Mister Rogers and RBG

On the Death of Someone Great

Where I attempt to put into words my feelings from a very dark past four years

Published: 18 Sep 2020

Topics: Life

TL;DR: The world is exceptionally dark right now, but I’m choosing to search for hope

Disbelief

I’ve never told this story before, but I feel it is the right time: Four years ago, on the night that America elected a white supremacist as president, I was freaking out and couldn’t believe my eyes.

The one-and-only Fred Rogers
The one-and-only Fred Rogers

Literally shaking with disbelief, I turned off the election night TV coverage and watched Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood with my son, who was two years old at the time.

He was too young to understand what was happening and it felt good to watch an honest man who cared so deeply for others.

Once my son went to sleep, I turned off my phone and went to bed, sad and hollow to my bones, unable to comprehend my fellow Americans.


Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in 2017 | Photo by Philip Bermingham

Rest in Peace, RBG

Tonight, as I read the news of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death, I felt the same despair swell in my body.

After doom-scrolling on my phone for too long, I watched the same episode with my son. He is now old enough to understand that there are people in power actively trying to hurt and oppress others, but he doesn’t understand why.

And there again was Fred Rogers, reminding me that there are helpers. There are people who care. There are people who love others.


I have no false sense of hope. The pressure is too great and the moral corruption is too high to hope that RBG’s death won’t divide our country even further. The darkest year just got inexplicably darker.

But once, in the past, there was a man who taught us to love, share, and be compassionate to others.

I’m choosing to hold on to that tonight.

Further Reading & Writing