"This is Alabama, We Speak English" says Gubernatorial Candidate
May 04, 2010, 03:47 PM
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Driver's license tests in the state of Alabama are currently given in Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, French, German, Greek, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Spanish, Thai and Vietnamese. Oh yes, you can take them in English too.

Gubernatorial candidate Tim James says that should be changed. In a campaign ad, James pledges that if elected, the Alabama driver's license test will be given in English. Here's how he sums it up in the ad:

"This is Alabama; we speak English. If you want to live here, learn it."
You can view the James ad here at this blogsite entry :

'This is Alabama; we speak English,' governor candidate says (Liz Goodwin, Yahoo ! News, April 28th, 2010)

Of course Liz Goodwin, the blog entry's author, has a few disparaging comments :

It's not clear how James thinks the change would save the state money. Marc Ambinder of the Atlantic says Alabama could actually lose billions of dollars in federal funding if it enacts the measure, and he points to an Alabama political blog that runs down the legal history for why the exams are in multiple languages.
"Federal Funding" eh ? Money, in other words, that is levied from the states and then doled back out again by the federal government, if you do things the way the feds want you to do them.

I followed the link in the blog with "the legal history" and it basically says that if Alabama only gives its driver exam in English, it could get sued and it could lose federal funds.

More circular reasoning.

Even more important than the economic argument is the national unity argument.

My Mexican wife, I'm proud to say, took her driver's test in English.