I looked on my timeline an hour ago to see the most terrible news. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has died. My whole heart sunk. my first reaction was panic and intense fear. Who would our president replace her with? What are we going to do without her staying and holding down the fort for us? Her position was so important.
Then I saw my own dread echoed back to me through the chambers of all of my news feeds. I began to hyperventilate. I began to think about leaving the country. As a black woman in America, I have every right to begin to think about these things. As my panic grew I began to actually think about Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s life in general.
She was the daughter of immigrants. She enrolled in Harvard as just one of nine women. Out of college, she struggled to find jobs due to the sexism she encountered. She didn’t let that stop her. She became the first woman to be granted tenure at Columbia Law School. She was the second woman to be on the Supreme Court, and her cases worked mostly with standing up for women and those who excluded in society. There is so much more about her life that you can read here (click this) She never gave up. She was always facing intense scrutiny and sexism but she never for a second let that stop her.
And we cannot let that stop us. I type this half believing it. My millennial cynicism is in full form right now. I want nothing more than to just quit, sit back, write nothing, say nothing, and watch the world burn. But in the style and poise of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, I will hold on. I must hold on. We all must.
So to the Notorious RBG, I say:
Thank you. Thank you for all that you have done for this country, for women, and for folks who saw and looked up to you. I have taught kids who have said to me they want to be RBG when they grow up. I have seen young girls dressed up in Supreme Court Justice outfits for Halloween. You are the beginning. You held on for as long as you could and you were only the beginning for women, for people of color, for those who are serious about trying to truly create change. Though the times ahead look dismal, I still am holding on to hope for a stronger future. I know that your light will win out in the end.
“I would like to be remembered as someone who used whatever talent she had to do her work to the very best of her ability” -Quote Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg