Marriott needs to stop supporting the NRA
Our thoughts go out to Uvalde, Texas 💔
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Following something as catastrophic as a school shooting, it can be hard to write about anything other than the collective trauma we are all experiencing. Today, I will not be using this newsletter to inspire wanderlust, promote Unearth Women articles, or speak about travel writing—that can wait for another time. If you were hoping for a respite from the bleak news cycle, feel free to scroll to the bottom for some recommendations on things to do instead.
In what is hopelessly becoming too frequent in this country, another mass shooting has claimed the lives of both innocent children and adults, this time in Uvalde, Texas at an elementary school in a predominately Latino community. Once again, we are tossed into a debate unfolding across the newsfeeds of our social media and news channels; a veritable tug of war between thoughts and prayers and calls for action. Why this country can’t look to other countries and how they solved their gun problems, is beyond me.
Within two weeks of the Port Arthur Massacre in Australia, the federal and state governments agreed to ban semi-automatic and pump-action firearms. In Scotland, all handguns were banned following a school schooling, with the exception of .22 caliber pistols, which were later banned. In Nova Scotia, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau passed an executive order banning assault-style weapons after a mass shooting in 2022. My point is, that it didn’t take years of debates, more mass shootings followed by more prayers, empty promises, press conferences, campaigning, student-led protests, and social media outrage for these countries to make a change; they just did. Why can’t the United States follow suit? The overly simplified answer seems to be the NRA (National Rifle Association) and the many politicians who benefit from their deep pockets.
This being a travel newsletter, I’ll keep this short and to the travel-related point. Marriott Hotels has the audacity to host its first post-pandemic NRA convention in Houston this Memorial Day Weekend—as in mere DAYS after the Uvalde shooting, adding insult to an already injured state. While Trump and Ted Cruz are touting the benefits of owning a gun, parents a few towns over will be burying their children who died due to…guns.
Marriott not only works closely with the NRA but enables their pro-gun rhetoric to remain funded, offering hotel incentives that help the NRA collect millions in annual fees from members, which in turn line the pockets of pro-gun lawmakers. My fellow travelers, you’ll often hear me say we have the power to positively impact a community through our choices. Whether you’re spending money at a locally-owned restaurant, spotlighting women and BIPOC business owners, or simply sharing an informed post on a destination you’re visiting—how we move through the world can influence others. The same goes for our own hometowns.
My hope is you’ll feel the same level of disgust I do for Marriott and take your business elsewhere. Sign petitions, reach out to Hans Prins, the GM of Marriott (email@example.com), look for ways to help the Uvalde community, express your outrage to the NRA, and take to social media.
And now, some distractions…
Watermelon, travel podcasts, and the new anti-Instagram app
WATCH the new show, I Love That For You, which is a very funny comedy series starring two former SNL starlets.
BINGE everything on The Dodo, which is my personal go-to when the world gets to be too much. There’s nothing like watching a rescued pup get a new home.
MAKE this watermelon salad from Tasty (ideally, while listening to the song, Watermelon Sugar by Harry Styles), because it is almost Memorial Day Weekend and watermelon is the perfect way to kick off summer.
LISTEN to the Soul of Travel Podcast, which is such a lovely and inspiring way to spend an hour. This week, I sit down with host Christine Winebrenner Irick for a great conversation about women’s travel. That episode is now live!
READ this article on the new “anti-Instagram” app that is promising to make us actually feel good about social media.
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Thank you for this, Nikki. As a travel advisor I appreciate learning this about Marriott and will not book any trips with them. It's horrendous. The way we choose to travel and spend our dollars is important. It's frustrating when I don't learn of something like this until after the fact and really appreciate you putting this information out into the world.