A Case of Intolerance Today

From This American Life episode “Shouting Across the Divide”:

Serry and her husband's love story began in a place not usually associated with romance--The West Bank. That was where the couple met, fell in love, and decided to get married. Then Serry, who was American, convinced her Palestinian husband to move to America. She promised him that in America their children would never encounter prejudice or strife of any kind. But things didn't quite work out that way. This American Life contributor Alix Spiegel tells the story. (33 minutes)

  1. Play the Shouting Across the Divide podcast and download the PDF “Shouting Across the Divide Worksheet”. This is a wonderful and seamless extension after playing Enemy Within or after reading “The Crucible.” This powerful and compelling podcast captivates every student primarily because it features students in schools and issues of intolerance, fear, and prejudice.
  2. After listening to the podcast, allow students some time to complete the worksheet and gather their thoughts for a discussion. Ask them to begin reflecting on what happened during the game Enemy Within as more of their peers were being killed and they faced increasing suspicion of those around them.
      • How did fear of “the other” impact Serry and her family?
      • In what ways was their ability to live or coexist peacefully in the community threatened?
      • In what way, might that fear be similar to the feelings in Salem or during the McCarthy Era?
      • When and where might you experience this fear or similar fears?
      • (Do we experience this fear today when we fly or are in crowded areas?) Is the threat real or perceived?
  3. The following is a list of texts (fiction and nonfiction) as well as films that incorporate the same themes that Enemy Within highlights, which you may also choose to use: