Is it a story about a license plate or a story about First Amendment freedoms? The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles doesn’t consider it as either. To them, it is a story of reasonable regulation.
One Virginia driver decided that he should be allowed to put “ICUHAJI” on his license plate. It didn’t matter to him that some Muslim and Arab Americans consider being called “Haji” offensive. (Pilot Online) “I see you Haji”.
Former Army Sergeant Andrew Bujino believes that he should be allowed to put that on his license plate. He is willing to fight for it, even after Chesapeake Judge John W. Brown ruled that he could not reclaim his desired personlized tags after DMV advised that the tags fit within the interpretation of “socially, racially or ethnically offensive and disparaging” and therefore not appropriate for a Virginia license plate.
Bujino doesn’t deny that “Haji” is a common and often derogatory term that U.S. soldiers used to describe Muslims in the Middle East. Wikipedia describes the name of “Haji” as an honorary title given to a Muslim who has successfully completed a trip to Mecca.
Bujino believes that his first amendment rights entitle him to have whatever he wants on his license plate and he and his attorney claim that they are now considering an appeal of Judge Brown’s ruling to the Virginia Court of Appeals. They are also considering a suit in Federal Court.
One person commenting on the article on Pilot Online, questioned why Bujino was putting so much effort into this. As he put it, “Don’t folks print bumper stickers anymore?” Another sensibly stated, “The state owns the tag. They can do as they wish”.
Speaking of the importance of a name, DID YOU KNOW that while sailing along the Caribbean coast of South America in 1499, Spanish explorer Alonso de Ojedo saw several Indian houses that were built on stilts over the water. The area so reminded him of Venice that he named it Little Venice. Because of the Spanish pronunciation, that is how we now have a country called Venezuela.
And for pic o’ day, here is a dog’s interpretation of a jackpot!