In a Saturday, Sept. 3, Coeur d'Alene Press article, "Aryan Ghost Haunts Us Still,"
Special Assignment Reporter Steve Cameron pushes back against recently published articles in The Washington Post
and The Economist
, both of which examine the migration of "American Redoubters" to Idaho's panhandle.
"And now come the Redoubters, only adding to the image that Idaho is well ... weird," writes Cameron. "For everyone who loves this amazing place, it feels kind of sad.
For his Aug. 27 report titled "A Fortress Against Fear," Washington Post Senior Correspondent Kevin Sullivan
visited Hayden, Idaho, to chronicle some of the people who have moved to northern Idaho and "stockpiled food and ammunition in the event of a total economic collapse or some other calamity. In Sullivan's article, the "redoubters" say they left other areas of the U.S. where their conservative values are dwarfed by "non-Constitutionalists and anti-freedom people." Sullivan points out Idaho's demographic is about 83 percent white, and its three northernmost counties are more than 90 percent white.
In its Aug. 6 article, "The Last Big Frontier," The Economist
reports northern Idaho is where "a movement of staunch conservatives and doomsday-watchers ... is quietly gaining steam" as "terrorism and the widespread belief that President Barack Obama's progressive agenda is naive, have fueled strong support for Donald Trump in the Redoubt, which has a disproportionately large population of former policemen and soldiers."
The attention from The Economist
and The Washington Post
stirs up memories of the days when Richard Butler, founder of the Church of Jesus Christ Christian and Aryan Nations (its political arm)
, "caused all kinds of misery and mischief" as the Aryan Nations "thumbed its nose at the federal government from its headquarters near Hayden Lake."
"The ghastly thing is that all across America, to a lot of people, North Idaho still means racists and skinheads with hideous ideals and murderous plans," writes Cameron. "So now that Redoubt folks have drifted into the Northwest, it's just so doggone easy to connect dots that either don't exist or have nothing to do with one another."
Cameron acknowledges the "ghost" of the Aryan Nations still haunts the area, writing, "For everyone who loves this amazing place, it feels kind of sad."