Students use videos and readings featuring US Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power to develop a historical and human understanding of today’s global refugee crisis.
Over the last few weeks, South Africa has been rocked by xenophobic violence. According to The New York Times, approximately five million immigrants have settled in South Africa since the end of the apartheid in 1994. Many are refugees, or are pursuing economic opportunities in the country, which has become a relatively stable multiracial democracy. Many native South Africans are greeting these newcomers with prejudice, hatred, and violence—destroying local businesses and in some cases committing murder. Today, South Africa’s immigrant population lives in fear. Unfortunately, the trend is not new. In 2007, a year before xenophobic attacks would break out nationwide, violence erupted in the small township of Zwelethemba, about two hours from Cape Town. A Facing History teacher at the local high school recognized that his community was in crisis.
"Today’s News, Tomorrow’s History" is an ongoing series with Listen Current. This series connects Facing History’s themes with today’s current events using public radio to guide and facilitate discussions around the social issues of our time. We will take a look at the current responses to the Syrian refugee crisis.