For many Americans, the perceptions of Idaho as a hotbed of racism grew out of the incessant media coverage of Christian identity pastor and white supremacist Richard Butler. In 1977, he bought an old farmhouse on 40 acres in northern Idaho and founded the Aryan Nations, with the goal of creating a five state “Aryan Homeland.” Two miles away was Hayden Lake, a startlingly beautiful blue glacial lake with 40 miles of shoreline, almost all privately owned. Before Butler, the area was probably most famous for its exclusive private country club, including the first 18 hole course built in Idaho.
Reading Ta-Nehisi Coates in Idaho
Laura Bracken

So that’s where the Idaho perception of racism comes from — it has a historical basis.

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