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Doug Clark: Neo-Nutzies give residents a bad name

Sun., Aug. 16, 2009

Oh, no! The neo-Nutzies are acting out in North Idaho again.

I had high hopes that once Richard Butler relocated to a deep dank bunker, members of the moron (oops, I mean “master”) race would go destroy the property values in some other state.

Butler, founding Führer of the Hayden-based Aryan Nations movement, expired in 2004.

He was 666.

It appears, however, that some sort of effort is being made to fill the Butler bigot void. Three men, in fact, received misdemeanor citations last weekend after Coeur d’Alene residents discovered racist leaflets on their property.

Cops, according to our news story, were alerted by a neighbor who reported seeing men in a blue truck tossing bags of Aryan Nations propaganda at children and hollering “white power.”

Sounds like the supremacist version of a traveling library.

The jackbootmobile.

Anyway, police stopped the vehicle and those inside admitted they were distributing the aforementioned materials.

That’s good. Racist leaflets have been turning up in the Lake City. But this is the first time names and faces could be linked to the rancid literature.

“We’re going to recruit and we’re going to recruit hard,” vowed Paul R. Mullet, one of the men cited for littering.

I gathered from our story that Mullet, 36, is the up-and-coming troublemaker to watch. Not only does Mullet have the proper racial agitation background credentials, but he told our reporter that he has moved the Aryan Nations headquarters to Athol.

Athol?

Aw, say it ain’t so.

The unfortunate name of this hamlet has made Athol the butt of every cruel sphincter joke imaginable.

Even so, things have been looking up for the 684 Atholes who call the town home. Just days ago they celebrated Athol’s 100th anniversary with a parade, live music and a watermelon-eating contest.

And now comes Mullet with his announcement.

I’ll be honest. No matter how resilient, a small town is simply not going to draw many tourists with the words “neo-Nazi enclave.” And the few who do drop by will be sheet-wearing loons who have come for the cross-burning.

But as troubling as these recent events are, I seriously doubt that North Idaho is on the verge of returning to the era when Richard Butler ruled his rotten Reich.

Butler had just enough charisma and leadership skills to attract a sideshow following of freaks, felons and fools.

What a circus it was.

Before lawsuits shut down his 20-acre compound, Butler held so-called world Aryan conferences that drew skinheads and Hitler lovers galore. He staged Nazi parades down Coeur d’Alene’s main drag. Butler’s motley minions looked like tryouts for a “Night of the Living Dead” reprise.

Rest easy, North Idaho.

There still may be some racist snakes lurking about. But venomous cobras like Richard Butler are few and far between.

And we can all say a silent prayer of thanks for that.

Doug Clark is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review. He can be reached at (509) 459-5432 or by e-mail at dougc@spokesman.com.


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