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Idaho Black History Museum targeted with racial slur

"Apropos of the current racial climate," the museum wrote in the post. 


BOISE -- The Idaho Black History Museum was targeted overnight by someone who scrawled a racial slur in the snow.

Executive Director Phillip Thompson said he spotted the N-word the roof of a shed on the museum's property Wednesday morning.

"It's just out of ignorance and I don't really see what point it serves," he said. "But it's indicative of the current social-political climate, how things have kind of gotten a little tense all of a sudden."

Thompson, who was on his way to a board meeting, snapped a quick photo of the slur and posted it on the Idaho Black History Museum's Facebook page.

"Apropos of the current racial climate," he wrote on the post. "Found today at museum."

Three hours later, the post had been shared almost 1,000 times and drawn dozens of comments.

Thompson said such incidents are rare: There has not been any "outward acts of violence" towards the museum in about 15 years, he said. Wednesday's racist scrawl did not leave make him fearful, he said.

"This is not reflective of the city of Boise, it's just some schmuck that has too much time on his [hands,]" he said.

Still, Thompson said he thought the incident was important to share in order to start a conversation about attitudes towards race in America, especially in the wake of a contentious presidential race.

"A lot of people want to move like this doesn't exist, or act in such a way that we're past this, and we're not, as a society," he said. "Boise's a beautiful place, America's a beautiful place but there is still a bit of an us-and-them mentality, and you saw it come out in the last election."

Thompson said he had not contacted police, noting that the culprit did not damage any property. The museum, located in the historic St. Paul Baptist Church building inside Julia Davis Park, does not have surveillance cameras.

Idaho Black History Museum

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