View Full Version : Hearts and Minds: NeoNazis Cleaning a Colorado Highway

01-28-2010, 08:32 AM
Neo-Nazis' road cleanup moves away from church
By Tom McGhee
The Denver Post
Posted: 01/28/2010 01:00:00 AM MST
Updated: 01/28/2010 06:50:02 AM MST

Gary Randall wasn't happy when he heard that a white supremacist group would be cleaning a stretch of U.S. 85 running past Elmwood Baptist Church, where he is pastor.

For one thing, the church has a contract with the Colorado Department of Transportation to clean the road as part of the Adopt-a-Highway program. But even more important, "I just didn't want them by our church because it is multiracial and our members are uncomfortable with anything like that," he said.

Randall complained to CDOT and on Wednesday the agency announced that the National Socialist Movement would adopt a different part of U.S. 85, from Bridge Street to just south of 168th Avenue.

"CDOT takes full responsibility for this error and apologizes for any confusion it may cause or has caused for these Adopt-a-Highway volunteers," the agency said in a release.

The CDOT employee who formerly handled the Adopt-a-Highway program wasn't very good at record- keeping, said CDOT spokeswoman Stacey Stegman. When that person moved on, a different employee approved a contract with the neo-Nazi group to sponsor U.S. 85 from 144th Avenue, where the church is located, to Bridge Street in Brighton.

"They made an error; that happens, people make mistakes," said Neal Land, unit leader of the neo-Nazi group.

Groups that adopt highways are officially recognized in signs posted on the roads. But white supremacist groups like Land's have used the program to get publicity and draw recruits, said Bruce DeBoskey, regional director of the Anti-Defamation League.

"If we get inquiries off it, sure, that is great, but that is not the outright purpose of this," Land said of the group's cleanup effort.

CDOT wrestled with the decision to allow the group to sponsor a highway, Stegman said.

But courts have ruled that hate groups have as much right to sponsor a road as a church, civic group or business does, DeBoskey said.

"The right of free speech includes not only speech that we like but speech that we loathe," DeBoskey said. "We oppose the message of this organization. We work every day to fight their hate, but they have free- speech rights too."

Some communities have taken creative action to make their feelings about hate groups known without trampling their First Amendment rights.

Last year, Missouri state lawmakers passed a transportation bill that contained a provision renaming a road adopted by the neo-Nazi group the "Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel Memorial Highway," after a prominent Jewish theologian and civil rights advocate.

Heschel's daughter objected to having Nazis stomping on a road named after her father, according to the News-Leader of Springfield, Mo.

A Missouri state legislator has now proposed renaming the road after Holocaust survivor and Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal.

Tom McGhee: 303-954-1671 or [email protected]


01-28-2010, 11:26 AM
I really really can't understand why and how some stupid government people can even allow this to happen in the first place. Can you imagine if a neo nazi party wanted to clean the highway in Germany! Did America enter the War to fight the Nazi's and kill them, all for nothing? This stupid law to allow nazi movements to even exist in the first place is outrageous. Freedom of belief my eye!. Probably in 20 years we'll all forget even more about those that gave their life in WW2 and allow neo-nazi's to advertize on bus's cause its their right and nobody complains hard enough to squish these people out. like the cockroachs they are!:army:

01-28-2010, 04:58 PM
Well...at list they are clean nazis, hehehe.

No, seriously I think the US should go in the offensive against the neonazis, that wont be crushing any freedom since the nazis want no freedom for anibody.

02-07-2010, 05:40 PM
Jake and Elwood had the right idea...