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Hate and fear have no home here

| July 6, 2022 1:00 AM

Call it an awareness war.

The soul of North Idaho is very much at stake as invasion forces attempt a takeover. These forces can be defeated not with bullets but by alert citizens who give a damn.

The invasion is not comprised of rank-and-file Republicans moving to the region because they want something that’s been lost where they previously lived. Rational, constructive conservatives determined to contribute to the community in positive ways are always welcome.

Not so the purveyors of hate and dissension, the supremacists and nationalists who have targeted North Idaho as a haven for their radicalized views and actions.

Some of them have moved here recently. They’re actively recruiting like-minded extremists bent on poisoning the North Idaho well of kindness and acceptance that for generations made the region so attractive to visitors and new residents.

Thirty-one of them were recently stopped before they could execute what we believe was a full-fledged act of domestic terrorism. But that group’s mission to incite riots in downtown Coeur d’Alene might very well have backfired in a huge way.

What the radical extremists count on is that as they build their fetid foundation in the dark, common, decent people are too busy raising their families, working their jobs and enjoying life to see what’s happening until it’s too late. Their strategy depends entirely on unawareness and indifference among the majority until the minority has control.

Awareness followed by action is the antidote, and once again, it’s being provided locally by the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations. The Task Force, which led the bloodless execution of the antisemitic, neo-Nazi, white supremacist Aryan Nations more than two decades ago, is once again stepping forward to stop unbridled hatred in its tracks.

Tony Stewart, Christie Wood and the other courageous Task Force leaders and members have sounded the alarm that an Aryan Nations-type intruder once again is trying to sink its fangs into North Idaho.

Through an awareness campaign that already has many hundreds of locals wearing "North Idaho Rejects Hate" T-shirts, the Task Force and a growing army of concerned citizens are casting bright lights on these dark shadows.

So please, pay close attention. By all means, focus on your family, your livelihood and enjoy the many delights North Idaho has to offer.

But when the Kootenai County Task Force and local leaders ask for your help in keeping North Idaho safe and sane, step up. You can start right now by going to IdahoHumanRights.org.

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