Minority Issues, Racism, Trials, Weirdness

Idaho’s Main Exports: Potatoes and Racism?

Edgar J. Steele

I don’t think Idaho gets enough credit for being positively weird. Sure, Napoleon Dynamite did a good job of highlighting that state’s peculiar relationship with llamas and quesadillas. But what of the insane racial animus that resides in the Potato State?

(I don’t know if Idaho is the potato state. It should be, right? We’ll just assume it’s the potato state for these purposes.)

Idaho was the site of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s huge victory over the Aryan Nations in 2000, and even though that lawsuit largely bankrupted the organization, the state apparently is still home to remnants of the group. Who now fight delicious tacos. Or something.

The state is also home to one Edgar J. Steele, proud graduate of UCLA Law, old racist crank, and alleged contract-hit enthusiast….

This week, Steele sits in a courtroom, accused of hiring a local handyman to kill his wife, Cyndi Steele. The local paper, the charmingly named Bonner County Daily Bee, describes what Edgar “The Animal” Steele allegedly did:

Steele, according to the indictment, hired [handyman Larry] Fairfax to kill both Cyndi Steele and her mother.

Fairfax planted a massive pipe bomb under Cyndi Steele’s vehicle, which never did go off. He also allegedly planted a pipe bomb under Edgar Steele’s vehicle that would make it look like he was targeted too, providing an alibi.

The defense team, however, questions the likelihood of the pipe-bomb plot actually working, since there was no remote trigger to explode the bomb while Cyndi and her mother were riding in the vehicle.

I’m just glad to see that all those copies of The Anarchist Cookbook didn’t go to waste. The story is unclear on just how this handyman Fairfax came to be trusted to carry out such an important job. I guess he was just a really good handyman. Or maybe a really bad one? One desperate enough to carry out a murder? “Dude can’t fix a sink for s**t. Maybe he’d be up for killing my old lady.”

Now, how do we know Mr. Steele is racist? Well, his “claim to fame”, as it were, is defending the Aryan Nations. Because of this, the jury selection in his case will have some fun voir dire. To wit:

According to court documents, to eliminate biased jurors, people in the pool will face questions such as: “Have you or anyone with whom you have a relationship or friendship ever held the belief or espoused the position held by or been a member of the KKK, Aryan Nations, National Socialist Movement, National Alliance or similar group which bases its doctrine on race or ethnicity?”

Another asks whether prospective jurors have “ever held the belief or espoused the position held by a member of a group which believes the federal government has no legal or actual jurisdiction or authority over state or local citizens?”

Now, I just assume that these questions are important because of the identity of the defendant. But it’s equally plausible that this is standard operating procedure in the Potato State. Again, that place is weird.

On a side note, might I suggest another question that is sure to ferret out those sympathetic to Edgar Steele’s umm… cause? Ask the potential white jurors (also known as Idahoan jurors) what they think about Chris Rock’s bit talking about the differences between black people. You know the one. There is nothing more uncomfortable than hearing a white person expound on the genius of that particular bit. “It’s funny because it’s true!” Stop being gross and making me uncomfortable.

I seem to have lost the thread of this discussion…

Oh yeah, Edgar Steele. So he’s not a racist only because he has defended the Aryan Nations in court. Even Boo Radley deserves Gregory Peck or something like that. I don’t really remember that book.

No, we know Edgar Steele is racist because he maintains a hilariously dumb website called Conspiracy Pen Pal. It’s your basic legal website. Full of attacks on the federal government, discussion of flu pandemics, and oh yeah, sober analysis of race issues:

1. The economics disaster now underway will lead to the cutoff of benefits to America’s now-permanent underclass, primarily Blacks and Hispanics, which has been conditioned and bred to expect full support as a right – the entitlement mentality. With the cutoff of their rightful due, they will do what they always do: riot and increase their attacks on those whom they view as their oppressors – White people, in other words.

2. Nationwide rioting will culminate in an open race war in the cities of America, which already has been waged for years, but covered up by the controlled media. Like the South-Central riots in LA a few years ago, the media will be unable to cover up the coming unpleasantries, which will take place throughout America simultaneously.

3. As White people form up into roving bands of vigilantes and deliver street justice, just as was done in New Orleans directly following Hurricane Katrina (you didn’t hear about that, did you?), the government will respond, just as it did following Katrina (what did you suppose that door-to-door gun confiscation in New Orleans was all about, anyway?), with the shooting of people in the streets of America by government troops and agents. This time, however, it will be too widespread to be covered up and kept from the general public.

Just like Above the Law, really. When I told Lat I was writing this, he was upset. “That guy stole my blurbs for Non-Sequiturs this afternoon!” You snooze, you get beat to the punch by an alleged attempted wife-murdering weirdo from the Potato State. That’s what my dad always said.

Anyway, if you have the time, I definitely encourage you to head on over to Conspiracy Pen Pal. It’s chock-full of rants seemingly stolen verbatim from Clayton Bigsby’s personal library. Have you ever wondered “What Color are Jews?” Steele’s got ya covered. The old boy doesn’t appear to sell ads, so you won’t be funding his racist “Nickel Rants” (ugh).

Or maybe you can just wait until UCLA Law’s Alumni Magazine devotes an entire issue to Edgar J. Steele.

UPDATE: Steele’s trial is being postponed and moved to Boise. It’s now expected to start in April.

Steele’s murder-for-hire case goes to trial Monday [Bonner County Daily Bee]

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