The website for the Springfield, Missouri, chapter of National Socialist Movement, a nationwide neo-Nazi outfit, explains that they adopted a half-mile stretch of highway to "show Springfield that we care." It further declares that, "NSM Springfield is a part of the solution!"
Shockingly, some people aren't so fond of Nazis beautifying their roads and are looking for an interesting way to stick it to them, while still letting them clean up their discarded Sonic cups, of course.
The Springfield News-Leader reports that Springfield Reps. Sara Lampe and Charlie Denison are pushing to change the name of part of West Bypass (horrible name, really) in honor of Rabbi Ernest Jacob, a Holocaust survivor who moved to Springfield after World War II.
Lampe tells the paper that if the renaming is approved by the Legislature, she wants to put up a sign with the new name right next to
NSM's adoption sign. She says she hopes that motorists realize "not all people in southwest Missouri have that belief."
From the News-Leader story:
Rabbi Walter Jacob, the son of the late Ernest Jacob, said
spent 30 years as an activist for racial and other equality in
Springfield. This move is an extension of his activism, Walter Jacob
"He had emigrated to this country and knew what it
was like to be part of a minority that was not welcome," Walter Jacob
said. "He was very interested in doing what could be done."
The signs announcing the group's adoption went up in October 2008 and were mildly controversial. According to a January 2009 Kansas City Star story, MoDOT has no choice but to let NSM adopt the road, even if its beliefs are deplorable. A department spokesman told the Star at the time, "It's a First Amendment thing, and we can't discriminate as long as they
pick up the trash." The Nazis might just be a little irked as they clean up now.
The bill to rename the road is being fast-tracked through the House.