Suspended NYC Cabbie: "I’m A National Socialist—What You Guys Call A Nazi"

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
May 17 2014 5:00 PM

Suspended NYC Cabbie: "I’m A National Socialist—What You Guys Call A Nazi"

When Slatest wrote about the New York City cab driver who was suspended after he was spotted wearing a Nazi armband, we said that one of the things that wasn’t clear is what he thought he was doing. Well, turns out it was quite simple—he was showing allegiance to the Nazis. CBS News managed to locate Gabriel Diaz and interviewed him outside his family’s home in the Bronx on Friday night. Diaz says it’s entirely within his rights to wear a Nazi armband, regardless of what the Taxi and Limousine Commission might say. And he didn’t try to backtrack. “I am. I’m a National Socialist—what you guys call a Nazi. I am. I’m a believer of it,” Diaz said.

Diaz isn’t white, but he doesn’t see that as an impediment to be a Nazi-believer. Reporter Lou Young asks Diaz whether he’s aware that “a real National Socialist wouldn’t have cared for you at all.”  But Diaz thinks Young is mistaken: “Who says you have to be white to be a National Socialist?” He went on to explain that “I don’t hate Jews. I’m critical of them, but I don’t hate them.” Diaz insists he didn’t mean to offend anyone and “I’m just expressing my First Amendment, freedom of expression,” adding that “if other people have the right to wear what they want to wear then why not a National Socialist?” Diaz also appears to put the Holocaust in doubt, saying that he doesn’t want to talk about “what allegedly happened” when Nazis, I’m sorry, National Socialists, were in power. Oh and he also believes “we’ve been told lies about Hitler our entire lives.”

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Really National Socialists are just misunderstood: “the media portrays it as hate, but not to us, not to us.” He doesn't appear to be very fond of gays though, saying that if “homosexuals run around freely with the gay flag and the speedos … why can’t I say that I’m proud to be a Nazi, as you guys call it?” Charming fellow all around. 

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.

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