It’s currently 10:37 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 26. I’m in my bed, where I have been laying for the past several hours in a state of what feels like complete hopelessness.
Roughly three hours ago, the U.S. Senate approved Trump nominee Amy Coney Barrett as the new Supreme Court Justice to fill Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s seat for the rest of her life, a mere week and five hours before the presidential election.
Of course, after seeing the stupid little Apple News alert pop up on my phone informing me of this, I went through the usual cycle of emotions along with the people close to me. There was anger, there was angst, there was anxiety and there was fear for a plethora of reasons.
There was so much mourning across the country, both for what this means for ourselves individually, and for what this means for members of other communities who will be affected by this in ways some may never have to experience.
And after all of that, I am just so sad.
These sorts of moves and announcements are nothing new. We’ve had so many of these blows to our very humanity over the past few years. Precedents have been set, people’s pleas have been ignored and protests have been torn apart. These sorts of moves and announcements are nothing short of a painful norm.
Something about this particular decision, however, feels like such a direct and premeditated gut-punch. In the last eight or so months alone, our country has been in an imperative and complete upheaval in order to fight for human rights and real, tangible change. So many people have done so much work across major social movements from Black Lives Matter to MeToo to Climate Strike — it is emotional to even think about.
On top of that, 62 million of us have already voted.
Yet here we are, seven days out from what I keep hearing is the “biggest election of our lifetime” — and a woman who actively opposes the human rights of so many communities and intersections of communities is appointed to a position she will now uphold for the rest of her existence.
It’s hard to process. It’s hard to wrap my head around how our voices, which are now raw from screaming for the last several weeks, months and years, are fundamentally ignored with one of the most crucial events we will ever live through taking place in the wake.
This woman has every intention of adding fuel to a fire which was already gargantuan. With a now conservative majority Supreme Court, Barrett has people on her side to aid her in her destruction of basic human rights.
If she has her way, people will be robbed of their healthcare.
If she has her way, the Black community will be further unprotected and gaslit.
If she has her way, the LGBTQ+ community will be pushed backwards in their rights.
If she has her way, the landmark case of Roe v. Wade will be overturned.
A white woman with a law degree from Yale who is a self-proclaimed constitutional “originalist,” Barrett is privileged and dangerously detached from the country as we know it.
She has no idea what life is like in a low-income household. She cannot fathom the violence that Black and other BIPOC folks face on a daily basis. She will never know what it feels like to identify as a part of the LGBTQ+ community. She will not experience what it means to lose reproductive rights and overall bodily autonomy based on her sex.
But here she is. And here she will be for the rest of her life.
Things feel very dark. I tried to think of an elegant way to end this article. I wish I could wrap all of this up in a neat little bow with some inspirational message for us all. I’m just not even sure what to say other than that I am so sorry that this is happening, and I am so sorry for what this may mean for you.
If you are feeling hurt by this or any of the current events which have taken place this year in general, which stem directly from centuries of negligence and harm, just know you are heard. You are seen. You aren’t alone, and you won’t be alone.
You’ve done great work, and all we can do is keep it up.
Ali Kochik is a third-year English major minoring in journalism. AK908461@wcupa.edu