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Old 06-12-2011, 11:28 PM
 
2 posts, read 11,452 times
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Will possibly be moving to the Libby/Kalispell area from the midwest. I've heard from a few folks that racism/white supremacy is a particular problem in NW Montana/Idaho. Do you think as a black man in an interracial marriage that I'd have a rough time in these places?
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Old 06-13-2011, 01:50 AM
 
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
7,540 posts, read 12,570,254 times
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There are a few nutjobs in MT just like everywhere else, but I think you'll find the average Montanan couldn't care less if you're black, white, green, or plaid. People will be a lot more interested in whether you're regular folks. If they seem to stare, chances are it's cuz they're afraid if they say something (being curious and all) it'll be taken as "racist" -- but a smile and hello can break that ice easy enough.
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Old 06-13-2011, 03:46 AM
 
Location: SWUS
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petrophase View Post
Will possibly be moving to the Libby/Kalispell area from the midwest. I've heard from a few folks that racism/white supremacy is a particular problem in NW Montana/Idaho. Do you think as a black man in an interracial marriage that I'd have a rough time in these places?
If I were in your shoes this would want to make me move there even more, just to **** them off
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Old 06-13-2011, 05:44 AM
 
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Petro anytime you swim against the current you can expect some friction. It sounds like you know what you're in for, so it's just a matter of if you want to be there bad enough. Can you tolerate those who might judge you unfairly? What do you think a white man married to a black girl in Harlem might face on a daily basis? People are people, and idealism aside I think we all know you'll face certain challenges.

It's ultimately up to you whether you choose a more "blend in" environment to reside, or you can muster up your strength and just do it. Either way, best of luck to you.
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Old 06-13-2011, 06:05 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TaylorRothschild View Post
Petro anytime you swim against the current you can expect some friction. It sounds like you know what you're in for, so it's just a matter of if you want to be there bad enough. Can you tolerate those who might judge you unfairly? What do you think a white man married to a black girl in Harlem might face on a daily basis? People are people, and idealism aside I think we all know you'll face certain challenges.

It's ultimately up to you whether you choose a more "blend in" environment to reside, or you can muster up your strength and just do it. Either way, best of luck to you.
At least in Montana you can arm yourself to defend yourself against the possible nutjob. New York City has some of the most stupid, draconian gun laws in the nation. There you would have to wait for the police to arrive, and hope they don't gun YOU down when you reach for your wallet.
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Old 06-13-2011, 08:21 AM
 
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Your color doesn't make a difference. How you present yourself and your attitude will. If you come with the "I'm black living in a mostly white state" feeling, you will experience folks who are going to dwell on it. Just come, work hard and be happy. You can prevent any apprehensions by how you portray yourself. Good luck and welcome.
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Old 06-13-2011, 09:29 AM
 
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
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Consider: Back in the 1970s, when this "integration" thing was still kinda newfangled, there was exactly one black guy living in Bozeman (aside from the occasional exchange student). His wife was white. I never once heard a word against him, or heard anyone remark on it at all, for that matter. If it weren't that I'd see the happy couple occasionally at the grocery, I wouldn't know they existed. I do kinda regret that I never said hello, but back then you didn't just walk up and start talking to folks you didn't know.
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Old 06-13-2011, 09:50 AM
 
213 posts, read 596,311 times
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The organized hate groups have been more of an issue in Idaho - but in recent years they haven't been as visible there either. There are some individuals in Montana with the same beliefs but most of them like to stick to the more remote areas where they can hide out pretending that the world is the way they believe it should be. In the cities and towns in Montana, racism really isn't a big issue at all. I live in Missoula, and I know several inter-racial families. Nobody even blinks an eye at them.

Last edited by bongo403; 06-13-2011 at 10:00 AM..
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Old 06-13-2011, 10:09 AM
 
Location: NW Montana
451 posts, read 845,757 times
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Howdy, petrophase.
This is written from a Polson, Montana perspective (Lake County).

My take on answering your questions is that it is much more of a personal behavior issue as opposed to one driven by skin color. I'm White, 1/3 of my neighbors are Red (Flathead Indian Reservation), and a small percentage of the neighbors are Latino, Asian or Black. By neighbors, I mean folks living in the same county. Montana counties are huge and have low populations counts compared to other states.

We tend to cross paths in town: at the stores, in the churches, maybe at the brewery. I have yet to witness any outbreaks of verbal or physical aggression between any of these groups. Altercations among them is not quite that rare, but neither is it common. The confrontations seem limited to those members of the same people group taking to task other members of the same group.

Friendships and acquaintances between the races (people groups) are quite common here.

If you are fair-minded and sociable yourself, I expect you would meet mostly people of similar bent. If instead you are demanding, hard-to-please, or exude the world view of having been victimized due to your skin color (aka: whiner) then you'll probably find people who are willing to accommodate/reinforce the notion of bigotry that has been given (from wherever) in warning. I doubt that you fall into this second category.

Seems to me that you'd fit in fine with the neighbors in Lincoln County (Libby) or Flathead County (Kalispell), based on the objective way you've phrased your opening question.

Feel free to ask plenty more questions and specifics about the area. It would be great if you have the opportunity to visit for a while before making the move.

Good luck!

mg

PS - Mixed race marriages are very common in this part of the state, largely due to the high percentage of Indians (which is what they prefer to be called, despite what the PC news media would have us believe). Can't say that anyone notices much or ever comments on that fact.
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Old 06-13-2011, 11:13 AM
 
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Well said montygarlic. In my lifetime in Montana I have yet to witness a racial sparring. I have however witnessed my share of fights stemming from a mixture of beer, rodeo, big belt buckle, swamp tire "my Ford can whip yor Chevy", cowboy wanna be comedies. Let's not leave out the tree/bunny huggers vs loggers and miners. I don't think petrophase fits into these catagories.
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