Listen to the many tributes for the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg from former law clerks, colleagues, and politicians. It’s immediately apparent why Ginsburg, the second woman to serve on the Supreme Court, is described as the Thurgood Marshall of the women’s rights movement. All of the stories lead to one conclusion. Working alongside Ginsburg, a pioneer for women’s rights, transformed their lives for the better. What else would one expect from being in the company of a giantess in ethics and justice?
What’s more impactful is watching a large crowd of people gather on the Supreme Court’s steps in Washington soon after Ginsburg passed in her Washington home at 87 on Friday, September 18, the start of the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah.
The various mourners sing ‘Amazing Grace,’ share how Ginsburg inspired them, place flowers, and celebrate how her work on Supreme Court rulings positively impacted human life.
Ginsburg‘s legacy is inspiring countless people around the world. These are individuals who have never met her, but who know that she works for equality and fairness.
The strength to inspire people from afar is incredible. It’s what we expect from celebrity actors, politicians, and sports stars.
I have experience in this topic as a media writer. I think about the many times I’ve witnessed celebrities create traffic jams outside hotels and restaurants due to fans hoping to snap a picture.
I’ve experienced the same thing with Ginsburg at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. Sundance claims more celebrity appearances than most events, but in 2018, Ginsburg dazzled Sundance crowds.
I think about a brief, but warm exchange while Ginsburg was at the MARC Theater speaking in support of the premiere of the documentary RBG from directors Julie Cohen and Betsy West.
More importantly, I look back at Ginsburg‘s conversation and her longtime colleague and friend, Nina Totenberg, at Sundance’s Filmmaker Lodge.
I remember Sundance Founder Robert Redford introducing her, but the crowd inside the lodge and outside on the Main Street sidewalks gathered for Ginsburg.
That’s another quality of Ginsburg‘s power to inspire. You only have to shake hands across a theater aisle or share a brief greeting while entering an event to experience awe and inspiration. That’s human fireworks. The magical impact takes place in a snap.
The political battle to swiftly replace Ginsburg is underway. Let’s organize to honor Ginsburg with a replacement committed to words etched on the Supreme Court building, ‘equal justice under law.’ Let’s read books about Ginsburg and learn the extraordinary story of her life from humble origins in Brooklyn to the Women’s Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union during the 1970s.
I hope people re-watch the RBG documentary and the movie drama, On the Basis of Sex, starring Felicity Jones as Ginsburg. After watching, pledge to make diversity and inclusion a priority in your life. Most of all, let’s all send prayers and thanks to the Ginsburg family for their loss and supporting Ginsburg on making the world a better place.
Ginsburg has passed, but her impact as a role model for minority men and women working for a fair chance at success will grow. That’s what makes her a forever icon for good.