Exactly one year ago today, at 11:52 p.m., a trail cam in Arizona near the U.S.-Mexico border captured a haunting image of a single cottontail rabbit — ears pricked, eyes glowing — staring into its lens.
The cameras were installed to document the various species whose migration patterns were being disrupted by Trump’s border wall. Small creatures, like the rabbit, could slip through the 4-inch gap in the wall’s steel beams; larger animals — javelina, deer, mountain lion, bobcat, bighorn sheep — could not. “Each species is going to respond differently to the border wall,” conservationist Emily Burns told High Country News. “We need to understand how they’re being impacted so we can work on a multi-species conservation strategy to minimize the damage that’s already been done by the wall.”
This week, many of the authors below paused and took stock, both of damage done and progress made. It’s slow work, bringing hidden things into the light: uncovering the hundreds of “quiet” ways our immigration system has been broken, mapping out land that could be used to fight climate change, analyzing disparities in vaccine distribution, unraveling the flawed theologies that animate white supremacy.
All this is essential, holy work, artist Makoto Fujimura insists. When we take stock of the fragments around us “we are given clear vision to see the reality beneath the facades of institutional power and leadership that have betrayed God’s design.” For Fujimura, this is where healing and repair must start: not in hiding the damage, but in holding it.
1. The Art of Redeeming Our Battered Era
Artist Makoto Fujimura on loving what is broken and the holy work of repair. By Julie Polter via Sojourners.
2. After Months of Border Wall Construction, a Look at the Damage Done
As President Biden takes the helm, conservation groups take stock of the border wall’s environmental impacts. By Ariana Brocious via High Country News.
3. She Guarded the BLM Memorial for Months. Now It’s Preserved in Archives.
“I felt it was time to take down everything that had survived,” Nadine Seiler said. By Madison Muller via sojo.net.
4. Ibram X. Kendi: This Is the Black Renaissance
“The Black Renaissance is stirring Black people to be themselves. Totally. Unapologetically. Freely.” By Ibram X. Kendi via TIME.
5. Empathy Is Both Better and Worse Than We Think
White supremacy changes your brain. Empathy can help rewire it. By Cynthia R. Wallace via sojo.net.
6. The Race to Dismantle Trump’s Immigration Policies
Trump transformed immigration through hundreds of quiet measures. Before they can be reversed, they have to be uncovered. By Sarah Stillman via The New Yorker.
7. We’re Perfecting Our Capacity for Human Destruction
What will it take to get the public — and Biden administration — to prioritize nuclear disarmament? By Gina Ciliberto via sojo.net.
8. Across the South, COVID-19 Vaccine Sites Missing From Black and Hispanic Neighborhoods
An NPR analysis of COVID-19 vaccination sites in major cities across the Southern U.S. reveals a racial disparity, with most sites located in whiter neighborhoods. By Sean McMinn, Shalina Chatlani, Ashley Lopez, Sam Whitehead, Ruth Talbot, and Austin Fast via NPR.
9. How a Young Activist Is Helping Pope Francis Battle Climate Change
Molly Burhans wants the Catholic Church to put its assets — which include farms, forests, oil wells, and millions of acres of land — to better use. But, first, she has to map them. By David Owen via The New Yorker.
10. We Must Reject the White Racist God of the ‘1776 Report’
The theological claims of the document depended on two nefarious maneuvers: the racist understanding of God that Black theologians have been calling out for decades, and the “whitewashing” of the thought of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. By Craig A. Ford Jr. via National Catholic Reporter.