For the past couple of weeks, Kim Kardashian has been on a kick of sharing photos of her family, while preparing for her KKW Beauty pop-up at a shopping mall in Los Angeles. For days, many waited for the mogul to speak up about Donald Trump‘s immigration policy that has been separating young children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border—even those who come to the U.S. to seek asylum—and placing some in cages.
Finally, after dozens of celebrities blasted the White House and its “zero-tolerance policy” on social media (Reese Witherspoon, Oprah Winfrey, and even Kardashian’s own sister Kendall Jenner took a stance), Kardashian spoke out about the forcible separation of immigrant children from their families.
On Wednesday afternoon, after enough pressure had been placed on the White House, Trump announced that he’d sign an executive order ending his administration’s family separation policy (after days of falsely insisting that only congress could act), and Kardashian gave her opinion on the matter during an appearance on KTLA.
“I think it’s heartbreaking. I don’t know what I would do if those were my children,” Kardashian told the reporter. “I don’t have access to everything,” she said. “I do see that people have been tweeting me about that, saying, ‘Why can’t you help?’…. I don’t work for the White House,” Kardashian went on, before saying, “I don’t have influence.”
But Kardashian does have “influence”—it’s something she’s been rewarded for quite recently, though not in the political sense; and it’s not like she has remained this silent on heavy political issues in the past. Just a few weeks ago, she went to the White House and successfully convinced Trump to commute the sentence of Alice Marie Johnson, who was serving a life sentence in federal prison in Arizona. Still, Kardashian’s recent political moment leaves many wondering why it took her so long to speak out about the immigration crisis and child detention centers that many celebrities had called “heartbreaking” before her, and that the United Nations referred to as “government sanctioned child abuse.”
Not a single retweet or screenshot, like those shared by her sister and fellow celebrities before yesterday, was visible on Kardashian’s social media accounts. “If there was anything I could do, I would, but I don’t have that power,” she told the KTLA reporter. “There are a lot of things and policies that I don’t agree with, and I’ve always been honest from the start with the White House about that,” Kardashian said, vaguely teetering away from her husband’s vocal support of Trump.
She even shared a few additional thoughts on her recent involvement in politics with The Hollywood Reporter. “It’s a longer-term mission for me. I never started out thinking I was being political,” she said. “I just thought I was helping people and I knew that I had the opportunity or the resources, so I used them and, you know, it worked out really well for Alice,” Kardashian went on. “There’s obviously a lot that we don’t agree with, but I want him [President Trump] to win,” she said. But that shouldn’t necessarily be taken as an endorsement, just a peek at Kardashian’s broader sense of patriotism. “I want him to succeed, because it’s our country,” she clarified. “It’s so crazy that everyone doesn’t want that.”
Sure, Kardashian does not work for the Trump administration, and she does not have the political power to change national policy in a day, but with over 60 million followers on Twitter, her visible outrage and heartbreak at the policy before the executive order to reverse it was signed could have brought additional awareness to the issue, the same way she was able to organize change for Alice Johnson. It’s a small step, but if anyone should know about the impact of social media on the minds of the masses, it’s Kim Kardashian.
During the KTLA interview, Kardashian also admitted, “I would just like to live in real time a little more,” and insinuated that she is no longer interested in taking selfies. Perhaps now that the mogul will be spending more time offline, she’ll have more time to finesse her sphere of influence to include the political arena.