This is Alabama. We Speak English. Learn It. This is Alabama. We Speak English. Learn It.
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This is Alabama. We Speak English. Learn It.

by Amanda M. Fairbanks

April 28, 2010

Last week it was Arizona. Now, Alabama.

In the battle over immigration reform, another shameful detour at the state level.

Meet Tim James, Alabama's Republican candidate for governor, whose campaign website makes many education-related promises:

"Every Alabama student that works hard will have an opportunity for an Alabama college education. Every Alabama student will have a computer. Our most challenged schools will be brought up to the highest levels."

All fine and good, until the unveiling of his latest campaign ad, which defines wastefulness as having to administer driver's license examinations in a dozen languages. In it, he proclaims:

"This is Alabama. We speak English. If you want to live here, learn it."


Newsweek is clever to point out that in a state whose unemployment rate hovers around 11 percent and whose educational attainment is pretty much near the bottom of the heap, James's latest argument is hardly among the most pressing issues of the day. Besides, of course, being generally intolerant and totally unacceptable.


 

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This is Alabama. We Speak English. Learn It.