WINNIPEG – Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) has removed the personalized license plate from a fan of the Star Trek series after receiving complaints that the message “ASIMIL8” was insulting to Aboriginal peoples.
Nick Troller had owned this plate for two years.
The plate also included quotations from the series “We Are the Borg” and “Resistance is Futile”.
Troller said the series sometimes recounts confrontations between the heroes and a race of aliens, the Borg, who travel to the galaxy to assimilate other cultures.
According to him, the licence plate in question was intended funny. He mentioned that strangers and other admirers of the series had complimented him. People also wanted to be photographed next to the plate.
He said that an employee of Manitoba Public Insurance had called him and told him that two people had complained that the word “assimilate” was insulting.
Mr. Troller also received a letter from the company asking him to “hand in” the plate immediately. MPI told him he could get a new plate or a partial refund of the fees.
“That’s not the point,” said the man. We have become too sensitive. You can not tell anyone anymore. ”
Ry Moran of the National Center for Truth and Reconciliation states that the word “assimilate” can be too insulting to end up on a license plate.
“Throughout the history of this country, indigenous peoples have been forced into assimilation by extremely destructive means,” he said. Words like this – like it or not – have repercussions on many people. ”
According to the MPI guidelines, “plaques can not display a slogan that could be deemed offensive.” The Crown Corporation claims to take such complaints “very seriously” and will investigate to find out why it was approved at first.