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Coded Virginia license plate

April 21, 2010

This is how silly the whole "hate crime" business has become: people are imagining that they see hate speech on license plates.

Back in March of 2009 a man named Douglas Story paid for a Virginia vanity license plate that reads "14CV88" and has an embossed Confederate Flag, an option which Virginia makes available for ten dollars to certified Sons of Confederate Veterans. Here's a picture of the plate:

According to Mr. Story, the 14 stands for NASCAR driver Tony Stewart's car number, the "CV" stands for "Confederate Veteran," and the 88 is Dale Earnhardt's car number, which makes real good sense because they both changed their car numbers shortly before Mr. Story applied for his license plate.

He drove around with his nifty vanity license plate for a whole year with no problem, and then somebody sent a picture of his pickup to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) showing the detailing of the 9/11 World Trade Center destruction and the words "EVERYTHING I EVER NEEDED TO KNOW ABOUT ISLAM I LEARNED ON 9/11." Free speech, in other words.

CAIR was not amused and threw a little kindergarten hissy fit, complaining to the Virginia DMV, whereupon the DMV notified Mr. Story that they were recalling the license plate for containing inflammatory hate speech.

"What hate speech?" you ask. Well, according to CAIR the 14 is code for a 14-word white supremacist motto, and the 88 is code for "Heil Hitler" because "H" is the 8th letter of the alphabet. I kid you not.

Anybody else think that's a bit of a stretch, and maybe CAIR is going out of its way to be offended? After all, last I checked Islam is not a race, so CAIR shouldn't even care about a possible coded reference to a white supremacist motto. And as for coded references to Hitler, well, Muslims were big fans of Hitler, enthusiastically joining the Axis side in World War II by order of a fatwa issued by the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem in 1941. Hey, Hitler promised to exterminate the Jews. That's good stuff to the Muslims.

You know, I know, and God knows that CAIR was upset about the detailing Mr. Story did to his tailgate, not the license plate.

It doesn't really matter whether Mr. Story is a white supremacist or a Muslim hater - neither of those traits is against the law - but simple logic demands that we ask the question, "If the number 14 and the number 88 are popular NASCAR drivers' car numbers, isn't CAIR's problem (and the Virginia DMV's problem) really with NASCAR?"


Here's another question: Is Virgina going to recall every license plate in the state that has the number 14 or 88, or just the ones owned by people CAIR doesn't like?

One last question: Do we really want to live in a country where the biggest whiners get their way?


4/21/10 - CAIR - Va. DMV Recalls ‘Heil Hitler’ License Plate

4/22/10 - Washington Post - Virginia stamps out license to hate: DMV recalls plate with coded racist message

4/27/10 - NewsBusters - Rick Sanchez Forwards CAIR's Nazi License Plate Speculation

4/29/10 - Washington Post - Virginia driver denies license plate had coded racist message

4/29/10 - NewsBusters - Oops: CNN, WaPo Jumped on CAIR's License Plate 'Hate' Theory, Now Disproved

5/30/12 - ABC News - Doug Story accused of making threats against President Obama

Posted from Reno, Nevada, USA

November 5, 2013 - You need to update your research. Doug Story was arrested in 2012 on a federal firearms violation. He also posted threats to Pres. Obama and AG Holder on White Extremist sites. – Kevin, Virginia
J.P. replies: To be accurate, the feds accused him of being threatening but never formally charged him. Sounds like the powers that be went after him—and got him—after his license plate caused controversy and embarassment. If he is truly a white supremacist, that's sad and ignorant, no doubt about it. But not against the law. Because if sad and ignorant was against the law, the Capitol and White House would be empty. I'm never impressed by violations of the National Firearms Act (the charge for which he was convicted) because I believe Americans have a 2nd Amendment right to own any damn gun they want. It's too bad this man's life was ruined by vindictive bureaucrats—what did we gain by railroading a man into prison who never harmed anyone?

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