Demi Lawrence is a senior journalism news major and writes "Unspoken" for The Daily News. Her views do not necessarily reflect those of the newspaper.
How much does the fate of a country weigh?
The only person who could tell you was a frail yet omnivalent 5-foot-1-inch woman named Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and she died Sept. 18.
Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg knew the United States of America did not simply rest on her shoulders — she knew the country’s fate and the very existence of so many people pushed down on her body like a dead weight. She felt that weight daily as Republicans pushed to shatter women’s right to choose, one of her most well-known advocacies.
Many people critiqued her for not retiring during President Barack Obama’s terms. Many said her early retirement would have been smarter and made way for a younger justice with her same ideals because we all dreaded this day would come.
But the fighter stayed and worked because she knew feminists around the country were counting on her and her many dissents while on a conservative-leaning Supreme Court.
Her death was inevitable, yet the woman was like the Energizer bunny. She was a three-time cancer survivor, a widow and someone who devoted her entire life to ensuring this country was better than it was when she was born.
Justice Ginsburg was famous for getting straight to the point and never raising her voice. She was not interested in flattery or power by force but confident in her intelligence and grace as a woman.
When I get angry, I have a tendency to yell. Sometimes, I even tell myself I'm allowed to be angry and yell because I often have trouble validating my emotions to myself. Almost every single time this happens, I hear RBG’s soft yet ruling voice telling me I mustn't be overcome by useless emotions such as anger and instead blow people away with my logic.
Almost every single time, I don’t listen to this voice. But maybe that will change now that I know her hope for America rests on the shoulders of people like me, her champions.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg is gone. Though her legacy lives on, her death stings, especially for those most vulnerable to her departure: minority groups, especially women.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said mere hours after her death that the Senate would vote for President Trump’s SCOTUS nominee even though on her literal deathbed, Ginsburg said, "My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”
I don’t wish to get too deep into the politics of her death at this moment, but I can’t not mention this disgusting token of disrespect for one of the world’s most incredible women.
According to the Associated Press, Supreme Court nominations historically take, on average, about 70 days to move through the Senate, and there is just over a month until the election. Though there are no set rules for how long the process should take once a president announces their pick, to rushedly pick a new Supreme Court justice without the public’s ability to vote for a president would be a slap in the face to everything Ginsburg stood for.
The death of one woman has now thrown an entire nation off its axis with less than two months until arguably the most important election of my lifetime.
Many minorities across the country are scared for their rights all because one woman died at an acceptable age after living an extraordinary life.
My heart is full of dread for the unknown all because of the death of one elderly judge from Brooklyn, New York.
So, I ask once again: How much does the fate of a nation weigh?
I and millions of others learned the answer to this question the moment we learned of Justice Ginsburg’s death: It weighs a whole damn lot.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Notorious RBG, the Great Dissenter, is gone, and now it is our turn to carry this weight in her honor.
How do we do that, you ask? Well, I’ll let RBG speak for herself.
"Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.
“So, that's the dissenter's hope: that they are writing not for today, but for tomorrow."
Contact Demi Lawrence with comments at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @DemiNLawrence.