FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Rejecting Paris

Paris Hilton was rejected from entering Japan yesterday because of their immigration laws that allow the country to deny entry based on drug convictions. She was detained at Narita International Airport, outside of Tokyo, two days after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor drug charge in Las Vegas. Paris was at her first stop of her Asain Tour to promote her fashion and fragrance lines.

In Las Vegas she pled guilty to two misdemeanors regarding her August 27 drug arrest. One charge was for possessing a small amount of cocaine (.8 of a gram) and the other for obstructing an officer. In return, she was received one year’s probation.

Under the plea agreement, Paris avoided doing jail time by agreeing to pay a $2,000 fine, to perform 200 hours of community service, and to complete a drug treatment program. The judge who sentenced Hilton told her that “Any new arrests terminate your criminal probation and you will serve a one year sentence.”

Hilton had two previous brushes with the law – this summer, and in 2007, when she was arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) that led to her doing 23 days at the Century Regional Detention Facility.

Like tens of millions of Americans, Paris Hilton wants to use drugs, either to get in touch with reality or to escape from it. Does she have the right to put substances in her body if she does not hurt others? Or does she deserve to go to jail for doing so? Every year millions of other Americans are arrested for minor drug law violations – but most of them do not get the same breaks that Hilton has received.

Sometimes it takes a traumatic experience to awaken the hidden self. But Hilton’s 23 days in jail and her multiple arrests for drug use have not seemed to give her the wake up call she needs. But it did give her a taste of life in the gulag. In that short time, I gather she felt the reality of what it’s like to lose your life as you know it. Sitting in a small cell can provoke profound existential questioning – I’m sure Hilton saw the light, even if just for a moment.

There is something mystical about spending time in a cage. Since there is nowhere to go, you pace the perimeter of your cell. Back and forth or around in circles, all the while reliving the crime you committed that brought you there. When it gets really bad, you start reading the Bible and praying to the Lord for forgiveness. From published accounts, that’s exactly what Paris did.

But the problem Paris faced as an ex-con is one that all ex-cons experience, and one that can lead them down the road to recidivism. When you are released you want to forget the prison experience. You do your best to block it out. In her case, all those feelings she built up inside her brought on by her longing for her lost freedom when she was in jail.

How do I know? I did a 12-year stint at Sing Sing, and the first day I got out I almost completely forgot all the feelings I experienced while I was there. I forgot about how my existence was reduced to daily routines and calculations. I forgot about measuring time in reference to the day at hand and the functions associated with it – the head counts and bells that the prison used to maintain security and order.

Paris felt the sting of the government’s zero tolerance policy on drug use that incarcerates hundreds of thousands of Americans. This added with her recent rejection of entering Japan, which forced her to cancel her Asian tour, she has officially felt the stigma of being a convicted drug offender. Now I suggest because of this and her recent arrest she follows up with her thoughts back when she was released in 2007. Back then, fresh out of jail, Paris wanted to be an advocate and find meaning in her life. On the Larry King Show she was asked if she was planning to help others. Paris responded and said “That’s something I was actually thinking a lot about in jail. I feel like, you know, being in the spotlight, I have a platform where I can raise awareness for so many great causes, and just do so much with this, instead of, you know, superficial things like going out. I want to help raise money for kids, breast cancer and multiple sclerosis.” Those thoughts were soon forgotten.

But now because of her probation and her apparent drug use she was sentenced to two hundred hours of community service. I suggest that Paris Hilton now speak out and become an advocate for reforming our draconian drug laws. Think of how many lives she could save by speaking out for treatment instead of imprisonment. We would welcome her to our movement.

ANTHONY PAPA is the author of 15 Years to Life: How I Painted My Way to Freedom and Communications Specialist for Drug Policy Alliance. He can be reached at: anthonypapa123@yahoo.com

More articles by:

Anthony Papa is the Manager of Media and Artist Relations for the Drug Policy Alliance and the author of This Side of Freedom: Life After Lockdown.

Weekend Edition
March 22, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Henry Giroux
The Ghost of Fascism in the Post-Truth Era
Gabriel Rockhill
Spectacular Violence as a Weapon of War Against the Yellow Vests
H. Bruce Franklin
Trump vs. McCain: an American Horror Story
Paul Street
A Pox on the Houses of Trump and McCain, Huxleyan Media, and the Myth of “The Vietnam War”
Andrew Levine
Why Not Impeach?
Bruce E. Levine
Right-Wing Psychiatry, Love-Me Liberals and the Anti-Authoritarian Left
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Darn That (American) Dream
Charles Pierson
Rick Perry, the Saudis and a Dangerous Nuclear Deal
Moshe Adler
American Workers Should Want to Transfer Technology to China
David Rosen
Trafficking or Commercial Sex? What Recent Exposés Reveal
Nick Pemberton
The Real Parallels Between Donald Trump and George Orwell
Binoy Kampmark
Reading Manifestos: Restricting Brenton Tarrant’s The Great Replacement
Brian Cloughley
NATO’s Expensive Anniversaries
Ron Jacobs
Donald Cox: Tale of a Panther
Joseph Grosso
New York’s Hudson Yards: The Revanchist City Lives On
REZA FIYOUZAT
Is It Really So Shocking?
Bob Lord
There’s Plenty of Wealth to Go Around, But It Doesn’t
John W. Whitehead
The Growing Epidemic of Cops Shooting Family Dogs
Jeff Cohen
Let’s Not Restore or Mythologize Obama 
Christy Rodgers
Achieving Escape Velocity
Monika Zgustova
The Masculinity of the Future
Jessicah Pierre
The Real College Admissions Scandal
Peter Mayo
US Higher Education Influence Takes a Different Turn
Martha Rosenberg
New Study Confirms That Eggs are a Stroke in a Shell
Ted Rall
The Greatest Projects I Never Mad
George Wuerthner
Saving the Big Wild: Why Aren’t More Conservationists Supporting NREPA?
Norman Solomon
Reinventing Beto: How a GOP Accessory Became a Top Democratic Contender for President
Ralph Nader
Greedy Boeing’s Avoidable Design and Software Time Bombs
Tracey L. Rogers
White Supremacy is a Global Threat
Nyla Ali Khan
Intersectionalities of Gender and Politics in Indian-Administered Kashmir
Karen J. Greenberg
Citizenship in the Age of Trump: Death by a Thousand Cuts
Jill Richardson
Getting It Right on What Stuff Costs
Matthew Stevenson
Pacific Odyssey: Puddle Jumping in New Britain
Matt Johnson
The Rich Are No Smarter Than You
Julian Vigo
College Scams and the Ills of Capitalist-Driven Education
Brian Wakamo
It’s March Madness, Unionize the NCAA!
Beth Porter
Paper Receipts Could be the Next Plastic Straws
Christopher Brauchli
Eric the Heartbroken
Louis Proyect
Rebuilding a Revolutionary Left in the USA
Sarah Piepenburg
Small Businesses Like Mine Need Paid Family and Medical Leave
Robert Koehler
Putting Our Better Angels to Work
Peter A. Coclanis
The Gray Lady is Increasingly Tone-Deaf
David Yearsley
Bach-A-Doodle-Doo
Elliot Sperber
Aunt Anna’s Antenna
March 21, 2019
Daniel Warner
And Now Algeria
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail