Hate makes a comeback in the Pacific Northwest

ABC News | 5/25/2019 | Staff
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Nearly two decades after the Aryan Nations' Idaho compound was demolished, far-right extremists are maintaining a presence in the Pacific Northwest.

White nationalism has been on the rise across the U.S., but it has particular resonance along the Idaho-Washington border, where the Aryans espoused hate and violence for years.

Group - Hayden - Lake - Idaho - Lawsuit

The neo-Nazi group was based near Hayden Lake, Idaho, starting in the 1970s, and eventually was bankrupted in a lawsuit brought by local activists and the Southern Poverty Law Center. Its compound was seized, and supporters dispersed.

But a series of incidents in recent weeks show far-right sentiments never really left the conservative region. In the county that is home to Hayden Lake, for instance, Republicans last month passed a measure expressing support for U.S. entry of a prominent Austrian far-right activist who was investigated for ties to the suspected New Zealand mosque gunman.

Hate - Groups - Region - Spokane - Idaho

In 2018, at least nine hate groups operated in the region of Spokane and northern Idaho, including Identity Evropa, Proud Boys, ACT for America and America's Promise Ministries, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. The center does not track how many members belong to each group.

Keegan Hankes, a researcher for the Southern Poverty Law Center, said the number of hate groups is growing across the U.S., driven in part by a toxic political culture. The human rights group counted 784 active hate groups in the U.S. in 2014 and 1,020 in 2018.

Supremacist - Groups - Fears - Country - Makeup

In particular, white supremacist groups are growing because of fears that the country's racial makeup is changing. "That drives a ton of anxiety," Hankes said.

These new far-right activists are more scattered than the ones who used to gather at the Aryan Nations by the dozens, experts say.

Compound - Hayden - Lake - Idaho - Kristine

"It is no longer necessary to go to a compound in Hayden Lake, Idaho," said Kristine Hoover, director of the Gonzaga Institute for...
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