Thursday, November 13, 2008

Idaho, the hate state

When I first moved to Idaho more than 20 years ago, the state had a reputation for being a source of hate. The Aryan Nations had their active compound in northern Idaho, and this was widely known across the country. After that compound shut down many years ago, the hateful undercurrent seemed to fade away.

There have been a number of events recently that make me believe that there is a major resurgence of hate in Idaho.

The first, I wrote about two years ago in The propagation of fear and hate in Idaho, where our state legislature with the support of the misguided population, modified the state constitution to legally discriminate against our gay and lesbian citizens.

We continued this trend recently by distinguishing ourselves as a state by our citizens making over $400,000 in contributions to California's gay marriage ban. It's not enough to screw up our own state constitution, we have to spread the disease.

Today brings two new unbelievable stories from different parts of the state which shocked me to my core.

The first, is where Rexburg school children have been singing "assassinate Obama"on the school bus. I seriously doubt these kids just made this song up, they more than likely got it from their parents.

The second, is a story of a North Idaho resident with a sign advertising a free public hanging of President-elect Obama, among other non-Republican elected officials.

I am still in shock over these recent developments. It is clear that the hate has never really gone away in Idaho, just moved below the surface. As the rest of the world evolves to a better place, these negative remnants are resurfacing.

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4 comments:

Bob Granstrom said...

For someone claiming a learned background, it is interesting to see how uninformed you really are. The State of Idaho has no corner on hatred, as shown in your two weak examples of Obama hate in Idaho. Your original Oregon home is at least as guilty. Google the words "Oregon Obama Hate" and read all about Oregon's shame (for example, Obama hung in effigy at an Oregon university). Google "Obama Hate" with any state and see that Idaho is not a leader based on your two shallow examples. After 20 years, you have not really fit in, have you?

April said...

oh i see, you don't "fit in" because you bring attention to hateful acts like these? huh?

and i didn't read the part where you said idaho has the corner of the hate market. so, yeah, maybe oregon and some other states have hateful people, too...but that doesn't mean these acts aren't important or worthy of notice. criminey.

thanks for posting these. i think it's important to out the hateful people. it's easier to keep an eye on them that way.

i work at the local newspaper and this week our editor decided to publish a "guest editorial" from a "nut job" (according to his neighbors and others) Messianic Rabbi, which was nothing more than a racist tirade against a professor who gave a talk on the palestinian-arab conflict at the library in the neighboring town. needless to say we got several calls today (the paper came out today) saying they wanted to talk to the editor about this rabbi's editorial.

i honestly think that a big part of idaho's racism is that a lot of people here are so isolated and insulated that they are just afraid of "the other" (mostly brown/black people)... if they actually new a black person or a muslim they'd be less likely to spout such hate.

then they think since i'm white i am going to be sympathetic to their racist tirades? nope!!

wolf21m said...

Bob, I could reply to your comments but April beat me to it. I think she expressed my thoughts very well. Thanks for stopping by!

Anonymous said...

A few bad apples tends to spoil the whole state according to your logic. Hate is universally spread and not unique to Idaho. Let's focus on the good works of our fellow citizens and set the examples. I like to read uplifting articles you write, they make my day a little better. You are a kind person Mr. M

Keep setting an example for others to follow.