“If you speak the language fluently, you will know that [is] the English definition of the word, ”she wrote on her official Facebook page, which is no longer online. “The progressives turned around and created their own definition.”
Allard now faced the consequences after doubling his post. Alaska Gov. Mike Dunley (R) removed her from the state human rights commission on Tuesday, a spokesman told The Washington Post.
Allard did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Post late Tuesday. But in an email to Alaska Public Media, she said she would step down from the seven-person board so she could “focus on her work” on enforcing the country’s human rights law.
“I unequivocally condemn racism in all its forms and support the commission’s mission 100%,” Allard wrote. “In light of the recent attacks on me, I think it’s best to back off.”
Personalized license plates are not a new battleground in battles over where to draw the line between hate speech and free speech. Last year, for example, a federal judge in California said the state could not deny requests for vain signs considered “offensive to good taste and decency.”
However, in most cases, car owners and employees of the Ministry of Motor Vehicles only quarreled over license plate proposals. Not over the actual license plates – and not over the Nazi terminology, as it was in Alaska over the weekend.
The reaction began when Matthew Tansett was driving in downtown Anchorage on Friday and noticed a “falling jaw license plate.”
As he recounted, he had to give his “eyeballs” time to return to their nests after noticing the vain “3REICH” plate of the black Hummer in front of him. At a stop light, he reached for his phone to click a photo and post it on Twitter.
“If you’ve seen the picture and have a soul, you may have felt the same way as I did – a combination of disgust, irritation, resignation, fear,” Tunset, a former newspaper editor, wrote on his Medium page.
In just hours, elected officials and regular Alaskans demanded an explanation from government officials: How did anyone manage to get a vain registration number bearing Nazi terminology?
But Allard, writing on Facebook later in the weekend, said he saw nothing wrong with a single phrase. The owner of the army veteran and the mortgage company pointed out that “the Fuhrer” means “leader” and “Reich” translates to “kingdom” – although both words are closely related to Adolf Hitler and his rule over Germany.
“Now, before you know it, the German word Danke will be banned because it sounds close to a donkey,” she wrote in comments on her official Facebook page, according to screenshots posted on Facebook by another member of the assembly, Meg Zaletel.
All seats in Anchorage’s 11-member assembly are officially non-partisan, but Allard has become a “trusted conservative voice.” Zaletel, who said she was “not worried about belonging to political parties”, publicly criticized her colleague’s “indefensible” comments on social media, writing that the phrases “had a history of injury, assault and murder”.
“The etymology does not change the racist and dangerous story in which the words Führer and the Third Reich came into popular English use,” she wrote. “Words matter!”
Allard returned the blow, accusing Zaletel of “incitement to hatred” and “false submission.” By early Wednesday, her Facebook page was no longer online, but by then Allard’s comments had wreaked havoc on other lawmakers to take effect.
Dunly removed her from the human rights committee she was appointed to less than two years ago. Felix Rivera, president of the Anchorage Assembly, said Allard could face a vote by his colleagues to remove her from certain committee appointments or convict her.
“I don’t think it should be difficult to condemn white supremacy,” he told Alaska Public Media. “In fact, it should be very easy to condemn the rule of whites and Nazis. So it is a pity that Assembly Member Allard could not do the right thing and, frankly, easily. “
As for the license plates themselves?
Kelly Chibaka, commissioner of the Alaska Administrative Department, issued a statement Monday noting that the plates had already been withdrawn by the DMV. She added that Alaska bans personalized registration numbers with references to race, ethnicity, violence and government, among other categories.
Moving forward, however, the state agency will review its vanity process, she noted, on two fronts: “preventing inappropriate communications, as well as the state’s obligation to protect Alaska’s constitutional rights to freedom of expression.”