Morning Update: The Culture War Comes For Us All Eventually

Two important Supreme Court rulings, the second night of the Democratic debates, your weekend longreads. Your BuzzFeed News newsletter, June 28.

Two significant decisions from the US Supreme Court

Yesterday, the Supreme Court delivered answers on two highly watched questions.

The first: In a blockbuster 5-4 decision, the court declined to weigh in on two partisan gerrymandering cases that accused politicians in Maryland and North Carolina of rigging their maps in favor of their respective parties.

The opinion, written by Chief Justice John Roberts, argued that while “excessive partisanship” in drawing voter maps can lead to “results that reasonably seem unjust,” it’s not up to the courts to fix it because it would represent an “unprecedented expansion of judicial power.”

The second: The court ruled the Trump administration can’t put a citizenship question on the 2020 census — for now. The supremes sent the case back to the Commerce Department, asking for a better explanation of why the government tried to add a citizenship question in the first place.

These are the debates that never end

It was night two of the Democratic presidential debates — a second night being needed because there are so many candidates in the race. Last night’s debate brought together many of the race’s heavyweights in an evening where the Democratic party’s generational split was on full display.

Here are the highlights:

And because you’re really here for the funny debate tweets, we collected the best of them for you. For what it’s worth, this was my favorite:

#DemDebate2 #DemDebate2020 Eric Swallwell explaining it’s time for Biden to pass the torch: Biden:


“There are no activities, only crying.” Kids describe in their own words the dire conditions inside a border detention center. Here’s what one 16-year-old girl said: “We are in a metal cage with 20 other teenagers with babies and young children. We have one mat we need to share with each other. It is very cold.”

Jony Ive, the designer behind Apple’s most iconic products, is leaving the company. Ive, the Apple design chief behind the industrial design of products like the iPhone and iMac, has been with Apple for decades. Read CEO Tim Cook’s internal email on Ive’s departure.

Trump tweets that violate Twitter’s rules will now get a warning label. In a move to “protect the health of public conversation,” the social media company will allow violative tweets from world leaders to remain on its platform, but with warnings.

A California woman was killed by three sharks while snorkeling in the Bahamas. Jordan Lindsey didn't hear her family shouting about the sharks approaching when she was attacked. Officials told the Associated Press that Lindsey suffered bites to her arms, legs, and buttocks, and was pronounced dead in hospital.

Jameela Jamil apologized for being “preachy” after criticizing Kim Kardashian West’s new body makeup line. The actor said “I’ve spent 20 years of my life having an eating disorder and using the lasers and using the creams...” and while she doesn’t want young people making the same mistakes, she would never judge anyone for making their own decisions. Jamil said she would “work on her tone.”

The culture war has finally come for Wikipedia

Here’s the thing about Wikipedia: As the rest of the internet has been engulfed in the culture wars, the open-source encyclopedia has remained neutral.

It was once maligned as a sign of a future where there is no authority over facts. Instead, its self-policing community became the best hope for a global digital portal to truth.

That may be about to change. On June 10, the Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit that hosts Wikipedia, did something unprecedented: It banned a user from the English-language Wikipedia for a year. Before this, bans were rare — and never, until now, temporary.

The target of the ban, known as Fram, is one of Wikipedia’s best-known administrators. The community backlash against the foundation has been swift.

Read Joe Bernstein’s deep dive into this conflict and how Wikipedia “finds itself in the painful position that the YouTubes and Twitters of the world have been unable to escape: in open conflict with some of its most devoted users.”

Set aside time for these longreads this weekend

Chernobyl Blew Up My Childhood. Will Climate Change Do The Same For My Kids? In a piercing essay, Sophia Moskalenko explores what happens when adults and institutions fail their children and the lasting damage it leaves — and draws a connection between feeling abandoned after the Chernobyl disaster and inaction in the face of climate change. “My relationships with my mother and my country never recovered from the damage inflicted by Chernobyl,” she writes.

YA Twitter Can Be Toxic. But It Also Points Out Real Problems. Within the span of months, two debut young adult authors have chosen to postpone or cancel their books in the wake of intense social media scrutiny. Molly Templeton zooms out and looks at that scrutiny in context, arguing that when critics on social media “cancel” a YA writer or book, it’s really about ongoing frustrations with an overwhelmingly white publishing industry.

Going Through Menopause Changed The Way I Think About Gender. In this excerpt from Darcey Steinke’s Flash Count Diary, Steinke explains that she’s experienced menopause as a kind of “ungendering” — and lays out what comes with that: It’s disorienting, thrilling, and freeing.

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