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ENCORE: Why Idaho's Racist History Matters: Part 1

via Idaho Statesman
In this Sept. 9, 1924 Idaho Statesman photo, a group of Ku Klux Klan members gathered in Boise for a parade through downtown. According to Statesman reports at the time, 350 people participated in the event.

This interview originally aired July 30, 2020.

As the country continues to grapple with racial injustice and questions about white supremacy in 2020, we’re taking a critical look at Idaho’s racist past. We think it’s important to examine our roots so we can better understand how we got here today and what steps we can take to be a more inclusive and equitable place for everyone. 

Today’s show is the first in a two-part series with Dr. Jill Gill, a Boise State history professor. Today we’ll begin looking at Idaho’s racism beginning during the Civil War and continuing through the 1920s and 1930s when the Ku Klux Klan had more than 10 chapters in Idaho. We'll look at how "white flight" from Confederate and northern states began to build Idaho's anti-Black reputation, and how the politics of leaders including Sen. William Borah supported racist policies.

This is the first interview in a two part series. You can listen to the second interview here.

(The full transcript of this conversation is available here.)

Have a question or comment for the show? Tweet @KBSX915 using #IdahoMatters


Frankie Barnhill is the Senior Producer of Idaho Matters, Boise State Public Radio's daily show and podcast. She's always interested in hearing surprising and enlightening stories about life in the West. Have an idea for Idaho Matters? Drop her a line!