This Is Alabama. We Speak English.
Tags: discourse/language, immigration/citizenship, nationalism, politics/election/voting, prejudice/discrimination, assimilation, boundary work, imagined communities, nation, 00 to 05 mins
Summary: This clip is a campaign ad for Tim James, the republican candidate for Governor of Alabama. The candidate notes that currently Alabama offers drivers license tests in 12 languages, and as governor, he will push to have the test given only in English. Although the candidate suggests this proposal is spurred by good business sense, one could argue that the ad is a thinly veiled attack on recent immigrants to the United States. Note that the caption under the YouTube clip mentions that the issue is important for "Republican voters who are deeply concerned about..illegal aliens." The clip can be useful for demonstrating contemporary concerns about assimilation in the United States. It may also be useful for instructors who are drawing from Anderson's Imagined Communities and want to communicate the different styles by which communities are imagined. The United States has often been imagined as an immigrant nation, but here one sees a move to imagine people who don't speak English as their first language as outsiders.
Submitted By: Lester Andrist
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