The year 2018 brought us a lot of surprising things — Kim Kardashian becoming an activist for prison reform being one of them. We all well know that Kardashian spent a good amount of the last year trying to help Alice Marie Johnson get out of prison, who was serving a life sentence for a non-violent first offense from the '90s. Kardashian met with President Trump to try and win Johnson's freedom and was ultimately successful. Now, Johnson attended the State of the Union, and Kim Kardashian's reaction to Alice Marie Johnson at the State of the Union is going to bring some joy to your life this morning.
Trump gave his State of the Union address to the joint members of Congress on Tuesday, Feb. 5. Per tradition, the president brings a special guest to the event to sit with the first family. Alice Marie Johnson was said guest during the 2019 State of the Union address. She sat with Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump as the president gave his speech. At one point in the address, Trump gave a shoutout to Johnson.
"I heard through friends the story of Alice Johnson. I was deeply moved," he said in the address.
Alice’s story underscores the disparities and unfairness that can exist in criminal sentencing and the need to remedy this total injustice. When I saw Alice’s beautiful family greet her at the prison gates hugging and kissing and crying and laughing, I knew I did something right.
Kardashian tuned in to the address chatter on social media and gushed over Johnson.
She retweeted a video of Johnson at the SOTU and said, "So proud!!! @AliceMarieFree at the SOTU!!!!"
Johnson quoted Kardashian's tweet and reciprocated the love. “Love you Kim!!! I am overwhelmed by all the blessings!!!!" she said.
People on Twitter couldn't get over the fact that Trump said he heard about Johnson "through friends," aka deliberately leaving Kardashian's name out of the speech.
It seemed pretty silly to say he heard about Johnson "through friends" when we all know that "friend" was one of the most famous women in the world, but whatever. Kardashian didn't seem bothered by the lack of a shoutout, so that's good.
Johnson wrote a powerful op-ed for USA Today that was all about fighting for criminal justice reform. In the op-ed published on Jan. 24, 2019, Johnson thanked Trump and Kardashian for helping her regain her freedom.
"I owe a debt of gratitude to President Donald Trump, whose clemency led to my release from prison in June after I had served 21 years separated from my family and loved ones," she penned. "And I am also thankful for people like Kim Kardashian West, Jared Kushner, Mark Holden of Koch Industries, Brittany Barnett, co-founder of the Buried Alive Project, and many others who advocated on my behalf."
I am thankful for the second chance I was given. But I know that there are many other incarcerated people who also deserve a second chance. I want to use my freedom to advocate on their behalf. One of the most important things I learned while I was in prison is that justice has to be tempered with mercy. My story of incarceration is not unique.
Kardashian has said that she wants to continue to help people with similar stories to Johnson's in the future, so we'll see if the two join forces and work together to help more unfairly incarcerated people earn clemency.