I loved Ruth Bader Ginsburg fiercely, like so many of you, and I found myself in deep grief the weekend of her passing. Scrolling through social media at all of the photos, stories, and of course, reading the news broke my heart again and again. But then I wrote, (I’ve been working on revisions of my first book for quite some time now), and in the mining of my imagination, I found some of her fire and the fierceness of her focus dedicated to balancing the scales of justice for all of us. To me, she defined America, embodying all of the greatest that we strive to be but rarely reach. This pandemic and this administration has brought out more hatred and blind selfishness than I ever thought possible of people I know and people I love dearly. In the two weeks since her passing, so much more has happened than I could have fathomed. We witnessed our president’s refusal to condemn white supremacy in the first debate, continuing to fuel the flames of divisiveness that have plagued our country the past four years. We also got a peak inside his tax returns, only to learn that he paid far less than almost every working man and woman in this country. And then, he’s admitted to Walter Reed for COVID-19, a virus that has taken the lives of 209,000 Americans, a pandemic over two million Americans tested positive for while he has actively sought to downplay the risks and blatantly refused to wear a mask, risking the lives of those who surround him and jeopardizing the well-being of the people who support him.
And as always, Democrats are expected to take the high road, to not stoop to the level of Republicans, who are currently in power but act as if they are not whenever the occasion suits them best, because doing so would be disrespectful, because doing so might lose us voters. When time and time again, we have never and will never be afforded the same courtesy. Within an hour of RBG’s passing, they were actively discussing plans for her replacement, settling on a woman who seems to have forgotten what it means to be a woman in her own pursuit of power, masked as religious ideology. Make no mistake, they are not the party of pro-life. If they were, they would have taken this pandemic seriously, they would be ashamed that so many lives have been lost on their watch. No, men and women (sadly) who seek to take choice away from others are interested in power, entitlement and subjugation. They have no interest in making this country a better place for all or protecting the freedom of all who live here. Along the way, they’ve compromised and rationalized away every empathetic bone in their bodies. Power, in the wrong hands, is a drug more powerful and more lethal than heroin, the itch for it makes people hungry, cruel, and perpetually unsatisfied. In the right hands, it looks and feels like love, because it is love, vast and all-encompassing, the spirit of life. Through RBG’s life, I’m reminded that hatred and selfishness are a weak man’s game. And I didn’t come here at this time, in this place, to play it safe. My immunity may be compromised but never my mind. I’m a truth-teller, and the truth is rarely easy. And never comfortable.
Marlene, you speak so well for so many of us as we rumble with the loss of Notorious RBG. Thank you. I’m delighted to see that you continue to follow your heart and can’t wait to learn more about your book. Stay safe.