Americans Mourning Ruth Bader Ginsburg Channel Despair Into Activism
As people flock to the Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C., to leave flowers and signs and mourn, many are channeling Ginsburg’s gumption to fight for a country that champions equality.
In the wake of the colossal loss following the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the second woman to ever sit on the U.S. Supreme Court, politicians, voters, and journalists are sharing tributes and calls to action.
Ginsburg’s death on Friday at 87 is a searing national tragedy, in a country that has reeled from the deaths of hundreds of thousands during a pandemic, as well as division and fear stoked by a president hellbent on appealing to voters whose very interests are at odds with Ginsburg’s progressive legacy on the Court. Ginsburg, the first Jewish woman to ever sit on the nation’s highest court, died at the Jewish New Year.
During an election year, as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has pledged to reverse his 2016 course and put a justice nominee selected by President Trump up for a vote, the grief of Ginsburg’s death can be expressed in the same breath as fear and anger over the looming political bloodbath that will be selecting her replacement.
Nevertheless, as Americans flock to the Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C., to leave flowers and signs and mourn, many are channeling Ginsburg’s gumption to fight for a country that upholds the rights of all people, especially women, as well access to voting that too many Americans, mostly Black and brown, have historically been denied.
As Dahlia Lithwick, who covers courts and law, wrote in Slate on the night of Ginsburg’s death: “Notorious RBG would have peered owlishly out at all of us tonight and asked what the heck we are waiting for. And I think we can probably honor her best by getting to it.” And as “Notorious RBG” author and journalist Irin Carmon reported, Ginsburg wanted to be remembered as: "Someone who used whatever talent she had to do her work to the very best of her ability. And to help repair tears in her society, to make things a little better through the use of whatever ability she has."
Here are some of the tributes and calls to action after the beloved icon known as “Notorious RBG” died:
RIP Ruth Bader Ginsburg. It is an immense loss. And the fate of the country should not rest on one woman’s shoulders however giant they were. I’m so sorry for her family and friends.— roxane gay (@rgay) September 18, 2020
Justice Ginsburg paved the way for so many women, including me. There will never be another like her. Thank you RBG.— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) September 19, 2020
Ruth Bader Ginsburg was the kind of scholar and patriot you get excited about explaining to your kids. The kind of person who you say “who knows, one day you could be HER”. I hope you rest well, RBG, you must have been tired from changing the world.— Mindy Kaling (@mindykaling) September 19, 2020
Having some thoughts about how if you’re successful at being revolutionary enough to create real social change, you’ll wind up aging into a society that’s evolved beyond even your dreams, and younger people may not see all the work it took to get there. And that’s...the goal.— Louisa 🌈👭 (@LouisatheLast) September 19, 2020
Pretty sure this was the last time I saw RBG in person, in December celebrating the museum exhibition adapted from our book. She said to my husband, “Are you still taking good care of her?” This moment was when I told her I was pregnant. pic.twitter.com/bvgFQYkQlh— Irin Carmon (@irin) September 19, 2020