May 17, 2014 2:22 PM EDT

A New York City taxi driver who was suspended for wearing a Nazi armband insisted Friday on his right to wear it.

“I am. I’m a National Socialist – what you guys call a Nazi. I am. I’m a believer of it,” Gabriel Diaz, 26, said.

Diaz was handed a thirty-day suspension for wearing the armband while driving, which is against New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission rules, the CBS affiliate in New York reports. It’s not illegal to wear a swastika in public, however. Diaz said he knew the armband would offend some people but denied being anti-Semitic.

“I don’t hate Jews. I’m critical of them, but I don’t hate them. That doesn’t mean that I’m anti-Semitic. That don’t make me a hater,” 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.”

The armband, which Diaz wore on his forearm, offended passersby, but there’s no evidence he discussed his national socialist leanings with his passengers.

Diaz said he had no intention of saying sorry for his behavior. “It pains me that I have to apologize,” he told CBS. “You know, it pains me. I don’t want to apologize.”


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