Jason has been a long-time resident of Idaho since 1991. He moved here as a transplant from California.
I live in a red, conservative state. You don’t have to drive very far to see Confederate flags hanging from people's homes or vehicles. Not just from trailers. Nice homes. Expensive trucks. You’ll also see Trump/Pence flags. Police Lives Matter flags. F*** Joe Biden flags. So many flags.
Idaho is one of the fastest-growing states in the nation. We have the beauty of the outdoors all around us. We have four seasons of mostly wonderful weather. And we have a BIG problem with racism, sexism, bigotry, ignorance, homophobia, and xenophobia.
You see, Idaho is controlled by religion. We have a large population of Latter-Day Saints, also known as the Mormon Church. So many of the members of this organization are politicians, business owners, and wealthy or well-off people.
We also have a large percentage of our population that are Christians. Many of which are Christian in name only. And many of which are the biggest racist, bigoted, hateful hypocrites you could imagine.
59.3% of Idahoans voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election. 63.9% voted for him again in the 2020 election. Almost 2 out of 3 Idaho citizens approved of his racist, ignorant, angry ranting and ravings, and chose a man with zero political experience as their choice to hold the highest office in our country.
The problem I have with all of this is the hypocrisy and ignorance of so many people. Christians are taught some pretty basic things in their beliefs. “Love thy neighbor.” “Judge not, lest ye be judged yourself.” “Thou shalt not have any other gods before me.”
And very few seem to follow those basic commandments to the letter. They treat others who are different from themselves horribly. They openly hate minorities or members of the LGBTQ community for no justifiable reason. They worship Donald Trump as if he was some intelligent, charismatic cult leader. That last one, though.
Jim-Bob’s truck here represents all the ugly, hateful things that I’ve come to detest in the 30+ years I’ve lived in this state. It’s truly sad that any time I see a big truck with American flags flying from them, I instantly get the feeling that the person driving is probably racist. Either openly or secretly.
That this person would probably hurt my gay daughter if they had a chance. If not physically, with angry, hateful words. Or covertly, by telling nasty jokes or lies.
I had a friend who recently put up an LGBTQ Pride flag on their home. It lasted less than 24 hours. Ripped down so violently, it bent the nails in the hardware it was mounted to.
This happened on her OWN property. Someone thought they were within their rights to trespass onto her property and yank down her flag that represented support and love for a persecuted community of citizens. Ones who are murdered every year for existing and choosing to love someone of the same gender. Hate is a motherf***er, ain’t it?
Racism in Idaho
Racism is a big problem here. We have openly racist people within our ranks. We have people drawing swastikas around town, on Anne Frank’s monument, on buildings, and other places. Sick bastards who think their trashy, ignorant selves are superior to others only because they are “white.” If your number one source of pride is that you can’t tan worth a s**t, you are failing at life.
Women often are treated as second-class citizens here in Idaho. Mothers and daughters in many religious families are not equal to their husbands and brothers in their households. Our horrendous governor just passed a bill allowing women to be sued by family members if they abort a baby after 6 weeks.
No provisions for children conceived by rape or child abuse. Not that women should NEED provisions. A woman’s body is her choice. Elderly, religious men should NOT be dictating what a woman can or can’t do regarding her own body. Women have every bit as much right to have autonomy over their own bodies as men have over theirs.
We have a growing, but still disproportionate percentage of citizens that are people of differing races. You don’t have to look hard to notice that Caucasian people outnumber people of color in any given social setting by a LOT. An overwhelmingly huge number of our politicians and lawmakers are white, elderly religious men. We do not represent the minority population in Idaho at all well.
My Bride was recently selected for jury duty. They had about 200 people among the prospective jurors for a case involving an African-American man, and guess how many of the possible jurors were black? 20? Lower. 10? Lower. 5? 1? ZERO.
She saw a problem with that. A couple of others of the 200 did as well. The rest? They all felt they could be impartial, and didn’t see a problem with not having even one African American person on the jury. Yeah.
There’s a reason I often refer to Idaho as “The Mississippi of the Northwest.” And it doesn’t even have much to do with our abysmally low education standards and ratings, similar to the states in the Deep South. It would be easy to generalize that every person driving a truck like this one, or one with a “Let’s Go Brandon” flag flying from it is a racist, bigoted, homophobic piece of shit. But I know that isn’t true. Many of those people are far more covert than that.
Let me be clear: I don’t think every Republican conservative person is racist or bigoted. For every Ted Nugent-listening, mayonnaise sandwich-eating, f**king-their-sister, Nazi piece of filth that is out there, I’m sure there are ten others who are decent, respectable people.
People who wouldn’t hurt my gay daughter or her gay and trans friends. People who wouldn’t hurt my Asian Bride and kids. People that might even stand up openly again this kind of ignorance and hate. For those people I am grateful.
If you are reading this and feel anger or hatred because of these words I’ve written, GOOD. Think about making a change, if this hits a little too close to home. If you consider yourself a good Christian, then stand behind that book you put so much stock in and take some time to think harder about Jesus’ teachings and messages.
Hypocrites with hate in their hearts, people who want to hurt others for simply existing, will not see the kingdom of God. “Depart from me, you workers of iniquity, for I know you not.” Jesus said that.
In fact, forget the religious aspect of everything. Why don’t we all just have a little pride and some manners? If you treat others with kindness and respect, most people will return the favor. I miss the days when it was considered poor form to discuss politics and religion. I feel if we kept those things to ourselves, we’d make far fewer enemies and feel far less anger and hatred toward our fellow humans.
So let’s turn the volume way down on the constantly angry, overly loud Fox News broadcasts. Turn the Rush Limbaugh reruns off—that guy was a hateful piece of filth and I’m glad he’s dead. In fact, let’s turn off all the news channels and stop reading so many political articles.
And for f**k’s sake, certainly stop reading the comments on them. Perhaps we could just get to know our neighbors again. It wouldn’t be so bad to learn something new from someone with a different background than we have, and enjoy humanity before it’s too late.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.