Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Via Harpers.

Ga license plate spells antisemitism... almost

For about two months Frank Gumina has driven a 1974 Volkswagen Thing around with a Georgia tag that reads HA8 JWZ.

Gumina saw nothing in the sequence of letters and the numeral 8 except a sequence of letters and the numeral eight. Others did.

"I would be at a grocery store or the Wal-Mart and people would say 'Hate Jews?' or 'Jew Hater?' and I had no idea what they were talking about," Gumina said Friday.

"You know how people just say things that don't make any sense."

Finally, a couple of weeks ago, a mechanic working on Gumina's car sounded out the letters and the numeral on his tag.

"I got it then," said Gumina. "Hate Jews. I realized I had a problem."

Gumina said he made a few calls and ended up talking with the Atlanta office of the Anti-Defamation League and the Georgia Department of Revenue, which handles license plates in the state.

The state has a database of about 8,500 tag number letter sequences that it blocks from being made into license plates, said Department of Revenue Spokesman Charles Willey.

The state on Friday said it will now prohibit auto tags that begin with HA8 or H8 to prevent any accidental or intentional messages of hate.

Tags on the blocked list included, for instance, "MAFIA," "AZZ KICKER," and "KKK." The system also blocks any tag that reads as any combination of words that can be read as curse words or racial slurs, or anything that starts with the word 'EAT'," said Willey.


Gerry Canavan said...


More Harper's license madness.

Gerry Canavan said...

Click here, damnit.