Regardless of what you may think about the Kardashian circus, you simply cannot fault their PR game – it is flawless. This week, Kim Kardashian took a break from posting NSFW trout pout selfies and posted about the Black Lives Matter campaign, a movement that has been plagued with a lot of misinterpretation, racist backlash, and general unrest since its inception.
However, Kardashian is in a unique position to actually make an impact on the public perception of the campaign, and it seems this week, she has chosen to lend her particular brand of celebrity to its cause. In a week where there have been multiple very public shootings of black men, and an almost unthinkable backlash in Dallas at what was supposed to be a peaceful rally, Kardashian has pointed her well-honed PR machine at the Black Lives Matter movement and released this statement on her subscription app under the heading #BlackLivesMatter.
This week we watched Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, two innocent black men, get senselessly murdered by police officers. Like a lot of you guys, I watched the videos, and was appalled and completely heartbroken. I was left speechless, angry and numb.
I want my children to grow up knowing that their lives matter. I do not ever want to have to teach my son to be scared of the police, or tell him that he has to watch his back because the people we are told to trust—the people who “protect and serve”—may not be protecting and serving him because of the color of his skin.
The last thing we need is to fuel anger with more hate or violence, especially toward the many incredible police officers who risk their lives every single day to protect our families and communities. We must peacefully use the power of our voices and the strength of our numbers to demand changes in the judicial system so that brutality doesn’t ever go unpunished.
It is our responsibility as Americans and as parents to create a safe future for our children. We must do something NOW. We must speak up until we are heard and real, effective changes are made.
Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown, Eric Garner, Freddie Gray, Tamir Rice, Sandra Bland, Sean Bell … and unfortunately so many more.
Hashtags are not enough. This must end now.
Now obviously, Kardashian did not write that herself. This statement has the sort-of well-penned and measured delivery that comes from hiring a professional. But does that change anything? Not really. hiring a professional writer to release a weighty statement only points to the fact that unlike so many other celebrities out there, some of whom are presidential candidates (yes, I’m talking to you, Donald Trump), Kardashian actually is aware of her own limitations, and knows when to bring in the professionals. As I’ve said before, Kardashian is in a unique position to actually make people sit up and listen on this issue, and I can’t help but like her all the more for it.
In addition to the statement, Kardashian also included links to donate to the families of those who have been gunned-down, and even links that will lead people to find help in contacting their legislators so that they may try and effect some change on this issue.
It is easy for people to dismiss Kardashian’s statement on this issue as simply a matter of more PR from someone whose very existence has been all about managing PR, but in this case, Kardashian is absolutely sincere on many fronts. In addition to being one half of the equation in a very high-profile mixed race you, Kardashian also is a parent to two mixed-race children, and has likely had her eyes opened in many ways to the realities of that means in modern America. She has likely been forced to look more closely at her own status (by which I suppose I mean privilege), and how that same privilege will likely be different for her own children. All credit to her for not running away from this issue and looking it directly in the eye.
Will the mostly-naked selfies continue? Of course they will. Will Kanye continue to go on laughable Twitter rants about his self-proclaimed genius? I think it’s safe to say he most certainly will. However, this is one area where the Kardashian-Wests may actually be able to not only help do their part to effect some change, but might also get your average gossip-obsessed, un-civically-minded American to sit up and take notice. In doing so, they might also accidentally inject a bit of humanity into their own very public personas, which wouldn’t be a bad thing either.