Georgia to stop HA8, H8 on license plates

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MACON, Ga. --- A central Georgia driver's discovery that his license plate contained an anti-Semitic message has prompted the state to stop issuing personalized or hobby plates that suggest the word "hate."

Frank Gumina told The Telegraph newspaper in Macon he was surprised when his auto mechanic asked him whether he were a "Jew hater." The mechanic pointed to the license plate on Mr. Gumina's 1974 Volkswagen Thing. It read: HA8 JWZ.

Mr. Gumina said he had to stare at it awhile before he understood.

"I guess I don't pay attention to the letters and stuff," he said.

Mr. Gumina called the Bibb County license tag office, and also called his preacher. His preacher called Rabbi Larry Schlesinger, who serves at Temple Beth Israel and is a Macon city councilman-elect. Rabbi Schlesinger called the Anti-Defamation League in Atlanta. And the Anti-Defamation League called state officials.

The upshot: the Georgia Department of Revenue has decided to no longer issue prestige plates -- also called vanity or personalized plates -- or hobby plates that start with HA8 or H8.

Mr. Gumina did not request his HA8 plate. He had asked for a Hobby Automobile plate for his old car. Such plates all start with HA and will continue to do so. The rest was random numbers and letters that spelled out something unintended, Department of Revenue spokesman Charles Willey said.

"The guy who got that plate, he was innocent," Mr. Willey said.

Bill Nigut, Southeast regional director of the Anti-Defamation League, said in a statement, "Allowing such tags encourages a climate of intolerance and hostility that is simply unacceptable."

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Edgefield
0
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Edgefield 12/01/07 - 05:24 am
0
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perhaps I see things, by some

perhaps I see things, by some standards, diffrently. HA8 does not spell hate. perhaps some people look for ways to be offended. do not give credit to hate those things that should be credited to stupidity.

a crazy old man
30
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a crazy old man 12/01/07 - 06:37 am
0
0
OH my goodness,what's next?

OH my goodness,what's next?

patriciathomas
43
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patriciathomas 12/01/07 - 07:17 am
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At first blush this seems

At first blush this seems silly, but with the popularity of vanity plates stuff like this can happen on purpose. H8NGRS OR H8WOPS or even the plate Mr Gumina got by chance could be exactly what they seem. Needless insults. That being said, it does remove some good stuff like H8AWFE OR H8 WRK . The removal of the H8 or HA8 is the typical broad brush bureaucratic reaction to most things under government control.

sliique
1
Points
sliique 12/01/07 - 07:44 am
0
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Well, edgefield, in your

Well, edgefield, in your case, dum SURE spells dumb.

justus4
124
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justus4 12/01/07 - 09:55 am
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A teaching moment here.
Unpublished

A teaching moment here. (HA8)Why would this symbol be ruled a hateful display, while the confederate flag be visible on every ya-hoo's vehicle. The difference is the race of the offended. It's clear that georgia is a racist state and it's also clear who the state is against. And to think that my tax dollars are paying these idiots, permitting symbols that offend minorities... We must be Christians.

Ushouldnthave
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Ushouldnthave 12/01/07 - 10:32 am
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Knee Jerk.

Knee Jerk.

onehotdog
0
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onehotdog 12/01/07 - 10:54 am
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What's next? Maybe the state

What's next? Maybe the state should do away with the personalized plates all together. Let's see who will be the first to get offended then.

patriciathomas
43
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patriciathomas 12/01/07 - 11:14 am
0
0
justus4, isn't the cross the

justus4, isn't the cross the symbol of the racists? Skin heads, KKK, neo-nazis. The confederate flag was the symbol of the confederates. Why not talk about the racist cross? Your phobia is as ridiculous today as it was yesterday.

zigzag
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zigzag 12/01/07 - 12:32 pm
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Our dysfunctional State

Our dysfunctional State government is so quick to react to stupid, knee-jerk issues and slow to address anything meaningful. If you're stupid enough to put something hateful on your car (bumper stickers too) and then park in public, you deserve it when one of the offended parties decides to key your car or clear a few sinus cavities.

zigzag
0
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zigzag 12/01/07 - 12:48 pm
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Our dysfunctional State

Our dysfunctional State government is so quick to respond to stupid issues and refuse to fix all of their own management problems (e.g., Georgia Revenue Dept). If you're that stupid to have hateful messages on your car (or bumper sticker) then you shouldn't be surprised if someone "keys" your car, not that I encourage vadalism.

What a Day
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What a Day 12/01/07 - 01:12 pm
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I laugh at tags like that.

I laugh at tags like that. With so much hatred in the world, the least thing I have to worry about is a tag. Freedom of speech...confederate flags don't bother me either. We have our own symbols as African Americans so why do we worry about what others have. God didn't say we were all going to love each other but He did say, Love thy neighbor as thyself. People when I moved to Georgia, I didn't know there would be so much hatred here. What's the problem? Why can't we all live in the same place and get alone. I'm not sure if you noticed this, but a lot of races are mixing these days. Belong long, it will be only one race and then what? Are we going to hate ourselves? No, we have to teach our children better ethics than we were taught. Haven't we learned anything from our ancestors?

Fiat_Lux
18390
Points
Fiat_Lux 12/01/07 - 01:39 pm
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What is the great loss of no

What is the great loss of no longer being able to have H8 or HA8 on a license tag? If it potentially spares someone's feelings at no real cost to the rest of us, why would we begrudge this gesture except out of malice or fatuousness?

shamrock
585
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shamrock 12/01/07 - 05:16 pm
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Damn ... and I was going to

Damn ... and I was going to order my personal plate HA8 GA

ASU student
0
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ASU student 12/01/07 - 06:39 pm
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I think it is funny that this

I think it is funny that this car (which is based of the model created by the Nazi's during WWII) ended up with a plate like that...

JimCox
7
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JimCox 12/01/07 - 10:24 pm
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Blame text messaging!

Blame text messaging!

fugitivetracker
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fugitivetracker 12/01/07 - 11:28 pm
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We send Isreal $11 Billion a

We send Isreal $11 Billion a year and blacks cost us multiple times more than that a year due to welfare, crime, etc. I can understand someone wanting plates that express their feelings.

tmoney316
3
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tmoney316 12/02/07 - 01:38 pm
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You know it seems in todays

You know it seems in todays times that everyone is so offened of anything that is said or done I look at this way if everyone is so offened then go bsck to where your origin is don't come here this in not a democracy at all. If this is the land of the free then people need to worry about themselves instead of taking everything so personal give mr a break every day it is something take a chill pill everybody!!!

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