Damage of divisive politics: Where do we go from here?

Damage of divisive politics: Where do we go from here?
Damage of divisive politics: Where do we go from here?

After the bitter presidential campaign and four years of political divide, how can the United States again find a path toward unity? University of Houston Sociology Professor Luis Salinas, Ph.D., says the challenge will be to get beyond the current climate of lies that are permeating our daily discourse.

“A lot of baseless rumors, conspiracy theories go around and basically rev up fear, rev up hate to further divide people,” he said. “When you start dividing the country almost in half into 60-40, anywhere near those huge numbers it’s really problematic.”

Salinas delved into the sociological reasons for where we are today and what it will take to get back toward what we can call “normal.”

Devastating economic damage to the hospitality business
Devastating economic damage to the hospitality business

Devastating Economic Damage

The pandemic’s impact on the Houston hotel and convention business was deep and fast.

“We had every major convention in Houston cancel,” said Michael Heckman the Acting President & CEO of Houston First. ”You had hotels that were in a very healthy position all throughout our city, immediately had their demand evaporate.”

The loss of business hit the rank and file workers especially hard. Jennifer Hernandez, director of communications for the International Union of Painters & Allied Trades, said the challenge has been great and will be even greater in the coming days without Congressional relief.

“Unemployment benefits do expire at the end of this year, and there’s an eviction moratorium that will end also on New Year’s Eve leaving a lot of people kind of destitute over the holidays,” she said.

With 2020 almost behind us, Heckman said better times are in sight.

“We’ve seen some major conventions move from the first quarter and the second quarter to the second half of the year so that’s very good news.”

Much more on this week’s Houston Newsmakers with Khambrel Marshall.

Stronger Houston: After jail, then what?
Stronger Houston: After jail, then what?

Stronger Houston: After jail, then what?

What is the role of society to give second chances to convicted felons? KPRC 2 anchor/reporter Syan Rhodes takes a look in a Stronger Houston Report at the reform efforts in place that are giving new life and opportunities for those willing to go straight.

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