Montana Perspective: The American “Redoubt” and Sanders County

0


Jim Elliott

Recently my home county of Sanders made national news twice, first to have the largest increase in Covid cases in the United States and more recently for a group of citizens lobbying a council member. County Health Council for him to resign because he stood up for what he was trained with and which the crowd disagreed with, namely medical science.

This is the kind of publicity that most communities would not want to have because it would act as a deterrent to the economic growth of an area. Well, that would have been the case years ago, but times are changing, and news like this can now be viewed more positively by those who favor anti-government expression, especially when used. to intimidate those who disagree with you outside of the office.

In 1981, a white nationalist group called Aryan Nations took up residence in a complex near Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. They recruited incarcerated criminals from among their members and financed their activities through bank robberies. The people of northern Idaho were offended by the beliefs and presence of the Aryan nations and said so.

An outspoken man, a Catholic priest, was in her house when it was bombed. His life was only saved by being sheltered by a refrigerator. The group encountered opposition from local real estate agents (one Jew) on both ethical and economic grounds. A reputation for violent extremism has not helped sell local properties to people outside the state.

In 1988, with the heat in Idaho, the Aryan nations considered moving to a nicer location, namely across the border from Idaho to Sanders County, Montana. This was not good news for the current residents of the newly discovered Aryan Promised Land and they arranged a meeting to discuss the situation and discourage the move.

More than 350 people gathered in the high school gymnasium in Noxon, MT (which would have been a packed house for a basketball game) to listen to the speakers. My most vivid memory of the reunion was a young man with his stomach hanging out under a dirty t-shirt walking through the gym with a sign that read “White Pride”.

We didn’t want our communities to become safe havens for ideological extremists and the Aryans got the message and stayed home. It was then.

The idea of ​​a “white homeland” had been around for some time and the interior of the northwest was seen as a likely place to achieve it, not by residents but by outsiders looking for a place with it. few citizens of color. The whiteness of the northwest interior was the main attraction and was mistakenly taken as a sign that local residents favored whiteness.

Whether encouraged by racial hatred, anti-government sentiments, survivalism, or a mixture of all of that, the idea was that the interior of the racially homogeneous Northwest should be where the last fight was. whiteness could take place. It was named the American Redoubt, “redoubt” meaning fortress, or stronghold, or for some, last position.

And now that kind of anti-government sentiment that made the citizens of northern Idaho and western Montana stand up to the Aryan nations and say “not here, you don’t” in 1988 is a selling point for several real estate agencies. solicit anti-government buyers. Look for “dread realtors” for examples.

To look at it from a different perspective, some are concerned about an issue called “white replacement” which, in the minds of some conservative Caucasians, means people of color are admitted to the United States to compensate for the problem. influence of the blank vote. It’s an old fear, recently rekindled and now affecting voting rights and immigration policies.

But while they stupidly worry about “replacement citizens”, they commit the same act on the current citizens of the regions to which they move by exerting their political muscle to make the place more to their liking.

So the Inland Northwest is being transformed politically by newcomers looking for a place where authority can be intimidated, not to say scorned, and news of a place where a mob is allowed to intimidate. the advice of volunteers to submit them is a good indicator for them of a place to move.

Jim Elliott served sixteen years in the Montana Legislature as a state representative and state senator. He lives on his ranch in Trout Creek.


Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.