The irony of forcing a Star Trek fan to assimilate to the will of two ‘PC’ crusaders should not be missed.
A Canadian man’s license plate can forget about living long and prospering.
Manitoba resident Nick Troller was forced to hand over his personalized license plate which read “ASIMIL8”, a reference to the Borg from Star Trek who assimilate other societies into their own by force. The phrases “we are the Borg” and “resistance is futile” are printed on the license plate’s frame.
The dictionary definitions of assimilate include “to absorb into the cultural tradition of a population or group” and “to take into the mind and thoroughly understand.” Which is exactly what the Borg would do when they conquered a planet on Star Trek, the Next Generation.
Nick Troller told CTV Winnipeg that he received a call from someone at the government office who said two people had complained that his license plate was “offensive” to minorities.
Troller also stated he received a letter telling him to immediately “surrender” the license plate. The letter says Troller can either get a new personalized plate or a refund on the $100 charge.
Unfortunately for Troller, the bureaucrat’s decision is not something that can be appealed, so resistance is indeed futile.
“ASIMIL8” is offensive to Canada’s indigenous peoples claimed activist and Director of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, Ry Moran.
“For basically the entirety of this country’s history, indigenous peoples have been forcibly assimilated through really extremely destructive means and ways,” Moran said.
Moran added that “words like that, meant or not, have an actual impact on many people.”
The government’s policy states “plates cannot contain a slogan that could be considered offensive” and takes such complaints “very seriously” and will investigate why the plate was approved in the first place.
Troller disagrees, saying strangers have complimented him on the plate and taken photos. “I thought it was funny,” he said.
“We’ve become way too sensitive. You can’t say anything anymore to anybody” he said.
License plates are the property of the government and there is no appeal process.
Troller’s situation is reminiscent of another controversy in Nova Scotia, where a man named Lorne Grabher’s personalized “GRABHER” plate was revoked after an anonymous complaint of it being offensive to women.
Apparently, someone thought that Mr. Grabher was a Trump supporter.
President Trump was recorded in 2005 saying, “Grab ’em by the p***y.”
The controversy over Lorne Grabher’s personalized license plate, however, could be settled in court now that a group of lawyers have decided to sue the Nova Scotia government.
The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms said Thursday it plans to file a court application later this month, saying the government officials were wrong to withdraw the man’s plate when it was deemed offensive to women.
Calgary attorney John Carpay says his group, which is dedicated to defending constitutional freedoms, wanted to take on Grabher’s case because it concerns free speech.
“Canadians are becoming increasingly less tolerant of free expression,” he said. “You have more and more people who believe that they have a legal right to go through life without seeing or without hearing things they find to be offensive.”
“If we have a right to free speech, then we do not have a right to be free from offence — you can’t have both.”
However, Grabher has said he feels discriminated against. The plate had been used by his family for 20 years without incident.
“You’re supposed to be brought up to respect yourself and respect where you came from,” Grabher said in an interview Thursday. “If they have this right to take that away from you, then you have no respect for yourself.”
Last month, Transport Department spokesman Brian Taylor said that although the department understands Grabher is a surname with German roots, the meaning of his license plate isn’t available to the general public who view it.
The personalized plate program, introduced in 1989, allows the province to refuse plates deemed offensive, socially unacceptable, or in bad taste.
Grabher said his public image has been tarnished by the government’s move.
“I’m not a woman hater and I don’t promote violence against women. That’s what they got me labelled as.”
John Carpay says he expects to be in court later this summer or in the fall.