In a move sure to strike a match under an already embittered immigration debate, an Alabama Republican gubernatorial candidate has released an ad focused exclusively on the supremacy of the English language.
“Why do our politicians make us give driver’s licenses in twelve languages?” GOP candidate Tim James asks, accompanied by a soft piano soundtrack.
“This is Alabama; we speak English,” James says. “If you want to live here, learn it.”
“We’re only giving that test in English when I’m governor,” he adds.
“Maybe it’s the businessman in me, and it makes sense. Does it to you?”
An AOL blogger notes that Alabama currently gives tests in Arabic, Chinese, English, Farsi, French, German, Greek, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Spanish, Thai and Vietnamese.
The Atlantic’s Marc Ambinder writes, “If the governor changes the rules, the state could lose billions of dollars in federal transportation funding. Conveniently, this allows James to hint at the prospect of a debate against Barack Obama’s federal government, too.”
The ad has been viewed more than 60,000 times on YouTube.