Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Fall From Grace (and resurrection?)

Her title was “justice,” not “social justice,” yet they latched onto her as if she was one of them. An old-school Jewish intellectual feminist, the diminutive Justice Ginsburg was adopted by the young set.*

For Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s many liberal fans, the Supreme Court justice has long been an icon of progressive grit, a happy warrior battling racism, sexism, and homophobia—a reputation that in recent years earned her that famous sobriquet, the Notorious RBG.

Apparently, she liked the rapper name, and it ended up the title of her biography, written for sale to passionate social justice warriors obsessed with her. She was the embodiment of their yearning desires. RBG validated them, while others called them unpleasant names that denigrated their confusion between mindless irrational feelings and reason.

Then it came crashing down around them. Mark Joseph Stern led the mob in tearing the statue of the Notorious RBG off the pedestal built of sad tears. She was never really “notorious” at all, he cried, as they burned the witch.

Yahoo News’ Katie Couric asked Ginsburg about San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick—who sparked a broader movement among athletes when he decided to start taking a knee in protest during the national anthem—in an interview released on Monday. The justice answered bluntly: “I think it’s really dumb.” Ginsburg elaborated that she wouldn’t “arrest them for doing it,” but went on to call the protest “disrespectful,” “ridiculous,” “offensive,” and “arrogant.” She also compared the action to burning an American flag.

The lemmings were outraged! This was heresy. Blasphemy. And Stern pulled out the SJW dictionary to invoke the magic words the mindlessly passionate use to shred their hated “privileged”:

They are, no doubt, but they’re also fairly predictable. There was always a tension between “the Notorious RBG”—a myth, a meme, a marketing campaign—and Ginsburg herself, a wealthy high-society opera lover whose progressive intellectual ideals are increasingly disconnected from today’s new civil rights movement. On Monday, that tension boiled over into an outright paradox: A (white) liberal icon condescendingly maligned an emerging (black) protester for failing to pay respect to a song that celebrates slavery.

Predictable and exhausting, as she “condescendingly” expressed an opinion. This was hate speech. The was violence. This was . . . proof that she was never the progressive icon, but everything SJWs hated. Death to RBG.

It never dawned on the deepest thinkers of the movement, like Stern, that this didn’t bear on her feelings toward sexism, racism or homophobia, but rather that she simply didn’t agree with the manner of protest and thought it was the wrong way to achieve the right end.** No opinion inconsistent with their sad tears is tolerated.

The only “conversation” they can tolerate is the one where they’re told how right they are. A discussion that includes any disagreement with their sacred beliefs is not merely unacceptable, but evil and hateful. RBG hated blacks and women and gays, not to mention trans and “survivors.”  She had to, or she would never have “condescendingly maligned” Kaepernick.

But RBG heard their cries. She didn’t want to lose their adulation or the sobriquet she came to adore. She issued a statement. At first, I thought it was an apology, but I was corrected.


She was not “woke” enough to appreciate the egregious error of her ways. Can’t an octogenarian be forgiven her lack of black cultural awareness? She was just not “attuned to the movement and its nuances,” and while she was aware of the Black Lives Matter movement, she missed a “pro-athlete’s solidarity for it.” She can’t be expected to be totally woke at her doddering age, right?

That her regret (but not apology) suggested that she was either clueless about something that was yuge*** national news or inclined to publicly express a “harsh” opinion despite her being “barely aware” of the facts, might be sufficient to disqualify her from being a judge in small claims court, no less the Supreme Court. But in comparison to her engaging in hate speech, it’s of little consequence. Far better to have their icon back than a competent Supreme Court justice.

Will this expression of cluelessness and impetuousness soothe the fury of the SJW mob? All it would require is the revision of history to recast Mark Joseph Stern’s attack on the “predictable” fair-weather icon, the “wealthy high-society opera lover,” who sits “a few degrees removed from her perch of privilege” from the playing field of nasty football, not to mention the world of pain of the marginalized. Can she be forgiven her trespasses? Have the SJW’s demanded too much of this clueless old woman?

I’m not black. My knowledge of pop culture is pathetic. I’m fairly well-educated and Jewish, and I’m just a few hours away from being an octogenarian, at least in internet years. But I know about Kaepernick’s protest. And ironically, I happen to think it’s a great protest, a perfect exercise of his right to express his views. He commits no crime, impairs no one else’s rights and communicates his opinion widely. This is exactly what protest should be.

But I also appreciate that Justice Ginsburg, like other old-timers who lived through wars where Americans died for good causes, might not agree that any protest for a good cause was necessarily a good protest. But then, my understanding of “nuance” is old school, recognizing and appreciating subtle shades of meaning, rather than the new one of strict adherence to the orthodoxy of social justice at risk of being excommunicated from the religion.

The same is true of the word “tolerance,” which used to allow a poised, well-educated Jewish octogenarian to not agree with every demand of the young set. Apparently, their cries for “tolerance” now mean absolute obedience to their dictates. There is no room for disagreement in the world of social justice, and it remains to be seen whether the Notorious RBG is spry and woke enough to climb back up on her pedestal. Or will she sit on her privilege perch, even though she’s too much of a doddering old fool to be woke to Colin Kaepernick’s righteousness or her impulsive harsh chattering despite her social justice cluelessness.

*The phrase “young set” is a term for youth that was popular years ago, and is now fondly remembered by fertile octogenarians.

**The old adage, “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” might be appropriate here, except it’s offensive to call a woman a dog, so I won’t.

***The word “yuge” is a substitute for the English word “huge.” It is preferred by the young and cool hipsters to prove they’re young and cool. It’s used here to show that I’m “woke,” even though I lack the capacity to write in pidgin, which is preferred by black activists who are Ivy League educated but want to demonstrate their cultural connection to the uneducated so that they can pretend they’re marginalized rather than terminally privileged.

The word has recently been adopted by Donald Trump to prove he, too, is cool and deserving of the name “The Notorious DJT.” It has not yet caught on.

6 thoughts on “Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Fall From Grace (and resurrection?)

  1. PDB

    Opera lover is a criticism now? I guess this brown, millennial, opera lover is no longer eligible to get love from SJWs. *sob*

    But, I’m a little concerned that when she disapproved of Kapernick’s protest, she compared it to flag burning. I hope, if a flag burning case comes before the Court, she would remember her Texas v. Johnson and the First Amendment in general.

    1. SHG Post author

      She recognized it was perfectly lawful, but didn’t care for it. A lot of people are offended by the perfectly lawful exercise of free expression known as flag burning. They’re allowed, as long as flag burning is allowed anyway.

      1. Matthew Wideman

        I thought the same thing. She didn’t say Colin “Sack or Pick” should be put in jail or that his actions were illegal. She just said she didn’t care for it. It seemed like my Liberal Facebook lawyer friends were going to explode! RBG just sounds like my Grandfather or Grandmother…you can do it, but I wouldn’t.

        On a side note, that dig at Colin Kaepernick comes from a time when St. Louis had a football team and Mr. Kaepernick was particularly disliked by the Defense of the consistently bad St. Louis Rams.

        1. SHG Post author

          There was some sports writer who mischaracterized RBG’s original statement as an ad hominem. I pointed out, perhaps a bit too snarkily, that he shouldn’t use words when he didn’t know what they meant. There was no tolerance whatsoever for the fact that she wasn’t on the team.

  2. Jim Tyre

    The word has recently been adopted by Donald Trump to prove he, too, is cool and deserving of the name “The Notorious DJT.” It has not yet caught on.

    Being older than dirt (but younger than me) you may not be aware that there’s a certain subculture in which The Notorious SHG is quite the thing. Whether that’s good or bad is an exercise best left to the reader.

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