Idaho is too great for hate, tweeted Sen. Mike Crapo on Sunday. The Idaho leader’s words were part of his response to weekend violence in Charlottesville, Va., but the slogan is one that’s familiar to Idahoans — it adorns posters and T-shirts and even has a home on a plaque at Boise’s Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial.
But a recent analysis of data from the Southern Poverty Law Center, a nonprofit that monitors hate groups and advocates for civil rights, finds that Idaho has more than its share of hate.
On Monday, the financial news blog 24/7 Wall Street named Idaho the second-most hateful state in the U.S. Its list of the top 10 states with the most hate groups looked at the SPLC statistics released earlier this year calculating the number of hate groups nationwide, then couched those numbers in statistics about race, immigration and overall population in each state.
What landed Idaho at No. 2 on the list?
Of all the states named, Idaho had the highest percent population of residents identifying as white (91.5 percent) — that’s the fifth highest of any state nationwide. Add to that Idaho’s relatively low population and relatively high number of total hate groups statewide (12), and our state has 7.1 hate groups per million residents, according to the article’s authors.
And it doesn’t end with North Idaho’s history of neo-Nazi and KKK-like groups, which Gov. Butch Otter made reference to in his statements about Charlottesville on Tuesday.
“Newly emerging hate groups in Idaho reflect the broader changes occurring on a national scale,” the 24/7 Wall Street article said. “The SPLC identified five anti-Muslim groups operating in the state in 2016, groups that were not active as recently as 2015.”
According to the article, just 5.7 percent of Idaho’s population is foreign-born — another statistic that the authors took into account when creating their top 10 list. Montana, which was named the most hateful state, with 9.6 hate groups per million residents, has a foreign-born population of only 2.1 percent.
Many of the other states on the list were from the South. They are as follows: