Town Square

How Are Houstonians Processing The Insurrection At The Capitol And Disruption To Democracy?

We continue our conversation about the riots, violence and disruption to the democratic process that has unfolded in Washington this week. And we encourage community dialogue and understanding.


Lucio Vasquez / Houston Public Media
An anti-Trump protest in downtown Houston on Jan. 7, 2021, in response to pro-Trump extremists storming the U.S. Capitol.


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Town Square with Ernie Manouse airs at 3 p.m. CT. Tune in on 88.7FM, listen online or subscribe to the podcast. Join the discussion at 888-486-9677, or @townsquaretalk.

There are mounting calls for President Trump to resign, or to be removed or impeached, in the aftermath of Wednesday's siege at the Capitol.

We're seeing a wave of resignations within his administration, including Cabinet secretaries Elaine Chao and Betsy DeVos.

Trump has announced that he will not attend President-Elect Biden's inauguration on January 20, though he has called for "healing and reconciliation."

All of this has happened in the past 48 hours or so.

It's been a long week, and today we provide a sounding board for community reaction, in response to the overwhelming volume of calls from yesterday’s program.

How are YOU feeling, and processing our nation's political situation?

Political expert Melanye Price joins us to field listeners' calls and to provide perspective.

Melanye Price is:

  • Political Science Professor at Prairie View A&M University
  • Director of The Ruth J. Simmons Center for Race and Justice

Houston Public Media reporter Matt Harab also joins Ernie with headlines from Houston and beyond, including:

  • CNN is reporting that prosecutors at the US Attorney's office are planning to open a federal murder investigation into the death of Brian Sicknick, the US Capitol Police Officer who died Thursday night.
  • Texas Senator John Cornyn tweeted this afternoon: "Today we grieve for this brave officer and his family, whose life was needlessly lost because of Wednesday's violent and preventable attack on the capital."
  • A new, more contagious variant of the COVID-19 virus has been identified in Harris County, as announced yesterday by Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo.
  • Dr. Pedro Piedra at Baylor College of Medicine said that having a more contagious strand in the county is nothing new. In fact, over the summer when hospital capacity was tight, a more contagious variant was spreading then as well, according to Piedra. It just wasn't widely reported.
  • Harris County Hospitals are reporting that 35% of the ICU beds in the county are filled with COVID patients (537 people).
  • For context, at the county's worst point in July, 53% of the ICU beds were filled with COVID patients.

How To Get A COVID Vaccine In The Houston Area

Town Square with Ernie Manouse is a gathering space for the community to come together and discuss the day's most important and pressing issues.

Audio from today’s show will be available after 5 p.m. CT. We also offer a free podcast here, on iTunes, and other apps.


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Catherine Lu

Catherine Lu

Senior Content Producer & Announcer

While growing up in Chicago and Houston, Catherine’s love for art, music and creative writing was influenced by her teachers and parents. She was once concertmaster of the Clear Lake High School Orchestra and a four-time violinist of the Texas All-State Symphony. A graduate of the University of Chicago, Catherine...

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