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Posts tagged: kootenai county task force on human relations

Rocky: Wassmuth Showed Way Out

This will not be an easy task. The demonization of political opponents has turned into a cottage industry of hate that benefits many. And the emotions of regular people have been raised to a frenzy by the politics of fear from all sides of the debate. But Idaho can offer a model for taking on the worst elements. No matter what the motivation of the shooter, who killed six and wounded Giffords and more than a dozen others, the incident has prompted a national discussion that is long overdue. There was a time not long ago when Idaho was viewed as the center of the right-wing hate movement in the United States. But even as our politics has become more conservative, we have excised the hate-mongers and our image as a refuge for neo-Nazis. We had become a base for these people because of our tolerance and our basic “leave-us-alone” attitude. But when we as a state realized where it had taken us, we shifted gears led by leaders like Phil Batt and Bill Wassmuth/Rocky Barker, Idaho Statesman. More here. (SR file photo of Bill Wassmuth at 1997 NIC Popcorn Forum)

Question: What have you done personally as a blogger and online commenter to reduce hateful rhetoric and inflamed political commentary online?

Task Force To Discuss Westboro, Rally

The Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations is holding a press conference and peaceful rally, in response to the WBC protests throughout the community, on Friday, October 22 at 9:00 AM at the Human Rights Education Institute Center in Coeur d’Alene. The Center is located on Mullan Road adjacent to the Coeur d’Alene City Park. The joint press conference and rally will feature statements by America’s veterans, religious leaders, youth, educators, government officials, business and labor leaders, representatives from the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, law enforcement and the minority communities.

Question: Which approach to the Westboro Baptist Church do you prefer — passive resistance and a rally as advocated by Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations or direct confrontation in a counter-protest?

Celebrating Aryan Nations Verdict

Sgt. Christie Wood, vice-chairman of the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations, gives a hug to artist Julie Wood at the unveiling of the black marble tablet commemorating the 10th anniversary of the Keenans V. The Aryan Nations verdict while Marshall Mend, left, a long-time task force member member, and former Coeur d’Alene Tribe chairman Ernie Stensgar look on. Kerri Thoreson/More Main Street snapped the shot above and provided more information about the event here.

Question: How many of you were here when followers of Richard Butler’s Aryan Nations bombed Coeur d’Alene in fall 1986?

AM: Celebrating Aryans Bankruptcy

Norm Gissel, a Coeur d’Alene attorney who assisted Southern Poverty Law Center attorney Morris Dees in the legal case that bankrupted the Aryan Nations, receives applause after addressing the crowd at the Veterans Memorial Plaza in Coeur d’Alene on Tuesday. Alison Boggs’ SR story here. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

Question: Would the Aryan Nations still be a significant presence in Kootenai County, if Richard Butler and his organization hadn’t been sued into bankruptcy?

Task Force To Celebrate 2000 Verdict

The Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations on Sept. 7 will mark the Sept. 7, 2000, day when a civil jury in Coeur d’Alene returned a verdict of $6.3 million against the white supremacist group after its guards attacked two people. The verdict forced Aryan Nations founder Richard Butler to give up his compound and the group eventually withered away. Butler died a few years later. Other groups have cropped up around the country that use the name Aryan Nations. The ceremony will be outside the Kootenai County Courthouse, near the downtown area where the Aryan Nations for years held public parades that drew a handful of supporters and large numbers of opponents/Associated Press. More here. (AP file photo: Richard Butler & his followers rally in July 1999.)

Question: Did you ever encounter Richard Butler or one of his hirelings during the heyday of the Aryan Nations?

Task Force Rips County Re: Tribe Stand

To the Kootenai County Board of Commissioners: The Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations Executive Committee on behalf of the Board of Directors is both shocked and amazed at your unwise decision to appeal the decision of the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs to place 142.56 Coeur d’Alene Tribal acres into trust land status for the first time in 30 years. Your decision defies logic, fairness and a good neighbor policy. You are opposing the annual loss of $9,900 or .0001 percent of a county budget of $73 million while ignoring the tremendous annual financial contributions of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe/Tony Stewart, Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations executive committee (in letter to Coeur d’Alene Press). More here. (SR file photo by Jesse Tinsley, of Tony Stewart)

Question: Do you agree with the task force or the Kootenai County commissioners?

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About this blog

D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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