When I walked out of my Brooklyn apartment this past Tuesday morning, the sun looked hazy — so foggy that I could stare at it without blinking. Apparently, smoke had drifted thousands of miles from the wildfires tearing through the West Coast, pausing for a bit above the Manhattan skyline. Smoke traveled like the news: Far and wide. Hard to swallow.
New Yorkers started posting pics of the smoke covering the sun. One person in Oregon tweeted in response, “Sorry that we had to give that to you. We really still don’t have anywhere else to put it.” We’ve been running out of places to put all this smoke, all this bad, bad news. So we share it, and hope that collectively we can hold it as we fight for a more just reality. Below, you’ll find some of that bad news from the week. You’ll also find an article from our archives by former Sojourners editor Catherine Woodiwiss about how journalists and media consumers can cope when “tragedy goes viral.” —Jenna
1. “A Silent Pandemic”: Nurse at ICE Facility Blows the Whistle on Coronavirus Dangers
Irwin Detention Center, run by LaSalle Corrections, has refused to test detainees and underreported COVID-19 cases, the nurse says. By José Olivares and John Washington via The Intercept.
2. A Latinx Theology Reading List
“I learned about God through Spanish lullabies, the stories of my abuelos, y the love of mami y papi.” By Santi Rodriguez via sojo.net.
3. The Evangelicals Who Are Taking on QAnon
“Some of QAnon’s dizzying pileup of false claims — that the Covid-19 pandemic is overstated or even nonexistent, for example — have been embraced by Trump fans, Republican congressional candidates and the president himself.” By Sarah Posner via The New York Times.
4. How Do We Avoid Becoming Numb in the Face of Online Tragedy and Violence
“If there is one confession a journalist never wants to make, it’s that she can’t handle the truth.” By Catherine Woodiwiss via Sojourners magazine.
5. Against the Current
If the Mandaean religion survives, it will be partly because of the refuge it found in Central Texas. By Robyn Ross via The Texas Observer.
6. 1 In 10 U.S. Young Adults Believe Jewish People Caused the Holocaust
But the majority believe that Holocaust education should be mandatory in schools. By the Web Editors via sojo.net.
7. No Race Problem Here: Despite Summer of Protests, Many Practicing Christians Remain Ambivalent
“A new report reveals that some Christians are becoming less motivated to act on racial justice, and an increasing share say there is ‘definitely’ not a race problem in the country.” By Adelle M. Banks via RNS.
8. In Our Flawed Democracy, Voting Is A Renewable Resource
“Abdicating this civic right and religious responsibility dishonors those who fought so hard for it and jeopardizes our very future.” By Adam Russell Taylor via sojo.net.
9. Story of the Underground Railroad to Mexico Gains Attention
“Across Texas and parts of Louisiana, Alabama, and Arkansas, scholars and preservation advocates are working to piece together the story of a largely forgotten part of American history: a network that helped thousands of Black slaves escape to Mexico.” By Russell Contreras via AP.
10. For Prisoners in the West, the Virus and the Wildfires Are Colliding Threats.
“‘If Covid doesn’t get us, the fires will get us. If the fires and Covid don’t get us, we’ll never be able to come out from underneath these sentences.’” By Tim Arango and Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs via The New York Times.