‘Poison’ of hate blamed in German killingsThe murder of nine people in a shooting rampage by a suspected right-wing extremist has revealed the “poison” of racism and hate in Germany, said Chancellor Angela Merkel. Nine people with immigrant backgrounds were killed in two hookah bars in a Frankfurt suburb. Police said the 42-year-old attacker then went home and killed his mother and himself. The shootings came days after the arrests of 12 extremists accused of plotting large-scale attacks on German mosques.
■Class discussion: Less than a year ago 50 people were slain in two mosques in New Zealand, and another 22 people were murdered in an El Paso Walmart last August by a man targeting “Mexicans.” Are attacks on people perceived as “foreigners” becoming more common? Are these just the actions of some mentally ill people? Are attacks being triggered by growing anti-immigrant political rhetoric? What is xenophobia? Are human beings naturally frightened of “outsiders” from another group? Why or why not?