Idaho Gov. Cecil Andrus on Friday lashed out again at the racist philosophy of white supremacists as scores of neo-Nazi "skinhead" youth congregated at the Panhandle headquarters of the Aryan Nations Church.
"The people of Idaho stand united against hate groups and those who would spread a message of fear and intolerance," the governor said.Leaders of more than 25 Idaho communities, including the county where the Aryan Nation's compound is located, joined the governor in declaring this week "Human Rights Week" as part of the state's public stand against the three-day white supremacist conference sponsored by Aryan Nations Church founder Richard Butler.
"The message has been sounded loud and clear from one end of Idaho to the other," Andrus said. "It is a message that racism, bigotry and hatred are unwelcome visitors to Idaho . . . That is not what Idaho is about."
He said Idahoans realize that when the rights and dignity of even one person are attacked, the human rights of everyone have been threatened.
Andrus, the state's Human Rights Commission and the Northwest Coalition Against Malicious Harassment have called for passive protests against the skinhead conference at Hayden Lake, parting company with other organizations in the Northwest that have organizaed a major march and demonstration for Saturday to show their opposition to the white supremacist activity.