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Aspirational slogans such as “Idaho is Too Great to Hate” and “Idaho: the Human Rights State” emerged over the past three decades as local human rights activists battled white supremacists and the image problems they brought to the state. The sad reality, however, is that Idahoans have long sung variations of “Dixie” in states’ rights harmony with white Southerners on race. But Idaho residents are loath to admit this: “We’ve had no serious problem with racism here,” they argue, defensively. “The Hayden Lake white supremacists were outside agitators from California.” “East Coast newspapers gave us an unfair reputation.”

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This document was originally published by Boise State University in The Blue Review. This work is provided under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. Details regarding the use of this work can be found at:

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