I take pride in my Alabama roots. I really do. Even if I tried to pretend I wasn’t born in the deep south this thick southern accent that I can’t seem to shake would blow my cover every time. On multiple occasions when I’ve told people who had never been to Alabama where I’m from their response was a wide eyed “Wow! Is it really, you know, all racist and stuff?” Usually they’re actually disappointed that I don’t have an arsenal of war stories about overcoming oppression and bigotry at the Woolworths soda counter.
It’s rich racist legacy has afforded Alabama a spot on many a northern born black person’s “Will never visit list”, but for the most part I’ve felt like Alabama has gotten a bad wrap. Then just when I get pretty good at defending the honor of my home state somebody like this comes along and ruins everything.
Now I’m not arguing against expecting imigrants to learn the English language. In most countries you’re expected to learn the local language to live and function. My issue is with this guy making the language the driver’s license test is issued in a campaign issue. Really???? Because this is an issue that really effects a lot of Alabamians right???? In a state where there are counties with illiteracy rates as high as 34% (That means in some rural counties in Alabama 1 in 3 people can’t read on a basic level) are we really gonna make requiring people to speak the English language a campaign issue??? Why not make working to increase literacy for some of the poorest Alabamians a campaign issue….you know something that might actually BENEFIT some people. Instead this son of a biscuit eater is making a blatant appeal to the bigots in Alabama who will eat up an oh so “Pro-American” sounding message like this.
“This is Alabama. We speak English.”
Really? Because the people of England would listen to anybody from Baldwin county speak for 30 seconds and beg to differ with this statement.
The thing that pisses me off the most about this ad is he’s trying to dress his blatant bigotry in a cloak of perceived logic. That’s where things get get dangerous. Unfortunately that’s a tactic that is frequently used by Republicans.
For me the bigotry is pretty blatant in this ad, but some people who share the “Pro-American*” views Tim James is trying to portray here could easily get duped into thinking this is really about saving money. How much money is really spent on offering the driving test in other languages Tim?
However since I for one like my bigotry straight up with no chaser I suppose I should thank Tim James for pretty much doing the next best thing behind wearing a fitted tee shirt with I’m a bigoted jerk emblazoned across the chest. Too bad I’m not an Alabama voter so I can’t vote against him.
*I’m not necessarily saying that “Pro-American” is synonymous with bigoted but I’m not saying it’s not either