Swastikas Appear On Durham, Maine Road
Symbols of hate have turned up on a busy road in Durham, Maine.
Late last week, while driving down Route 136 in Durham, Maine. I noticed two large swastikas, the symbol of the Nazi party, painted right on the center line of the road, a busy state road that runs from the Lewiston/Auburn area to Freeport.
It was a jarring enough sight for me to call the Maine State Police (which is responsible for patrolling the road) and report it. I realize that on the scope of crimes, it wasn't a major emergency, but it still needed to come to the attention of the authorities.
The symbols remained on the road all weekend, and in fact as of Tuesday morning at 8:30 am, they were still there, untouched by road crews. A call to the Durham Public Works Department was referred to the Maine DOT, and a call to the Maine DOT's Freeport Maintenance Camp was not answered.
In a report for the Tri-Town Weekly newspaper (in the interest of full disclosure, I used to write for the paper before coming to Townsquare Media), Emily Chaleff, executive director of the Jewish Community Alliance of Southern Maine, said the symbols were "a sign of bigotry." She also said that the community needs to educate people on the real meaning of the symbol, which she says is "intense hatred."
I couldn't agree more.
It's unlikely that the person or persons who painted the swastikas on the road will ever be caught, but if they are, besides being required to fix the mess they made, they should have to learn about just exactly what horrific and reprehensible things the Nazis did during World War II.
Maybe then they'll think twice before having some fun with spray paint.