Legacy Of Hate

It’s a history few in Idaho want to remember. For some, torch-lit demonstrations in Charlottesville, Virginia by white nationalists this past August resurrect memories of Aryan Nations members marching through the streets of Coeur d’Alene waving Nazi flags. Others may think of recent vandalism and hate crimes reported around the Treasure Valley just this year.

KBSX’s new, four-part series “Legacy of Hate” will follow the history of white supremacy groups in Idaho and the ripple effects they’ve created that still linger. Listen during Morning Edition and All Things Considered the week of October 2, or find the entire series and web exclusives online at BoiseStatePublicRadio.org.

Idaho State Historical Society

In our series of Legacy of Hate, we explore the Confederate connection to Idaho history and politics. 

AP Photo/Daisy Nguyen

Controversial speakers at college campuses across the country have sparked protests in recent months – some of which have turned violent.

 

Demonstrations against right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos at University of California Berkeley in February caused $100,000 in damages.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

In the first part of our Legacy Of Hate series, we took you to north Idaho to look at the history of the Aryan Nations and the effects that still ripple through that community. The compound made north Idaho infamous, but statistics show that year after year, it’s Boise that has topped the list for the number of hate crimes — despite conventional wisdom. It turns out southern Idaho, too, has an unfavorable history that persists into the present.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

In February, the city council in Charlottesville, Virginia voted to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee from a park which – at the time – had the same name. The controversy that followed culminated in a violent rally in the city this August, and renewed a discussion about white supremacy and what to do with Confederate monuments.

Matt Guilhem / Boise State Public Radio

The Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations has been around nearly 40 years and was instrumental in the expulsion of the Aryan Nations from Hayden Lake.

AP Photo/Tom Davenport, File

It didn’t take him long to manifest his dream of a “white homeland” in Kootenai County. Richard Butler, an aeronautical engineer, moved with his wife, Betty, from California to Hayden Lake, Idaho in 1973.

Nestled among trees of the north Idaho countryside, Butler established the Church of Jesus Christ Christian four years later, along with the Aryan Nations, his infamous group that eventually drew more than 100 white supremacists to north Idaho each year to promote his message of hate and intolerance.  

Tim Wilson

We launch our series looking at Idaho’s fraught relationship with white supremacy by taking a snapshot of the north where the legacy of hate was most vocal.