Kim K's push for Clemency

Kim Kardashian-West And Political Influence?

Recently, Kim Kardashian has been advocating and engaging politically. Here's what she's done.

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You know her, you (may or may not) love her, the one and only Kim Kardashian-West ladies and gents. But, she is so much more than a social media queen and a reality star. Kim K has actually been pretty politically active recently. But why and how? What could Kim K possibly be doing politically?

Well after the political spotlight landed on the Kardashian-West household following the Kanye (Ye?) controversy, the couples political actions have become more of a mainstream conversation. Kim Kardashian-West seems to have very different political opinions then her husband does.

Back in 2015, Kim K posted a selfie on Twitter with Hillary Clinton, seemingly announcing her support for Clinton's campaign for the presidency. Later in October of 2016, her endorsement of Hillary Clinton for president. She has posted about the Obamas and going to March for our Lives. But, the most recent of Kim K's political activity came out when she visited President Donald Trump in 2018. He posted about it on his twitter thanking her for coming and discussing prison reform and sentencing. Kim K has actually advocated for clemency and commuted sentences for a few people, two of whom became high-profile cases.

Cyntoia Brown caught the attention of the media with her extremely sad story. When she was 16 years old, she was sold and solicited for sex. She was abused and used for sex repeatedly. In an attempt to escape, she killed the man who "owned" her. Despite her killing the man out of self-defense, she was tried as an adult and sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole in the year 2055 (about 51 years after sentencing). The story got national (if not international) attention. A few celebrities actually took it upon themselves to intervene and either have her sentence reviewed or for the governor to grant her clemency. Kim K was among the few who spoke out in support of Brown. After the publicity Kim K was able to get the case, Cyntoia Brown was actually granted clemency and is being released later on in the year!

Alice Marie Johnson was arrested and sentenced in 1996 for a nonviolent drug crime as a first offender. She was sentenced to LIFE in prison. Kim K found out about Alice Marie Johnson's case through a video that went viral online featuring Johnson herself telling her story, a story about how she just messed up and was desperate for money to support her family. Kim K felt drawn to the case and actually brought it to the attention of President Trump. The President ultimately contradicted his administration's harsh stance on drugs and drug crimes by granting clemency Alice Marie Johnson, one step short of pardoning her. President Trump even received criticism from people inside his administration who did not believe the sentence was too harsh for a first time nonviolent drug offense.

I must admit before I knew she was politically engaged, I did not pay attention to Mrs.Kardashian-West. But, she has been using her platform to help people and bring attention to issues that she finds important. It's truly wonderful to see celebrities now using their platforms to speak about things they find important. I hope Kim K keeps speaking her mind and standing up for people who don't have access to what she does. It's inspiring.

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Austin Alexander Burridge, Volunteer Advocate, Shares 3 Great Reasons to Volunteer and Help Others

Austin Alexander Burridge is an avid academic who studies Environmental Science at Winona State University and believes that work in the service of others is a key pillar to personal development.

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Sometimes it's easy for someone to adopt a "me, me, me" attitude. While focusing on oneself, a person may feel nice in the moment, but serving and helping others will bring lasting benefits. While there are many great reasons to serve and help others, there are three universal truths that resonate with volunteers around the globe.

Austin Alexander Burridge's 3 Reasons to Volunteer:

1. Accomplishment

Often, people fall into a trap of focusing on themselves when they are feeling down. Maybe someone did not get a job they wanted. Or perhaps a person gets dumped by an expected lifelong companion. Maybe someone feels they have underachieved after looking at Facebook and seeing great things a high school classmate has accomplished. When feeling down, helping others is a proven way to improve one's mood and attitude, and it can provide a sense of pride and accomplishment. The act of giving to those in need is an inherently good action and leaves people with a wonderful feeling of joy.

2. Gratitude

One can become more appreciative of life by serving others that have less. Whether volunteering at a soup kitchen, visiting the elderly at an assisted living center, or helping families after a natural disaster, service enables people to be grateful for what they have. Seeing people who have fewer advantages, especially those who are spirited and thankful for small things, allows one to realize just how fortunate he/she is in life.

3. Friendships

Volunteering is a great way to build meaningful friendships, not only with other volunteers but also with those who are served. One of the most profound and fascinating aspects of these relationships is how volunteers will learn from those served and vice versa. As these special bonds are built, they lead to impactful connections that last for years to come.

Of course, these are just a few reasons to volunteer and serve others. One can never go wrong by helping others as opposed to merely focusing on oneself. Volunteering invariably and inevitably contributes to personal growth, development, and satisfaction.

About Austin Alexander Burridge: Helping others has been of paramount importance to Austin, and as a part of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), Austin gave back to the community around him. He also has participated in annual peanut butter drives, The Minnesota Sandwich Project for the Homeless and collected canned goods for local food shelters. Additionally, Austin has a passion for the environment, which he pursued when visiting the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, and the Amazon Rain Forest while studying at the School of Environment Studies, which investigates ecological systems and their sustainability

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Saying You "Don't Take Political Stances" IS A Political Stance

All you're doing by saying this is revealing your privilege to not care politically, and here's why that's a problem.

bethkrat
bethkrat
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I'm sure all of us know at least one person who refuses to engage in political discussions - sure, you can make the argument that there is a time and a place to bring up the political happenings of our world today, but you can't possibly ignore it all the time. You bring up the last ridiculous tweet our president sent or you try to discuss your feelings on the new reproductive regulation bills that are rising throughout the states, and they find any excuse to dip out as quickly as possible. They say I don't talk about politics, or I'm apolitical. Well everyone, I'm here to tell you why that's complete bullsh*t.

Many people don't have the luxury and privilege of ignoring the political climate and sitting complacent while terrible things happen in our country. So many issues remain a constant battle for so many, be it the systematic racism that persists in nearly every aspect of our society, the fact that Flint still doesn't have clean water, the thousands of children that have been killed due to gun violence, those drowning in debt from unreasonable medical bills, kids fighting for their rights as citizens while their families are deported and separated from them... you get the point. So many people have to fight every single day because they don't have any other choice. If you have the ability to say that you just don't want to have anything to do with politics, it's because you aren't affected by any failing systems. You have a privilege and it is important to recognize it.

Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "history will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people."

We recognize that bad people exist in this world, and we recognize that they bring forth the systems that fail so many people every single day, but what is even more important to recognize are the silent majority - the people who, by engaging in neutrality, enable and purvey the side of the oppressors by doing nothing for their brothers and sisters on the front lines.

Maybe we think being neutral and not causing conflict is supposed to be about peacekeeping and in some way benefits the political discussion if we don't try to argue. But if we don't call out those who purvey failing systems, even if it's our best friend who says something homophobic, even if it's our representatives who support bills like the abortion ban in Alabama, even if it's our president who denies the fact that climate change is killing our planet faster than we can hope to reverse it, do we not, in essence, by all accounts of technicality side with those pushing the issues forward? If we let our best friend get away with saying something homophobic, will he ever start to change his ways, or will he ever be forced to realize that what he's said isn't something that we can just brush aside? If we let our representatives get away with ratifying abortion bans, how far will the laws go until women have no safe and reasonable control over their own bodily decisions? If we let our president continue to deny climate change, will we not lose our ability to live on this planet by choosing to do nothing?

We cannot pander to people who think that being neutral in times of injustice is a reasonable stance to take. We cannot have sympathy for people who decide they don't want to care about the political climate we're in today. Your attempts at avoiding conflict only make the conflict worse - your silence in this aspect is deafening. You've given ammunition for the oppressors who take your silence and apathy and continue to carry forth their oppression. If you want to be a good person, you need to suck it up and take a stand, or else nothing is going to change. We need to raise the voices of those who struggle to be heard by giving them the support they need to succeed against the opposition.

With all this in mind, just remember for the next time someone tells you that they're apolitical: you know exactly which side they're on.

bethkrat
bethkrat

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