Uh oh. Here we go again. Gov. Charlie Crist signed into law the state's first Hispanic license plate this week. People are already taking sides. Some say it's good, others bad, and still others are convinced it will bring out the racists among us.
The plate reads "UNI-DOS" (UNITED) with a Santa Maria-type ship in the middle of the word. At the bottom, it states "Hispanic Achievers," and in even smaller type, "Since 1513 Helping Communities Prosper," which is as confusing as it is asinine. We had to look it up, but that was the year when Ponce de Leon's expedition first visited Florida. How he helped the community prosper is less certain.
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So that's it. A silly license plate with an equally goofy message. Already some bloggers have taken shots at the plate. They've pointed out that the state went against its own moratorium on specialty license plates to allow the Spanish-language plate, and that it is likely to open a Pandora's box of ethnic groups following suit.
Or maybe it'll just blow over. After all, there are already 114 specialty license plates in Florida. Everything from "Save Our Seas" and "Manatees" to "NASCAR" and "Motorcycle Specialty" (whatever that means). There are some quasi-controversial ones like "In God We Trust," "Family First," "Family Values," and "Choose Life." Compared to those, "UNI-DOS" is rather tame.
If anything, the debate, or lack thereof, surrounding the "UNI-DOS" license plate should be a decent acid test of exactly how united we really are.