I Dissent

Last night, I sat in my room and watched the live feed of people gathering on the steps of the Supreme Court. They lowered the flag and lit candles, clustered in groups with signs bearing their own words of mourning and her words of courage. I watched this happening on my little phone screen, and I wanted so badly to be with them there in the city I called home for a year and a half. I wanted to hear the hushed conversations that were taking place on the steps of the building that upholds and protects. I wanted to be part of the moment our country needed to take.

Ruth Bader Ginsberg said, “Dissents speak to a future age. It’s not simply to say, ‘My colleagues are wrong and I would do it this way.’ But the greatest dissents do become court opinions and gradually over time their views become the dominant view. So that’s the dissenter’s hope: that they are writing not for today, but for tomorrow.” She dissented for us–for what she saw as tomorrow, the future, the next generation–my generation.

And now we dissent. We have watched key figures like RBG represent what and who we can be. We have seen our potential for change. We have witnessed tragedy after tragedy. But she also said, “So often in life, things that you regard as an impediment turn out to be great, good fortune,” and I believe that my generation has the willingness to take all of the impediments and make them what we want them to be. 

“Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.” RBG did that. And she showed us how to do it too. My generation is full of leaders who are ready to make lasting change and equally full of people willing to follow. We dissent, but more than that, we are beginning to find solutions. 

I believe that our country needs to make changes in healthcare to better meet the needs of those Americans living with chronic health conditions. I dissent, and I will fight for healthcare reform.

My best friend believes that we need to stop spreading the false narrative that renewable energy isn’t doable and will not make a difference. She dissents, and she will fight for renewable energy. 

There are young protestors in my city who believe that black lives are being oppressed. They dissent, and they will fight for black lives.

People believe that life begins at conception and abortion is wrong. They dissent, and they will fight for the unborn.

America is a place where we have the freedom to dissent. Ruth Bader Ginsberg was a beacon of light in this country, guiding my generation in what it means to uphold truth and show leadership. She represented courage and family and justice and the power of being a woman. She will be remembered.

4 thoughts on “I Dissent

  1. Emma, you bring such hope to my jaded old heart. You write so very well about things that really matter, not just to you, but to all of us.



  2. Oh dear, dear Emma. And all you dear ones who are felling the loss of Ruth Bader Ginsberg. I find hope for the future in your words, granddaughter, and in all of you who feel her absence.
    Sending love, Grandma Etta


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