We love you Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. State number 42 did not disappoint.
I met an amazing couple who welcomed me into their home and into their story. Ward and Janice have both been deeply impacted by racism, but are casting a vision in which we see each other as individuals rather than members of a racial or ethnic group struggling for advantage in a zero-sum political game. They are looking past the social construct of race in America to a society that no longer operates on a racially driven system of human value. It is a wildly unique perspective I’ve not yet heard, and one that will require a great deal of thought and reflection as we continue our journey.
I also got to meet Tony and Norm who were two of the key people leading the charge against hate when the Aryan Nation was established here in the 1970’s. Along with famed civil rights attorney Morris Dees, they bankrupted the organization through litigation and ran them out of town. I learned that sometimes reconciliation and unity is not possible and more aggressive means are required. These guys have a passion to give hate no safe harbor.
I also found a great local podcast called The Community Experiment Podcast and spent some time with Tyler who hosts the show. Give it a listen for some great commentary on life in CDA, as the locals call their home town. Tyler is a very special guy who loves this little slice of heaven in North Idaho.
Finally, I saw an old friend from my University of Tennessee days. Linda welcomed our family to the area and gave our kiddos a book on CDA that helped us explore and learn about her community.
Thanks to these folks and several others who opened up their lives and their community to our family! We love CDA!