No, Idaho Isn’t Becoming the Fourth Reich
Are there racists in Idaho? At least one, according to some newspaper accounts. One guy apparently brags that he lives here and anticipates the creation of an ethnostate. Idaho has some history here, but so do some other states. McKean and Potter Counties in northwestern Pennsylvania were briefly hotbeds for white supremacists in the early 1990s. Newspaper coverage allowed them to urge other like-minded people to join them. Trouble was, there weren’t many jobs and it’s very cold in winter.
One writer at the Lewiston Tribune used the one known racist in the state to demand state legislators create additional laws to protect LGBTQ+ Idahoans in the workplace and to save them from housing discrimination. I’m not sure I’ve always been protected from discrimination. I’m a portly gray-haired guy and maybe people don’t like my looks. Or maybe someone gave me a bad reference and it was accurate.
Have you always paid your rent on time? If you haven’t, maybe your application for an apartment was rejected and had nothing to do with your sexual preference. And if you don’t proclaim your preference, in most instances how would anyone know?
Also, don’t we have federal laws offering protections for housing and the workplace? Would those trump a lack of state law?
There’s a strain of originalism that says I can refuse business or lodgings to anyone, no matter what they look like or how they live. Public accommodation laws were simply put in place to enshrine politeness, which isn’t usually a government responsibility. The same strain argues that if I won’t serve you, someone else in a capitalist society will see an opportunity and welcome your business. As for a job, if you can produce (a good earner in mobster films) and increase the bottom line, most employers don’t care where you worship (or don’t), who you married or where your ancestors came from.
LOOK: What 25 Historic Battlefields Look Like Today
PHOTOS: Protests around the world in the wake of George Floyd's death