Daily Video

January 13, 2016

In final State of the Union, Obama calls for end to anti-Muslim rhetoric

Essential question

Why do you think President Obama’s final State of the Union encouraged Americans to confront their fears and embrace our national identity?

In his final State of the Union address, President Barack Obama addressed recent rhetoric targeting people’s race or religion.

“When politicians insult Muslims, whether abroad or our fellow citizens… when a mosque is vandalized, or a kid bullied, that doesn’t make us safer,” the president said.

Obama said Americans need to be wary of giving into incendiary statements and propaganda that work to stoke fears about terrorism. However, Obama also said on issues of international concern that the United States will mobilize with its allies throughout the world to work together and make sure they do their part to help in global affairs.

A key highlight of the State of the Union address, which drew applause from both political parties, included Obama’s decision to place Vice President Joe Biden in charge of “mission control” for curing cancer.

Warm up questions (before watching the video)
  1. What is a State of the Union address?
  2. Why do presidents give State of the Union speeches?
  3. What topics did President Obama discuss in the State of the Union address?
Critical thinking questions (after watching the video)
  1. According to the president, how does hateful rhetoric directed at Islam hurt the U.S. at home and abroad?
  2. Do you think divisive language singling out a specific group is harmful to the nation overall?
  3. In the video, you can see one side of the chamber standing to applaud something the President says at times and the other sitting. How does that reflect the political divide in U.S. politics? Explain.
  4. Why do you think the president focused so much on the importance of a national identity during his speech?
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