Opinions

RBG in Review

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Andrew Oliver
  Staff Writer

The current popularity of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is something that, for many, seems baffling. In a world where the most popular voices are almost always the loudest, it appears strange that the quiet, slow-speaking judge for the nation’s highest judicial court would become such a pop culture phenomenon.

All the more strange is her propensity for liberal moderation. Even in her views on women’s rights, for which she is often praised and used as a figurehead, she has openly preferred incremental change to fast freedom and recognition, as stated in her biography ‘The Notorious RBG’.

This seems to fly in the face of progressives today, who are tired of the agonizingly slow progress talked about by moderate liberals in the establishment in which Ruth Bader Ginsburg, whether they wish to admit it or not, permanently resides.

So where did this all start? Why are progressives willing to look the other way and treat Ginsburg like she something different than what she really is?

For starters, there is something special about her. She is only the second woman justice on the Supreme Court, certainly a noteworthy feat in the male-dominated sphere of American politics. However, aside from that, the truth of the matter is much more frustrating, as is the case with many pop culture icons.

Ginsburg, or, as many have come to call her, “The Notorious RBG,” has been name dropped by such popular programming as Parks and Recreation and Modern Family, the former being the most notable for Amy Poehler’s portrayal of the character Leslie Knope, a self-proclaimed feminist who worships at the feet of women – mostly white women – in the establishment, such as Ruth Bader Ginsburg herself.

Indeed, this seems to have galvanized a whole sect of Amy Poehler feminists around the “notorious” justice, despite the fact that many find her, in many ways, objectionable.

In October of 2016, Ginsburg heavily criticized football player Colin Kaepernick’s protest of the National Anthem for black rights, saying quite plainly: “I think it’s really dumb,” and calling it “disrespectful,” “offensive,” and “ridiculous.” She has also previously landed herself in some very hot water after suggesting that abortion be used to control certain groups of the population that she said “we don’t want too many of.”

Indeed, Ginsburg has never been particularly progressive, and as such, not everyone on the left-wing considers themselves a fan. It seems even more painfully ironic that the moniker given to her – The Notorious RBG – is an appropriation of a famous rapper, The Notorious B.I.G., who was, in fact, a black man.

For this, at times racially-biased Supreme Court Justice to be given this title serves only to add insult to the injury, and proves that there are many feminists and so-called progressives who do not care about “others” as long as they get their representation, as long as there is a woman in charge (usually a white woman).

The problem is made all the worse as television shows like Parks and Recreation make this form of exclusionary feminism popular, even trendy, as people start looking up to the character of Leslie Knope as a beacon of modern day feminism.

Then, the establishment, including Ruth Bader Ginsburg, eat this up and encourage it, because it is what keeps them in power. It is the status quo. They don’t want intersectionality, and they don’t want true feminism, or womanism, for that matter.

To have a woman like Ginsburg in such a high seat of power creates a sort of opioid for people who say they want progress, but aren’t willing to fight for it when others aren’t seeing the same amount of representation that they are.

If Justice Ginsburg’s history of racial ignorance, moderation, and apparent want for population control through abortions teaches us anything, it’s that she really never was “Notorious.” Her acts of rebellion use the predatory and racist American establishment against those who continue to fall prey to it, particularly women of color and trans people of color in the United States, none of which Ginsburg has represented or helped.

In fact, she seldom, if at all, even mentions or acknowledges these populations that so desperately need representation in this country that treats them, by default, as criminals and others.

Given this reality, the fact that people continue to brand Ruth Bader Ginsburg as a rebel, and as being “notorious,” is not only incorrect, but insulting as well, when she really only represents the establishment that put her there.

For those who are okay with this, it only shows how far the divide in the United States still goes in terms of proper treatment and representation of its citizens. It is more than disappointing that so many people, so many liberals are willing to look the other way when so many people are being mistreated.

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