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Ugly display harkens back to racist past

Reporter Jim Hagengruber’s friends were alarmed when he moved to Hayden Lake three years ago after accepting a job with The Spokesman-Review. After all, they said, isn’t Hayden Lake the place that spawned the Aryan Nations? Jim assured them that human rights activists had run off the white supremacists and were now in charge. As he and his wife treaded water 100 feet offshore Sunday night, his assurances rang hollow. On Dike Road, two pot-bellied racists, ages about 25 to 30, were exchanging words and throwing an occasional punch at unhappy adults who’d tired of their swearing, racial epithets, snarling Labrador with a Confederate flag around its neck, stiff-arm salutes and idiotic yells of “white pride” and “Sieg Heil.” The confrontation began, Jim tells Huckleberries, with a parent asking the racists to control their dog, which was running loose, snapping at other dogs tied to trees along the beach. The man merely shrugged and said before taking another drink from his beer: “My dog’s on a leash.” Or something like that. Worst of all, Jim reports, a girl of about 9 occasionally emerged from the racists’ car to swear and shout racial slurs. The racists made their getaway before deputies who’d been summoned by cell phone appeared. A dark-complected man was left shaking. He told Jim: “I’ve been coming here for five years. We’ve never had trouble like this.” You can read Jim’s full account of the incident at Huckleberries Online this morning.

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