Why Kim Kardashian’s Prison Reform Agenda is Problematic

Socialite, reality TV star and now freedom fighter, Kim Kardashian West is certainly on a roll these days, after the epic win of securing the release of 63-year-old great-grandmother, Alice Johnson in 2018. The widely-touted breakthrough was as a result of an evidently productive meeting with President Trump at his House of Horrors, where he indulged a visitor who has also weathered the scandal of tapes containing X-rated content.

And now another victory!

This time, it’s the blessed ex-convict referred to as “Jeffrey in Miami,”who was also locked up in jail for longer than necessary over a low-level drug offense, and after serving 22 years, his luck magically changed when Northie’s mommy decided to replicate the wave of euphoria that captivated her not too long ago, by ceremoniously interceding on the behalf of another Black inmate.

Once it was confirmed that “Jeffrey in Miami” was blissfully reunited with his loved ones, Kim wasted no time spreading the good news on social media.

And because you don’t have to follow the ones you run away from in order to peep their latest exploits, I wasn’t able to escape the “joy” of yet another win by a woman who has the privilege of being able to get whatever she wants, however she wants it because of the way the system caters to the appetites of the population who don’t have to suffer their way to the top.

I quickly provided my summation of Kim’s bedazzled activities as the newly-minted superhero of oppressed communities:

Yes, I’m sure critics who share my point of view will be readily billed as haters who can’t bear the notion of applauding Kim’s ability to enviably convert from selfie queen to the tireless crusader for justice, who is currently documenting her study sessions for her upcoming bar exam and newly-minted reality TV show.

Maybe I am a hater, in the sense that I flat out reject this new hobby of maximizing influential power with the publicized successes of a glossy celebrity, who is best known for incessantly poaching from Black culture, and pocketing the appropriated profits and praises, without assigning any credit to brutalized oppressors.

It seems that Kim’s defiant stance when it comes to speaking out about the systemic injustice levied on the Black community is coming from the guilt of habitually weaponizing Blackness, which is the signature move that she and her sisters have been strategically exalting.

As she approaches maturity, it only makes sense for her to take advantage of the climate of “wokeness” by jumping on the bandwagon of activism in ways that don’t produce any life-threatening potentials or the immense sacrifice, that separate soft performers from those who are willing to give it all up or even die in the name of what they believe in — regardless of whether or not the cameras are on stand-by.

Colin Kaepernick and James Shaw Jr. come to mind, when we recall the heroes that didn’t think twice about putting everything on the line for the calling that would save lives and uplift the messaging of how Black lives really do matter — even if the law prefers to actively disagree.

Other incredible fighters for justice, who don’t get the halo of glitzy coverage and anointment of trending are real Black women, with real struggles, who’ve been through hell and back, and instead of cowering in defeat and disillusionment, they’ve decided to re-purpose their pain for the betterment of the very system that tried and failed to destroy them.

Samaria Rice lost her little boy Tamir, back in 2014, when he was 12, after two White thugs with badges confronted what they wrongly described as an adult Black male, threateningly wielding a gun at strangers in a park. One of the officers proceeded to shoot at what was clearly a Black boy, enjoying playtime with a toy gun.

The bereaved mother from Cleveland, Ohio channeled her unfathomable pain into an ambitious project — The Tamir Rice Afrocentric Cultural Center — that is geared towards the dangerously vulnerable Black youth in her community, who need to be artistically occupied and protected from the violence of the streets.

Another courageous Black mother, who was dealt the mighty blow of an unimaginable loss is Congresswoman Lucy McBath, who victoriously joined the House of Representatives from Georgia’s 6th congressional district. Her status as a relentless advocate for gun control encouraged the necessary career move. It was also driven by the tragedy of her 17-year-old son’s brutal slaying in 2012, at the hands of a White man and reckless gun owner — who killed Jordan Davis at a local gas station after he accused the Black teenager of playing his music “too loud.”

And then we have the mother of Philando Castile, the beloved Black high school cafeteria supervisor from Minnesota, who was featured in the viral video depicting his shooting death by a White cop, as he bled to death in the driver’s seat of the car containing his stunned fiancée, Diamond Reynolds, who uploaded the graphic content, and her frightened toddler daughter.

Three years later, and Valerie Castile is committed to keeping her son’s legacy activated by demonstrating the acts of goodwill that he was lauded for when he was alive. The breaking news of the donation from the Philando Castile Relief Foundation to school officials at Robbinsdale Cooper High School received modest coverage and accolades, but it’s a pretty big deal when you consider how the check for $8,000 will help settle the lunch money balance that would’ve prevented debt-riddled seniors from graduating.

As Valerie Castile explained:

“This is something that Philando held near and dear to his heart.” “He’d pay for children’s lunch meals out of his own pocket instead of letting a child go hungry that day he would pay it himself.”

And there you have it.

There are many more prime examples of illustrious and selfless Black women, who were born Black, and were duly punished for it by societal ills, but instead of disappearing into the daunting abyss, they chose to rise above the high tide of despair by lovingly honoring the memory of their Black babies.

They do it with the heroic adherence to rewriting the rules and regulations in a bid to reconfigure a poisoned judicial system, so that it ceases the practice of devaluing the lives of Black people.

This is why Kim Kardashian’s prison reform agenda is so problematic.

Her attempt at capitalizing on a movement that she’s drawn to based on the immediate gratification of her wins and the publicity that it garners, which is elevated by formal endorsements from CNN’s Van Jones, who describes his protégé as “brilliant,” and swears that her lofty hopes of becoming a lawyer isn’t far-fetched because “she eats law books for breakfast” — is the damning evidence of how she’s destructively diminishing the complexity of a system that she will never understand.

This “new Kim” as Van Jones annoyingly puts it, sounds more like an opportunist who wants to be known for snapping her fingers and manifesting the results that are motivated by the self-interests that outfit her as the “prominent justice seeker,” who wants to extend her vibrant portfolio of hits past the realm of Instagrammed belfies.

And this is not okay.

Also, her trending storyline is stealing the spotlight from the Black women who’ve paid their dues and certainly deserve the attention way more than a White woman who purchased her Black features, and now wants to use them to champion the rights of the very people she’s still exploiting.

Fighting for justice and the “American Way” is serious business, and it sucks to see it being reduced to photo ops and social fodder for obsessed followers, who have been swayed by the selfish antics of a narcissistic reality star.

Mrs. West is distorting the gravity and overall reverence of real life issues affecting real people in real time by turning her timely and dramatized crusade into a “drive thru” version of modern activism.

That’s a real fucking problem.

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