Going Overboard

“This is Alabama. We speak English.”

There are so many things wrong with this, I don’t even know where to start.

– the hilariously sappy, Cider House Rules-esque music
– the theatrical pause/looking down in deep thought at 23 seconds in
– the fades
– no one who loves English as much as this Tim James guy thinks he does would ever feel the need to insert a period after every 3-5 words that come out of his mouth
– how the fuck is taking offense at the availability of multilingual tests at the DMV an actual platform for a prospective governor to run on?
– the “English” they speak in Alabama makes ebonics sound good

Honestly, this is just about the most blatant example of using a total non-issue to gin up the racist/xenophobe crowd I think I’ve ever seen. It’s crass, moronic, dangerous and, oh yeah, completely acceptable in today’s fucked up political climate, where one of the most surefire ways to win an election is to conjure up the bogeyman minority figure, fanning the flames of intolerance to fuel your own selfish ambition.

Or, with a little tweaking, as Michael Douglass’ character put it so well in The American President:

We have serious problems to solve, and we need serious people to solve them. And whatever your particular problem is, I promise you (Tim James) is not the least bit interested in solving it. He is interested in two things, and two things only: making you afraid of it, and telling you who’s to blame for it. That, ladies and gentlemen, is how you win elections. You gather a group of middle age, middle class, middle income voters who remember with longing an easier time, and you talk to them about family, and American values and character… and you scream about patriotism. You tell them (the minorities) are to blame for their lot in life.

Easy, isn’t it?

What kind of person buys into this shit? So they have multilingual tests at the DMV. What is it to you? Who is it hurting? Why do you care? These are in some sense rhetorical questions, and in another sense not. It really is unfathomable to me, the kind of baseless, nonsensical hatred someone must have roiling inside them to let this become an issue.

Every once in a while I get second thoughts on how routinely rough I am on the south. Thanks, Tim James. It’ll be a long time after this one before I get those thoughts again. If slavery was America’s original sin, as it’s been called, the south is America’s original and current shame. In no other place, in no other place in the civilized world of Western democracies does this shit fly.

Racist fucking toolbag.

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