The Navy has a long history of naming ships and other craft off of people who have been influential. Ruth Ginsburg was a long-serving member of the U.S. Supreme Court. When she died, countless people from across the globe mourned.
Many from both sides of the political fence saw it as one of the last justices who could truly be bipartisan with her rulings. While the Jewish justice was known to take a liberal approach on many issues, she could also side with the Republicans when the issue went up against the Constitution.
She was well-known for supporting gender equality, women’s rights, and division of church and state – all of which have been important for one reason or another. And if she saw how the country was behaving now, she’d likely have some harsh words for everyone on Capitol Hill.
Now, the Navy has decided that they want Ginsburg’s name to live on – and that comes in the form of naming a ship after her.
The USNS Ruth Bader Ginsburg will be a fuel tanker to join the John Lewis class of replenishment oilers. The tanker has not been built as of yet.
This type of Navy ship has a long history of being named after historical figures in the U.S., responsible for human and civil rights movements.
Considering that Ginsburg only passed away in 2020, many would argue whether she is considered a “historical figure” at this point. It was only a few years ago that she was enjoying being a pop culture icon. Bobbleheads and more are available to help the SCOTUS Justice maintain her iconic stature.
Carlos Del Toro, the secretary of the Navy, has a few things to say about the move to honor Ginsburg in such a way. “She is instrumental to why we now have women of all backgrounds, experiences, and talents serving within our ranks, side by side with the male sailor and marine counterparts.”
The explanation given by Del Toro certainly makes sense. This is all a tribute to how Ginsburg was able to shape the women’s rights movement across the United States.
What’s the problem with this? It should be fairly obvious. Look at how many forts, ships, cities, schools, and roads we’ve had to rename over the past few years because someone decides that the name is offensive. Even things that have been named after the Founding Fathers of our country are no longer safe because they may have owned slaves or done something to offend a particular individual.
We really shouldn’t be naming anything after anyone anymore.
If names like Thomas Jefferson and George Washington are no longer safe because of some kind of offense, no name should be safe.
And if we were going to name ships after people in the government, shouldn’t we be looking to be fair? If we name a ship after Ruth Ginsburg, each and every ship after that should be named after members of the Supreme Court in the order in which they retire. That’s the only true way to be fair – isn’t it?
That’s likely not going to happen. So, we are supposed to smile, applaud, and be happy that the legend of Ginsburg lives on, at least within the U.S. Navy.