People on Twitter were losing their minds Wednesday morning, May 30, and with good reason. After months of reported back and forth with Jared Kushner, Kim Kardashian has reportedly locked down a meeting with President Donald Trump to discuss prison reform and a potential pardon for a nonviolent drug offender. These tweets about Kim Kardashian meeting with Donald Trump are hilarious as the situation is making people question reality.
Kardashian first took interest in the prisoner, 62-year-old Alice Marie Johnson, after an October 2017 video produced by Mic surfaced on social media. The video makes a case for Johnson's pardoning as she was a first-time, nonviolent drug offender who was given a life sentence without possibility of parole. She has spent 21 years in federal prison.
"I had been in management for 10 years," Johnson explains in the video. "When I lost my job, I struggled financially. I couldn't find a job fast enough to take care of my family. I felt like a failure. I went into a complete panic. And out of desperation, I made one of the worst decisions of my life to make some quick money." The Daily Beast reported that in Johnson's case, prosecutors reportedly had several of her co-conspirators testify against her in exchange for reduced charges.
There are thousands of others in the federal prison system who, like Johnson, are first time offenders who have been given harsh sentences. Certainly the issue warrants public attention and scrutiny — not just for Johnson, but for prison reform that guards against the prison-industrial complex, which disproportionately affects people of color and poor people, per The New York Times.
Kardashian herself tweeted Wednesday morning to wish Johnson a happy birthday. "Happy Birthday Alice Marie Johnson," she tweeted ahead of her meeting with President Trump. "Today is for you."
Still, headlines to the effect of "Kim Kardashian Meets With President Donald Trump To Discuss Prison Reform," are pretty jarring, even in the Year of our Lord 2018 — irrespective of the good that might come of Kardashian's influence. Twitter swiftly gave the news item the meme treatment, and it did not disappoint.
First, there was disbelief that the entire thing was even happening.
In typical Twitter fashion, a second wave of people cut through the jokes and memes to make an argument that Kardashian didn't earn the influence she'd been given by being offered to visit the White House. Kardashian seemed to draw significant flak from people for even agreeing to go.
"The fact Kim Kardashian would take her ass to talk about prison reform instead of deferring to people who have studied and fought for it for years/decades is why people don't like her family," one user tweeted.
But, hang on a second. Is it really Kardashian's fault? The White House has a wealth of options available to it. If President Trump really cared about getting to the root of, let's say, ANY PROBLEM WHATSOEVER, he could summon the greatest minds on the topic. This is a classic move ripped from Trump's book, and a trap that so many of us often fall into: The man knows how to get people talking. He's spent his entire life jockeying to get his name in the press.
Kardashian is just a civilian with an interest in helping Johnson get out of her situation. Whatever her ulterior motives might be, that's not something to criticize her for, and she essentially told Mic a few weeks ago that any discussions with Kushner or Trump shouldn't be seen as tacit approval of everything the administration does. She just wants to get Johnson freed.
“I’m just focused on criminal-justice reform and helping one person at a time. And so far, the White House has been really receptive to my calls, and I’m grateful for that,” she told Mic. “And I’m not going to stop that because people personally don’t like Trump.”
So again, even if reading the headlines about this Kardashian-Trump summit makes you do this —
— just remember, you're not living in the Twilight Zone. Well, you might be. I can't really be sure we're not all living in the Twilight Zone. Go ahead and meme the hell out of it, but also recognize that Kardashian forcing even the words "prison reform" into the national conversation is not necessarily a bad thing. The degree to which it actually makes change happen isn't clear yet, but I'm hoping at the very least Johnson gets to see her family again.