New York DMV to yank license plate over anti-Semitic acronym used by neo-Nazis

 NEW YORK DAILY NEWS:

The state is moving to revoke a Queens man’s vanity license plate that contains an anti-Semitic acronym used by neo-Nazis, the Daily News has learned.

The offensive license plate belongs to Queens resident Paul Schmieder and reads “GTKRWN,” which to hate groups stands for “gas the k—s, race war now.”

A Daily News reporter saw a white Chevy Silverado pickup truck with the license plate as it pulled up to Schmieder’s address on Thursday night.

“I have the right to put anything I want on my car,” said the truck’s driver.

Not according to the Department of Motor Vehicles. Its regulations bar license plates that are “in the discretion of the commissioner, obscene, lewd, lascivious, derogatory to a particular ethnic or other group, or patently offensive.”

The DMV said Thursday it has begun the process of yanking the license plate after being told by the News that Assemblywoman Nily Rozic of Queens was sending a letter calling on the agency to act.

In the letter to Motor Vehicles Commissioner Theresa Egan, Rozic (D-Queens) wrote that “this specific language serves to agitate and incites violence against the Jewish community.”

“As the overseeing authority of New York State license plates, I request that your agency immediately revoke Mr. Schmieder’s offensive vanity plates and ensure that it is not re-assigned to a different motor vehicle,” Rozic wrote. “

“Anti-Semitism, in any form, has no place in society and must be addressed whenever and wherever it arises, particularly when under the purview of a government agency,” Rozic added. “I know you share in this commitment to rejecting a specific code of letters, signs, and numbers developed to symbolize offensive, racist terminology.”

The DMV said it seeks to revoke Schmieder’s license plate “in response to customer complaints.”

“New York State has zero tolerance for hate speech and as soon as the meaning of this heinous acronym was brought to our attention through the regular complaint process we immediately moved to revoke the license plate,” DMV spokeswoman Lisa Koumjian said. “After reviewing the consumer complaints, the plate has been invalidated. A letter will be mailed to the driver with new plates tomorrow.”

More at the NY Daily News

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