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Hutson discusses extremists in Idaho on KTVB

Photo portrait of Royce Hutson

Royce Hutson, an associate professor of social work, shared his research in a recent three part series on the Idaho television channel KTVB. Hutson conducts research on countering and preventing violent extremism, as well as disaster needs, asset assessments and disaster survey methodology.

Hutson said hate in Idaho “ebbs and flows,” claiming that it never truly goes away. He describes the way video games and online chat rooms can contribute to violent hate, emphasizing how hate speech is common in these spaces, but that that doesn’t make it acceptable.

Hutson compared hate groups to organizations like Al-Qaeda, who present a distortion of religious beliefs while offering a sense of belonging to those who may feel shame, exclusion or isolation from their community.

Hutson also discussed signs to look for in friends and family. He said that it is possible for isolation to lead to radicalization, but not in every situation, and he encouraged people to look out for one another and to not let the hate groups open rifts in communities.