A Message to Kim Kardashian
It is a sad reflection of the era that we live in that it can take a celebrity name to raise public awareness of issues that otherwise would have low profiles. Names like LeBron James, Jane Fonda, Halle Berry and Kerry Washington spring to mind, covering a range of noble causes. And of course, there is one other name that can be added to that list – Kim Kardashian and her efforts to stimulate meaningful reforms of an American penal system that is recognized by the overwhelming majority to be archaic and punitive to the point of being medieval and blatantly exploitative.
Kim has recently been joined by her sister Khloé in that quest. The more celebrity the merrier maybe? Regardless, their efforts to kickstart prison reform is a noble and commendable thing. No other country locks people up in such shabby conditions, and for such trivial reasons, as fervently as the US does. Russia, China and Saudi Arabia – are you taking note? However, any effort, at any level, let alone the Kardashians, is ultimately futile and doomed to fail. And here’s why.
As long as the Uniparty, the hybrid political abomination that is the synergized Democrat and Republican parties, stays in power, nothing will ever change for the better. In fact, there is every good reason to believe that, hard as this is to believe, the American penal system could actually become worse than it is. Prison labor is big business for the Uniparty. It’s so far baked into the system as to be burned into the DNA of the country’s body-politic. Close on a million prisoners are subject to working for big name businesses for pennies a day. In some cases, it’s not even that. Think the Civil War saw the end of slavery in the US? Then take a look behind the bars of twenty-first century American prisons.
Then there are private prisons. Just like healthcare should not be linked in any way to a person’s ability to pay (or not and thus forgo treatment), so a prison should never be run on the basis of profit. The critique of that is easy to follow. Private prisons will always need inmates so as to be financially viable. That implies that prison is no deterrent because it needs the convicted to come through their gates. That is morally repugnant. But again, the Uniparty doesn’t care. It works hand in glove with the 1% billionaire donor class, and that’s all that matters.
That is why, Kim and Khloé, we have had the likes of NYC mayor Eric Adams thrust upon us. Adams is more than willing to do the dirty work of the Uniparty and the 1% out on the streets of the Big Apple. The system has an insatiable appetite for more bodies behind bars, and more often than not, young, Black, males. And that is precisely why Adams’ number one fetish, Stop and Frisk, is now back on the city’s radar. Likewise, the “humane” involuntary apprehension and subsequent incarceration of New York’s homeless with mental health conditions – another obsession of Eric Adams. Sadly, there are hundreds of other Black politicians across the country that are adherents of Adams’ nefarious tactics and aspire to replicate his deeds every day.
The harsh reality is that the only way we will ever reform the American penal system, and do away with prison slave-labor forever, is to do away with the Uniparty, also forever. Celebrity causes are great and don’t get us wrong, they can add extra publicity that a particular cause may not previously had. But when it comes to prisons, and the need for prisoners to languish in miserable conditions while earning pennies a day as slaves, then the Uniparty and the 1% are going to dig in their financial heels’ way deep.
Vested interest is a huge deal in twenty-first century America. So, bringing out the big guns, like the Kardashians, LeBron, Washington and so on, is never a bad thing. They are societal icons and influencers. But then so was MLK, a towering figure of history, and yet here we still are – socio-economic disparity and disenfranchisement, all backed up by a criminal justice and penal system that is the threat and punishment of last resort. And the 1% Uniparty are very adept at using it. So yes, keep up the good work, but more ire needs to be turned upon the 1% Uniparty, from the rich and famous through to everyday regular Americans. That is the real solution to prison reform.