1. A 26-year-old taxi driver in New York City has been given a 30-day suspension for operating his vehicle while wearing a swastika armband, but he claims he has every right to wear it.
Gabriel Diaz insists that it is his right “hands down” to wear the Nazi armband while at work, even after the Taxi and Limousine Commission of New York City gave him the suspension.
Diaz added that just because he wears a swastika doesn’t mean he’s anti-Semitic.
“I don’t hate Jews. I’m critical of them, but I don’t hate them,” Diaz told a CBS 2 reporter. “That doesn’t mean that I’m anti-Semitic. That don’t make me a hater.”
When asked whether he knew that Nazis killed six million Jews, Diaz replied, “I have no comment on that right now.”
3. Diaz’s swastika armband was spotted by a number of passersby, who took pictures of it and sent them to the Anti-Defamation League. The Taxi and Limousine Commission then began an investigation.
4. “I’m a National Socialist – what you guys call a Nazi. I am. I’m a believer of it,” Diaz said. “Who says you have to be white to be a National Socialist? You don’t have to be white, it can be anybody.”
5. The cab driver said he knew he would offend some with the symbol, but said he believes he has a right to wear it.
“If a Muslim can drive a cab wearing a turban, if a homosexual can walk around with a big flag, a rainbow flag, why can’t a person like me wear a Nazi armband?” he told the New York Post. “I’m expressing my First Amendment right.”
6. The Taxi and Limousine Commission responded immediately to the complaints, Evan Bernstein of the Anti-Defamation League told CBS.
“The TLC responded right away when we came to them,” Berstein said. “Their course of action, we felt, was really appropriate and expedient.”
Diaz says he will not wear the swastika when he returns to his job in 30 days, but refused to apologize: “It pains me that I have to apologize. You know, it pains me. I don’t want to apologize.”