Jim Valentine lumps gay people and pedophiles together. And he doesn’t want any of them living in Idaho.
The 55-year-old Post Falls business owner posted a message in bold letters on his reader board Friday morning: “Peds queers fags your in Idaho now …”
That’s what northbound drivers on Pleasantview Road see when they drive past the sign for his landscape supply and horse-boarding business, Dixie Services.
“Don’t fruit with Idaho kill yo-yo boy” is the message greeting southbound drivers.
According to Valentine, “yo-yo boy” is his nickname for convicted killer and child molester Joseph Duncan, who killed three members of a Coeur d’Alene family and allegedly abducted two children from the family home so he could molest them.
Valentine said he came up with “yo-yo” because he played with Duncan-brand yo-yos when he was a kid.
“People are kind of numb. I think they need to wake up a little bit,” said Valentine, who drives classic cars emblazoned with the Confederate flag. One has a horn that plays “Dixie.”
The father of eight said he was inspired by the “Kill Duncan” bumper stickers he has seen around town. Valentine said he believes he’s speaking on behalf of others in the community who are “afraid” to speak up.
Valentine said drivers who saw the signs have been honking their horns in support of his message. Another sign advertising his business has a picture of the Confederate flag and reads “Welcome to Idaho.”
For those who have worked diligently to promote human rights in North Idaho, Valentine’s message is shocking and sad, said Tony Stewart, board member of the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations.
“It sends a message of hate directed at an entire group of people,” Stewart said. “It’s stereotyping an entire population. It’s so unfortunate when that happens.”
Stewart said the crimes Duncan committed have affected the entire community.
“We all condemn completely the atrocious crimes of Duncan,” Stewart said. “We wanted swift justice and harsh punishment.”
“One can’t use a certain crime to preach hatred against a whole community of people,” Stewart said.
About 3,500 cars pass Valentine’s property on Pleasantview Road each day, according to the city of Post Falls.
Post Falls police and the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department had not received any complaints about the signs as of Friday afternoon.
Kootenai County Prosecutor Bill Douglas said there’s no statute under which Valentine could be prosecuted for displaying the messages.
“That type of distasteful speech is not covered by the malicious harassment law unless it’s accompanied by some threat of imminent injury,” Douglas said.