Nick Troller just wanted to honor one of his favorite television shows.
But not everyone found his personalized “ASIMIL8” license plate – invoking the villainous Borg introduced in “Star Trek: The Next Generation” – quite so harmless.
Troller, a Winnipeg, Canada, man, received a phone call and then a letter from the Manitoba Public Insurance agency ordering him to surrender the license plate, which he’s used for the past two years, reports the Toronto Star. The agency informed Troller it had received two complaints citing the license plate’s message as being offensive to indigenous people.
The Borg are an alien race from “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and “Star Trek: Voyager” who conquer and assimilate other cultures into their collective. Troller’s license plate holder includes the phrases “Resistance is futile” and “We are the Borg,” two pieces of dialogue associated with the aliens.
Troller told CTV News that he’s received many compliments on the license plate. “I thought it was funny,” he said.
But Ry Moran of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, told the Toronto Star that, regardless of Troller’s intentions, his license plate conveys a broader – and disturbing – message to some.
“For basically the entirety of this country’s history, indigenous peoples have been forcibly assimilated through really extremely destructive means and ways,” he told the paper.
Manitoba Public Insurance, which controls license plates, concurs that the plate may be offensive and says it will investigate how it was permitted in the first place. As for Troller, he can either get a new license plate or receive a refund on his $100 payment for the disallowed one, but there’s no appeal process for the ruling – in this case, at least, resistance really is futile.