The second biggest meeting of Donald Trump’s year has arrived, and no one is more excited than Kim Jong-un. The North Korean Dictator has been waiting anxiously for two weeks to hear the sordid details of Trump’s recent White House tête-a-tête — or more precisely derriere-a-derriere — with reigning queen of American trash television, Kim Kardashian.
Two weeks ago, wiggling her assets like Samantha Stevens used to twinkle her nose; Kardashian had The Donald momentarily forgetting his racist tendencies. Before Kardashian’s gluteus enormous stopped jiggling, Caesar Maximus pardoned a grandmother who had been serving life in prison for a first drug offense. In the stroke of a pen, Trump accomplished prison reform in America by setting one person free.
Alice Johnson, a 63-year-old African-American grandmother was serving life in prison without the possibility of parole for a conviction on drug trafficking and money laundering charges twenty years ago. Following Johnson’s release, Kardashian has been the target of ridicule for her role in the woman’s pardon.
While the release of any person from America’s farcical judicial system and overcrowded prisons is cause for celebration, there is a disturbing element to this event. While Johnson is free today because of Kardashian’s appeal to Trump, thousands of other prisoners of every race — mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, and loved ones among them — remain behind bars in the United States. They are the legions of unrepresented, unfairly tried, convicted, and imprisoned who do not have either the money, or a celebrity, to petition for a pardon or appeal.
In Trumplandia, the rule of law and procedure have once again taken the back seat to glitz and glamor of a quick photo op. What could be better for Trump’s ego and ratings than having two clueless reality television stars cheek to cheek in the oval office for a cause like an imprisoned grandmother?
The problem with reality is that we have learned, as a nation, over the past two years how much disdain Trump has for strong competent women; racial minorities; and members of the lower classes of society. By engaging Trump for her personal cause, Kardashian is merely empowering his misogynistic racial tendencies. That Trump cannot take any woman without a sex tape as a valuable and capable person is clear from his vendetta against Hillary Clinton; his scorn toward the leader of the free world, Angela Merkel; and numerous other attacks on women of power, intelligence, and accomplishment.
Prancing into the Oval Office to beg a favor from Uncle Donnie, Kardashian further emboldens Trump, his hyper-inflated ego, and in the absence of Melania, his tiny-handed libido, too. In a regime where sex sells, we are establishing and advancing a dangerous precedent in America — to the detriment to more than 2 million prisoners who have no opportunity for justice. One only need look at how quickly the flame of prison reform died to realize that both Kardashian and Trump lack a greater capacity to comprehend and address millions of injustices. Alice Johnson’s pardon does not alone solve America’s criminal justice problems.
Following the G7 Summit in Charlevoix, Quebec this week, one of Angela Merkel’s personal assistants snapped a photo of Trump facing America’s former allies. In the middle of the picture, Angela Merkel represents a powerful woman, a leader among men and women, staring down an insecure and impetuous (at 70-plus his routine is a bit dated) Donald Trump. Only a week earlier, Trump was frolicking for cameras with Kardashian.
It is clear that neither Trump’s views, nor those who grovel to his ego, are doing anything to enhance America’s standing — domestically or internationally. Trump has already bragged about his list of future pardons for people like Martha Stewart, disgraced governor Rod Blagojevich, and, of course, Trump himself. Unfortunately, following the G7 and Singapore Summits, the only pardon necessary is the one the United States owes to the world.
“Pardon us, for the orange clown…”