During a morning address with Boise Mayor Lauren McLean, Ahavath Beth Israel Rabbi Dan Fink, Wassmuth Center Executive Director Dan Prinzing, and a key Micron leader spoke out.
The address followed two incidents in Boise. The first, the shutdown of a public meeting of the Central District Health board of health after protestors showed up at commissioner Diana Lachiondo’s home, where her two sons were reported to be home alone. Lachiondo was attending the meeting virtually from the Ada County Courthouse. The second is a series of stickers with swastikas placed on the Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial in Downtown Boise.
I will be joined by local leaders to address the Anne Frank Memorial Incident. You can tune in live on YouTube at 9:30 AM. I’m grateful for all the community members, leaders and partners willing to stand up against hate. https://t.co/dgJmo8Gubl— Mayor McLean (@boisemayor) December 10, 2020
Joel Poppen is Micron’s company’s general counsel, and serves on its board of directors, spoke up and said the events of the week.
“Micron and our team members condemn all forms of violence, racism, or intimating actions in our community,” he said. “Those kinds of bad actions impact our ability to recruit and retain talent and threaten our growth, prosperity and longevity in Idaho.”
Micron Technology was founded in Boise in 1978. In the decades since, the company grew to 40,000 employees around the world, and ranks on the Fortune 500. It maintains its headquarters in Boise. According to the Boise Valley Economic Partnership, Micron employs more than 5,000 people in Idaho.
“Micron and our team members condemn all forms of violence, racism, or intimating actions in our community. Those kinds of bad actions impact our ability to recruit and retain talent and threaten our growth, prosperity and longevity in Idaho.”— Margaret Carmel (@mlcarmel) December 10, 2020
During a news conference later in the day, BoiseDev asked Gov. Brad Little about Poppen’s comments. Specifically, what the state and Little will do to address Micron’s concerns.
“I don’t want Micron to leave,” he said. “But much more important than that – it speaks volumes about a certain segment of society that shouldn’t do what they’re doing. I condemned it.”
He said the state would work to protect public officials.
“We will do all that we can to protect those public leaders and public officials,” he said. – but more importantly, (we will protect) the dignity, and the civil rights, and what’s represented by that Anne Frank Memorial. It’s something that’s very important to me and very important to Idaho. We’ll condemn it and we’ll enforce the law.”
We asked Little if there were any specific or concrete steps he would take. He did not list any, but said Rose Beal, an Idaho resident who survived the Holocaust and Nazi concentration camps, provides an example.
“When she would go into schools and go around and tell her personal stories of what happened in the concentration camps, and what the Nazis did – that’s the story that we should be talking about.”
“The people of Idaho will react in an equal and opposite reaction about how absolutely abhorrent that action was.”
Watch his response here, or below.
BoiseDev’s Margaret Carmel contributed to this report.