This is so venally stupid I can’t even snark about it.

28 Apr 2010 08:24 pm
Posted by: Donna

Believe me, a lot of snark went through my mind. But this dude stands a good chance of winning the gubernatorial race in AL with this kind of phony populist bullpucky. The sad thing is that real people are threatened when none-too-bright politicians engage in divisive grandstanding:

Why does Alabama give the test in languages other than English? I’ll give you four examples: two from Iran and two from Vietnam.

Osborne Ink :: Why We Have Driver’s License Tests in 12 Languages
I was in third grade when the Anvar family arrived in Florence. Victims of the Ayatollah’s purge of the Baha’i religious minority, the Anvars left behind a luxurious house full of furnishings and came to America with no more than the contents of a single, rolled-up carpet. Mr. Anvar knew just enough English to describe a harrowing journey across the mountainous border of Kurdish Iraq; his wife knew even less.

Trinh and Tuyen had the bad luck to be related to “counter-revolutionaries” of the communist regime. Cousins, they arrived in our community back in the 1990s and immediately proved industrious, capable young men — but lacked the English skills of a kindergartener.

All of these people were eager to work; even Mrs. Anvar, who’d been raised in the lap of Persian luxury and had never worked in her life. They all understood the American dream doesn’t come from dreaming, but working.

The only problem was getting to work: Florence had no public transit system. Luckily, Trinh and Tuyen could take the test in Vietnamese; the Anvars had been fluent in French since childhood, so they passed it in French.

All four of them speak English very well today. The Anvars each ran their own business before retiring, while Trinh and Tuyen are both running businesses in California now. It was far more difficult, even impossible, for that to happen until they were able to drive.

And really, how does it hurt James or anyone else if someone takes (and passes) the test in another language? How does their new mobility damage the rights of native-born Alabamians? It’s an implicit assumption in the commercial, and an ugly one.

As a matter of fact, I’d call it UN-AMERICAN.

So would I.

I did find some comic relief for y’all. The band Three Happenin Guys were quick to do a parody. Keep the snark alive, my Alabama bros.


  1. Comment by Appleblossom on April 29, 2010 9:00 am

    Hmm…based on what has been going on recently, makes me wonder if Trent Lott could be kicked out today for what he said that got him kicked out all those few years ago.

  2. Comment by Timmys Cat on April 29, 2010 12:36 pm

    Ha! Trent (nota) Lott! (wtf is it with Gooper pols and their hair?)

    Um,duh. If you don’t speak English your car won’t know what to do.

    12 languages is pretty impressive. The way they have so much interest in cutting me off around here, I think the English version of the drivers manual seems to be a Shakespearean tale from high school.
    “Wut? I won’t never need this learnin’. I wanna save money too. Don’t put them turn signals on my car.”
    I also don’t remember voting on a bill requiring a cell phone to be constantly pressed to your ear while driving.
    (i know,i know)

  3. Comment by Timmys Cat on April 30, 2010 8:28 am

    “When none- too -bright politicians engage in divisive grandstanding.”

    O boy. I think we’ve reached the point where Missippi is saying “Thank God for Arizona”

    (linky no copy)

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