Why do out-of-state people bring their intolerant attitudes to Idaho? Who the hell knows? In the 1970s, Idaho’s reputation was darkened when a man from California moved to Hayden Lake and started the Aryan Nations. The latest threat to Idaho’s good name comes from southern Idaho where two men have combined to form an ugly megaphone against — of all things — Syrian war refugees.
Those Syrians will be settled into the Magic Valley through the College of Southern Idaho’s Refugee Center — a center that both these men want to shut down.
The first man is Bill Colley, a right-wing radio host who grew up in New York and came to Idaho from Delaware. Colley says 9-11 explains why he believes Syrian war refugees should be sent back where the came from. Because, you know, Syria had so much to do with 9-11.
Yet if you think that’s top-shelf fear mongering, you haven’t seen anything yet.
Hadian has learned his message of fear-and-intolerance is popular with Idaho’s political extremists. Just to give you a taste of the fear, here’s Hadian from a radio show called, “Fortress of Faith.”
“We believe that America is much closer to the tipping point (of Muslims taking over the country) than most Americans imagine. They have the upper hand because they have the White House and they have infiltrated the highest levels of our government. They have the media on their side. They have infiltrated our education system.”
If you’re asking, “Did he say Muslims have invaded the White House?” The answer is, “Yes. Yes he did.”
Hadian has no shame publicly claiming the president is a Muslim, even though he isn’t and it shouldn’t matter anyway. It’s not a big deal because Hadian’s schtick isn’t predicated on factual accuracy. It’s predicated on fear. Lots of fear. And Hadian is a master at cooking up fear as a means to achieve his final goal of intolerance.
He has nothing to lose and everything to gain. Fear mongering is rewarding him with money and notoriety. Besides, Twin Falls isn’t his community. Who cares if a southern Idaho town gains a reputation for intolerance? As far as he’s concerned, the Magic Valley can clean up its image long after he leaves.
So should Twin Falls fear the outsiders? You bet. One is from New York and the other is from Washington state.