"No experiment can be more interesting than that we are now trying, and which we trust will end in establishing the fact, that man may be governed by reason and truth. Our first object should therefore be, to leave open to him all the avenues to truth. The most effectual hitherto found, is the freedom of the press. It is, therefore, the first shut up by those who fear the investigation of their actions." --Thomas Jefferson to John Tyler, 1804.

Behind the ‘assasination’ chanters

After the news story broke about the young school bus riders at Rexburg chanting “assassinate Obama” there were a few comments from that area – one thoughtful statement from the mayor, for example – about how wrong it was, and how people in the area need to think hard about where the mentality behind this came from.

That subject has come up on a Huckleberries blog post (Dave Oliveria, blogger) and most interestingly in the comments section. The whole thing is recommended reading, but two quotes beg for pulling . . . One from a teacher in the Rexburg area:

Before the election, I constantly heard horrible, negative remarks about Obama. Things like babykiller, he is black, he is stupid, he doesn’t deserve to win, my parents will move out of the country if he wins, and worst of all, he is a democrat. I often heard from students that he should be shot before he gets in office. It sickened me but at the time I thought that they were just trying to get to me because of my Obama sticker on my desk. Seriously, what 8th grader cares about politics? Most don’t pay attention in class anyway so I wonder where they hear these things? Believe it or not, most people in this town have money–enough money to have a newspaper, internet, satellite or cable. However, most of my students cannot do assignments that involve the news because they do not get the newspaper, have a TV in the house, or the internet. It is not just a few random students but many. Some students come to school to take band, orchestra or a math class (not to mention Seminary) and then are home schooled the rest of the day. It is a fallacy if the kids are learning it from someone other than their families.

And this one from a Rupert-area resident:

I’ve seen it before, and although it saddens me, I am not surprised. There are some VERY narrow-minded people in that part of the state.

The big difference – in North Idaho people with that kind of view are more likely to be “white trash” or “anti-government hillbillies.” People who dress in camo, have jacked up pickups, etc etc. I mean no offense, just trying to form a picture.

But in SE Idaho, that point of view is attached to bankers, church leaders, and others in the “professional” class. The squeaky clean people. And that is far scarier.

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