truly surprise us. So we barely raised an eyebrow when it was announced that Kim Kardashian West would be visiting the White House to discuss the complex policy issue of prison reform. Of course she would! It makes total sense!
The 37-year-old TV personality had the very noble task of trying to convince the president to pardon a woman called Alice Marie Johnson. Johnson is a 63-year-old grandmother who was sentenced to life in prison back in 1997 for a non-violent, first-time drug offence.
In many ways, Johnson’s case is a great example of how the American legal system unfairly punishes poor people and people of colour.
In Michelle Alexander’s 2010 book The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, she argues: “It is fair to say we have witnessed an evolution in the United States from a racial caste system based entirely on exploitation (slavery), to one based largely on subordination (Jim Crow), to one defined by marginalization (mass incarceration).”
Donald Trump tweeted a picture of the meeting yesterday, saying: “Great meeting with @KimKardashian today, talked about prison reform and sentencing.”
And Kardashian herself, who is married to Trump supporter Kanye West, added: “I would like to thank President Trump for his time this afternoon. It is our hope that the President will grant clemency to Ms. Alice Marie Johnson who is serving a life sentence for a first-time, non-violent drug offense.
“We are optimistic about Ms. Johnson’s future and hopeful that she —and so many like her—will get a second chance at life.”
Whether Trump will use his presidential pardoning powers in this case remains to be seen.
But despite the noble intentions, people couldn’t help making the obvious funny joke – that Trump can’t seem to organise a meeting with Kim Jong-Un so he settled for a different Kim instead.
The New York Daily News went with: “THE ONLY KIM HE COULD GET”.
The BBC’s North American editor said: “I just knew that summit with Kim would happen.”
One person even mocked up a commemorative badge for the summit…
And there was plenty more reactions to enjoy:
As each day of the Trump presidency passes, it feels like we’re drifting further and further into the political abyss. I guess all we can do is keep paddling until we find out way out of it (or those long four years finally end…).
(Images: @realDonaldTrump / Tretessa Johnson)