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Tolerance on the WB: The Camdens and Entertainment-Education

            In the wake of the events of 9/11, there was a significant rise in Muslim hate crimes. In an attempt to find resolution to the tragic event, citizens took matters into their own hands by acting out against Arab-Americans. News of violence, vandalism, and harassment was reported in the days and weeks following. The repeated incidents occurred all across the country and even triggered a response from the President. In his response, President Bush stressed to the public, “Muslim-Americans make an incredibly valuable contribution to our country…[and]…need to be treated with respect" (CNN.com/U.S. 2001). The President and other public officials were not the only voice of opposition heard during that time. Numerous public service announcements (PSAs), in a variety of forms, were televised in the weeks and months following 9/11. Whether from Hollywood or Washington, the message was the same, not to discriminate or commit any acts of violence against any Arab or Muslim-Americans. However, PSA’s and public statements from high-ranking officials were not the only ways in which America experienced the promotion of tolerance through its mass media. .
             Several television programs used the subject as the basis for their stories in the months following. Yes, television programs; the same medium that shows the average person 16,000 simulated murders by the time he or she is 18 years old (American Psychiatric Association, qtd. in Parents Television Council). For decades now, parents have been growing ever more concerned with the images seen on television. However there is an approach to television that uses the valuable resource as a tool to reach millions of people and provide them with useful information in an enjoyable fashion. .
             In their book entitled “Entertainment-Education: A Communication Strategy for Social Change,” Arvind Singhal and Everett M. Rogers define entertainment-education as, “the process of purposely designing and implementing a media message both to entertain and educate;” it “seeks to capitalize on the appeal of popular media” (Singhal and Rogers 9).