Swastikas, racial slurs in Fulton County

OPPENHEIM – Hoffman Road in the Town of Oppenheim would never be confused with a well-traveled thoroughfare. That’s why who ever spray-painted with bright orange paint over a Black Lives Matter sign – with swastikas and racial slurs – had to have gone out of their way to commit vandalism.

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“It saddens me that there are people that believe the Nazi regime was a good thing,” said Colleen Bowers, a victim of the mindless vandalism. “It saddens me to know that there is hate in this isolated neighborhood. It saddens me that there are people that feel that there are certain persons in the human race that aren’t worthy.”

The cruelty, contentious craziness, and connotations associated with swastikas and racial epithets paint a sharp contrast to the tranquil, scenic beauty in this corner of Fulton County.

“You have to be carefully taught,” said Bowers, borrowing a line from Rogers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific, “Assuming these were young people, I’m sure they grew up in a household with other such ideas, and so they were carefully taught.”

Although disappointed and upset that anyone would come onto their property and violate their space, perhaps the saddest part of this vandalism episode is that neither Colleen nor her husband Dean Foreman is terribly surprised by the invasion of ignorance.

“There’s hatred everywhere,” Colleen said.

“You can’t get away from it, you can’t protect yourself from it, you can’t lock your goods up that they don’t break in and steal your goods away,” said Dean.

Colleen and Dean say they heard multiple voices in the night outside their home Saturday night into Sunday morning, along with noise from ATVs.

“If we were to fix (the sign), or if we were to take it down, then I feel that people that have that (hatred) in their heart would have won,” said Dean.

Fulton County Sheriff Richard Giardino says his detectives are on the trail of vandals, determined to make sure good triumphs over hatred.