Government logic… Not so logical after all. Just as Robert Gehl reports, a Canadian man has been told he has to turn in his vanity license plate after 25 years because his message is “misogynistic” and promotes “violence against women.”
The problem is that the word on is license plate “GRABHER” just happens to be his last name.
Lorne Grabher, who lives in Nova Scotia told CBC that he bought the plate 25 years ago for his father’s 65th birthday. But in December, he received a letter saying the plate was being cancelled.
Why? One person complained. One person.
“When the plate first came out I was so excited about it,” Grabher said. “This is what I wanted to get for my father. My father put it on a motorhome and he traveled the United States, traveled across Canada and everything with it, and nothing was ever said.”
But he was told that his license plate would be cancelled because the public “Cannot be expected to know it is his last name and can misinterpret it as a socially unacceptable slogan.”
“I was taken aback,” he said. “How can you say my name is a slogan when it is not?”
Grabher said his father taught his children to always be proud of their name and where they come from.
He was even more offended by an email sent to CBC News by a spokesman from the Department of Transportation, Brian Taylor. It said: “A complaint was received outlining how some individuals interpret [the name] as misogynistic and promoting violence against women.”
The email went on to say, “With no way to denote that it is a family name on the plate, the department determined it was in the public’s best interest to remove it from circulation.”
Grabher said nobody has ever complained about the plate to him.
“I’ve never once had anybody come up to me and say they were offended,” Grabher said. “They would look at it and say, ‘Am I reading this right?’ And I would go, ‘Yes.’ And they would go, ‘Is this your last name?’ And I would go, ‘Yes.’ And they would always just give a little chuckle.”
What’s next for Mr. Grabher? He assumes that in today’s world, his name will continue to offend.
“I guess now I’m going to have to take my name out of the phone book because a person’s been offended by it,” Grabher said.
“I guess my wife has to change the name of her consulting company, Grabher’s Consulting. That has to be taken away? I guess I’m going to have to change my birth certificate.”