Saturday, May 17, 2014

In Defense of a Swastika Wearing Taxi Driver in NYC

A taxi cab driver in NYC has been suspended by the NYC Taxi and Limousine  Commission.

I think it is pretty goofy to wear a swastika, especially when driving a taxi in what Jesse Jackson called hymietown. But why should this be the business of anyone beyond the driver and the taxi firm that employs him?

He must be defended against the government. Defending such goofballs is not easy but it must be done. As H.L. Mencken noted:
The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
NyPo has the details:
A ...yellow cabbie was suspended for driving the streets wearing a swastika armband — which got him flipped off and cursed at by furious pedestrians and other motorists.
“Of course people would curse me out but I kept on moving,” boasted Gabriel Diaz, 27, a self-identified National Socialist who wears the bright red band on his left arm so his passengers can’t see it.
“People would say ‘f— you Nazi!’, typical stuff.”
He said the passengers never complained to him, and were oblivious to rants outside his cab.
“Their mind was somewhere else,” he said. “They were focused on what they had to do.”
But several people were so disgusted walking past his taxi that they snapped pictures and filed complaints to the Anti-Defamation League.
“I thought my eyes were deceiving me,” said a New Jersey mother who spotted Diaz last month on East 57th Street — and reported it to the Taxi and Limousine Commission and the Anti-Defamation League.
“I tried to get closer and inch up when I realized it was exactly that. I just felt like I had to document it because I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was shocking. I was very angry.”
The ADL sent a letter in early April to the TLC.
“We are extremely disturbed by this provocative and offensive display and call upon the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission to investigate this matter and take appropriate action as soon as possible,” wrote Evan Bernstein, the regional director.
The agency investigated Diaz and suspended his license on May 9 for 30 days after he pleaded guilty to violating TLC rules.
“They set a real line in the sand for other drivers to know,” said Bernstein, the Anti-Defamation League’s regional director, who praised the suspension. “Hate symbols worn publicly are not going to be tolerated.”
It is against TLC rules for drivers perform any act that is against the best interests of the public.
Diaz, who lives in the Bronx, has been driving a taxi since November 2011, and works out of a Long Island City garage.
He promised said he won’t wear the armband on the job any more because of “liberal crybabies” — but feels the suspension is a violation of his constitutional rights.
“If a Muslim can drive a cab wearing a turban, if a homosexual can walk around with a big flag, a rainbow flag, why can’t a person like me wear a Nazi armband?” he said. “I’m expressing my First Amendment right.”


  1. He should be defended from government but it gives me a chuckle to see someone with the last name Diaz supporting an ideology that's views him as subhuman. But hey each to their own

  2. I'm reminded of Clayton Bigsby.