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Insights

RBG, BREONNA TAYLOR, DAN LEVY & ATTENBOROUGH

This 52INSIGHTS is all about the biggest names on youth’s radar this week.

RUTH BADER GINSBURG

“Real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time.” Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

She saw the law as a way to help people. RIP to feminist icon and pop culture celebrity, justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (aka Notorious RBG). Over the week following her death, respects have been paid (and grieving has taken place) in the form of:

  • Remembering and educating people on the specific rights she achieved in the name of gender equality in the US. (She helped to win a string of groundbreaking sex-discrmination cases that worked to dismantle the idea that it was OK to make distinctions based on sex or gender alone. While she sat on the Supereme Court she delivered landmark laws on abortion, women’s rights, marriage equality and heathcare).
  • Marching on the streets and encouraging people in the US to use their vote (and register to vote) in the upcoming election, in the name of RBG. Crowds even chanted ‘vote him out’ when Trump went to pay his respects to Ginsburg.
  • Donning lace. From The New Yorker Mag to the Fearless Girl statue, many are taking to donning a lace collar in tribute to RBG’s iconic take on judges robes (NBA players didn’t, but we kinda wish this was true?). Ginsburg reportedly wore it as a symbol of defiance, calling the lace loop her ‘dissent collar’.
  • A political battle, argument and debate over the selection and appointment of the next Supreme Court judge to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

“When someone so monumental dies you get a chance to look back at all the change they were integral to. It reminds you that progress and change can happen which I think is important when there is so much doomsday talk and climate anxiety right now. A good reminder at the same time not to be complacent either about the things that are important to you.” Anna, 28

In addition to RBG’s passing sparking a time of reflection on how far the US has come in terms of gender equality and how much of an impact one single individual can have in the world and millions of other people, Ginsburg’s death has very dramatically and loudly impacted the discourse around (and importance of) the 2020 US Presidential Election.

“The person Trump elects may be there for decades and could take back so much of the good change the amazing RBG made. It’s interesting to hear about how she passed many of her initial changes on women’s rights by demonstrating how those changes would benefit men to get them through. Unfortunate that she had to do it that way, but it could be an interesting strategy for tackling things like climate change/polarised views!” Tara, 29

PS. If you don’t know much about RBG’s life and work, there are some super films about her including ‘RBG’ on and ‘On The Basis of Sex.’

BREONNA TAYLOR

This week the world got the news that one of the officers involved in the shooting of Breonna Taylor (one of the names and faces at the forefront of the BLM movement right now), was indicted - he faces three felony counts of first-degree wanton endangerment. The Guardian notes that “none of the other officers involved in the fatal shooting were indicted. No homicide charges were issued.” Protests have since erupted online and on the streets, for justice in her name, claiming that the charges are outrageous. One protest sign read ‘a cop shot a black woman and was only charged for the shots missed.’

“It's devastating and tragic, but completely unsurprising. The fact that black lives are so systematically devalued is the reason her name rang out at BLM protests around the world, and the grand jury indictments remind everyone why millions of all ages and colours and backgrounds have taken to the streets and continue to protest. The injustice continues, it is systemic, but people are watching.” Macon, 29

DAVID ATTENBOROUGH

Perhaps the most welcomed news item of the week was David Attenborough joining Instagram. He claimed the fastest time to reach 1 million followers on the platform (just over 4 hours!) and his first post, shared little more than 24 hours ago, has over 10.1 million views and counting. Young people are celebrating - there’s a general sense that it’s the best thing to happen on Instagram yet and that he’ll be providing exactly the type of content the world needs right now, in welcome ‘Attenborough’ style!

“It's absolutely necessary for people like Attenborough to lean into the world of new technologies and social media in order to spread their message wider. Although his posts so far focus on the bleak reality of the current situation, somehow his wisdom, calm nature and soothing voice make it all seem like it's going to be ok. We all need a bit of hope right now and to see the enthusiasm around him is so heartwarming!" Sarah, 27

DAN LEVY (SCHITT’S CREEK)

“Dan Levy is literally wearing a skirt, taking home awards for a show that ended with two men getting married. What a moment.” @terithegreat

Dan Levy’s Schitt’s Creek recently broke the Emmys record for most wins in a single season for comedy. Those avoiding things like The Social Dilemma on Netflix have delved (back) into the wonderful world of Schitt’s Creek, not only because it portrayed inclusive characters and narratives with perfection, but because it’s ridiculously funny while it does so. It's heartfelt, upbeat and officially voted in as one of our favourite antidotes to 2020.

BRAND TAKEOUTS

Amidst the political turmoil and polarisation young people continue to stand up loudly and proudly for what they believe in. They are continually inspired and guided by great leaders who’ve gone before them and current popular culture icons - and inspiration and support is ripe on digital platforms. Light relief and heartfelt characters/narratives are aligning with this moment in functional ways for younger audiences. From historic legal cases to popular TV shows walking the walk, advice and guidance in the form of concrete examples and illustrations of how change happens is hugely valued and respected.

See also

BLACK LIVES MATTER: PROTESTING IN A PANDEMIC
BLACK LIVES MATTER: PROTESTING IN A PANDEMIC

TW: this article addresses themes of violence toward black people and the murder of George Floyd.

NAMES ON THINGS, KANYE & QANON CONSPIRACY CULTURE
NAMES ON THINGS, KANYE & QANON CONSPIRACY CULTURE

This 52INSIGHTS explores some of the trending conversations young people have been having this week - from meme-ish Instagram accounts that overlay names on top...