Oof. It’s one (racist) thing to make speaking English a campaign platform, but to make it your only (racist) campaign platform? How about expanding your campaign to include other concerns of people. For example, people who are concerned that you only have one hallway in your house, and you are trapped in it. Will someone please help Tim James? He is pacing back and forth in the same hallway and I am really worried about him! That being said, I do love the argument of “maybe it’s the businessman in me, but it would save money.” HAHAHA. It must be the businessman in him, because it is certainly not the developingstructurednonreductiveargumentsbasedonfactsman in him. He should definitely rest his case. Rest your case, Tim James! You asshole! (Thanks for the tip, Jana.)

Comments (156)
  1. This guy is the worst! I promise we’re not all like that in Alabama. I went to college!

    • Seconded. I’m even wearing shoes!

    • I’ve just been waiting for that video to show up here, knowing how silly it would make us look. I went to college too! But so did Tim James (kinda – he went to Auburn! Haha! In-state college football rivalry jokes irrelevant to the conversation are fun!)

    • Dude, this guy in an asshole. His daddy is an asshole, they come from a long line of political assholes. Scarily enough, his daddy Fob (I know, make your Alabama jokes, we are the worst) was actually elected governor of our grand state not too long ago. Every time we’re mentioned in the news, I have to cringe because it will certainly be featuring only the worst and dumbest we have to offer. Tornados through the trailerparks? CHECK. Toothless meth-heads speaking whatever language they speak? CHECK CHECK. Corrupt politicians keeping us at the bottom of the list, across the board? TRIPLECHECK. Welcome to stereotypegum!

      And for proof of how ridiculously incompetent our elected officials are, read this Rolling Stone article about my hometown http://bit.ly/bk7kQc. Stereotypes are based on fact, y’all!

      • I read until Birmingham, and i was like Hey, me too! I’m from there! Then i got to the word sewer, and i was like Well, fuck.

      • we are all from the same place. worlds colliding.

        • Who woulda thunkit… people from Alabama actually have those blasted intarwebs, and visit sites other than Fox News and CollegeFootballAndNascarAllDay.net?! Good to see you, my fellow well-bred Alabamians! We are the world! (No, we are the worst).

  2. HAHAHA ::gunshot::

  3. “Why do politicians make us give the driver’s license exam in twelve languages?”


    Sorry, this hits close to home as a Texan.

  4. His command of the dramatic pause is commendable, though he is making it hard out there for all the other Tim Jameses who are neither racists nor assholes (I know one, he’s a good dude).

    Also, he reminds me of a younger, less droopy-faced Fred Thompson. Y/y?

  5. “I’m Tim James, bitch” is not a campaign platform, in any language.

  6. “We only speak English in Alabama” if your definition of English is very loose

  7. “Does it to you?” is not a grammatically correct clause on its own. The clarification “make sense” is needed in the middle of it.
    Hi, I’m Capu Flapu. This is Videogum, we speak English. If I’m made Grammar President, I won’t allow videos to be posted with bad turns of phrase such as the one above.
    Common Sense.

  8. Yo, Tim James, I respect you because you are good at business.
    -Bobby Bottleservice

  9. People like this guy make me so deeply embarassed and ashamed to be from the Deep South.

  10. “does it to you?” are you SURE you speak english?

    • mydaughter'sname69  |   Posted on Apr 27th, 2010 +30

      I think what he actually said was “dozé tiiyű,” which means “vote for me” in the Chuvash language.

    • i’m patiently sitting here waiting for steve winwood to make fun of me. steve! steeeeeve don’t make me feel left out of the heckling!

  11. If the “business man” in you tells you to only use English in an increasingly globalized world (business talk), then you are a bad business man.

    • um I hate to say it but English is pretty much the language international business is conducted in. Same with science. There’s a reason the UN official languages are English and French. French is just there cuz France is such a squeeky wheel.

      • It’s time for a refresher course. More high school aged students abroad are learning Chinese as a second language than English. English had a good run of it, but the sun is now setting.

        • Well having lived abroad in Europe and now Korea I can say that they aren’t scrambling to bring Chinese teachers around. China IS the future most likely the way things are going. . . I suspect it matters how you break down that overall stat geographically. Here in Asia I bet it’s true but what about South America, Africa, Europe. More Asians than Euros would skew that. Besides, why should we be embarrassed that English is a dominant language?

  12. It must be the proctologist in me, but this guy’s an asshole.

  13. funny to see this right after i check the f-bookz to see a friend’s boyfriend’s status:

    “for english press one!……for english press two!…for english press three!…Thank you Arizona!”


    • Your avatar is completely terrifying.

      • the possum is my spirit animal, running wild-eyed across dark streets, covered in trash, screaming out at the night.

        i think he’s cute

        • I think he’s cute too! But his beady little eyes hold a dark, soulless vacuum that chills me to my core.

        • It seems only fitting that we would be discussing opossum on a thread about Alabama.

          Also, opossums are terrifying. Sometimes, when I see them at night while I’m driving I actually get a little freaked out.


            Actually, on further investigation, possums are pretty cute.


          • I raised a Possum once. He got pissed if you left the O off the front.

          • check out these cute bbz:

            what can i say? something inside my cavernous, soulless vacuum of a heart draws me to these things… they’re like huge awful cats with hairless tails and sharp teeth….

          • maybe that bb will show up? if not i give up and you guys can google baby possums yourselvez!

          • Growing up in Kentucky, I had several run-ins with our possum friends. Once, my mother made me chase one off of the back porch with a broom. I mean, the possum had the broom. They are very neat animals and it kept sweeping up.

            Another time, I came home one Saturday night, really late and when I opened the garage door, there was a possum standing there screaming. It was wearing the fur of another animal, so I just closed the garage door and drove to a church parking lot where I listened to Husker Du until dawn.

            They are cute when they aren’t TRYING TO GET ME!

          • How come I only just now realized that opossums all wear fake plastic ears? Also, their noses are on upside down.

  14. This ad reminds me of the “Old Fashioned Man” character from The State. If the camera panned down, I’m sure he’d be whittling a block of wood.

  15. This past Christmas Eve, my partner and I made a huge Mexican feast for my entire family and their families, ten people. I thought it would be nice to take some pressure of my mom, who usually spends so much time in the kitchen around Christmas that she barely gets to relax and hang out with the family.

    As I’m juggling about three different dishes, my mom asks about the strange, exotic ingredients I was using (chipotles and jicama). I tell her, “Yeah I know it’s not a traditional Christmas dinner, but I guess this is our Feliz Navidad dinner.” I glance up from the sauce, expecting a chuckle or some kind of reaction. That’s the kind of harmless joke she can appreciate, right?

    Her expression is as solemn as the night. “We speak English in this country”, she says before walking away to see if anyone cared for some wine.

  16. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

  17. I bet one of Tim James’ platforms is to turn every restaurant into a Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell.

    • it would be easier to turn every restaurant into a KFC/Taco Bell combo… i only say this because i know they already exist, there’s one down the street from my apartment :(

      yes, it smells awful.

    • I bet one of Tim James’ platforms is to turn every Combination Pizza Hut/ Taco Bell into a Pizza Hut.

  18. He kind of totally fucks up that whole rhetorical devise. If you’re going to say “maybe it’s the ___ in me, but ___” (not filled with dirty words), shouldn’t the second clause be something that is not necessarily the most obvious thing the audience that you are speaking to cares about. Using it correctly would be “maybe it’s the dentist in me, but I’m worried about how much sugar you are eating, because I think about teeth more often than the average person.” “Maybe it’s the park ranger in me, but I’m worried about how dry this dry season has been because I think about forest fires a little more often than the average resident of New York City…”

    But acting like “hey, I know it’s really quirky, maybe even a little ‘creative-intuitive-genius’ of me even, and only the result of my working in the obscure profession of “business,” but it occurs to me more often than other people to think about saving money…

    Don’t stay alive Tim James, cause then you’ll be dead.

  19. from Washington Monthly:

    “Tim James may or may not have thought to look into this before using it as the basis for a television ad, but Alabama administers the test in multiple languages in order to qualify for federal transportation funding. If a James administration insisted on dropping the current standards, it wouldn’t “save money” for Alabama; it would do the exact opposite. For that matter, courts have, more than once, rejected efforts to mandate English-only exams.

    What’s more, as a substantive matter, the reason officials want the exam to be available in multiple languages in the first place is because they want drivers to get drivers licenses and demonstrate proficiency when it comes to operating a vehicle and understanding the rules.”

    It would cost the state money, increase the risk of driving, and lose in court as soon as it was challenged. But at least it would hurt some minorities for a while, and that’s what’s important.

    I call that we let the South go in the next civil war. With no slaves to liberate, it’s an open and shut case. I live in Texas; I’ll emigrate.

    • It might be illogical, but the fact that there’s an even more practical reason to disagree with the logic of James here other than the obvious racism of the idea of administering the test in only English (which a completely reasonable, valid, and correct reason) makes me even angrier because now he’s either a) a racist looking to disenfranchise immigrants or b) pandering to racists who want to disenfranchise immigrants, and that’s incredibly depressing. I mean, then the only reason to support only English testing is outright prejudice and a desire to discourage immigration in any form and assimilation of immigrants already in the country.

      • Of course he’s pandering to racists who want to disenfranchise immigrants. That’s how you get elected as a civil servant anywhere outside of the Birmingham city limits in Alabama.

    • Preach, Clambone!

  20. This reminds me of that new law they passed in Arizona that requires anybody suspected of being Topher Grace to provide credentials that prove he does not sux any buttz. God Bless America.

  21. This makes all of those “Viva Tim James” signs around Alabama even more confusing.

  22. The way he says “if you want to live here, LEARN it”, reminds me of my bullies in high school.

  23. I want to see Dave Chapelle bit: “I’m TIM JAMES, BITCH!”

    • Hey Steve Winwood, I bet you wish you could take a time machine back to 5:08, when that joke would still not have been funny, but it would have at least been first.

      • My bad. I always thought the man who is your avatar looks like Stains the cupcake dog

        • Looks like Steve Winwood is a plagiarist commenter.

          • Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

          • Admiringly @Steve: That’ll do, Kettle, that’ll do.

  24. “This is Alabama. We speak English here. If you want to live here, walk your ass down to a TESOL school, because I sure as hell will put you in jail if I catch you driving without a license. On second thought, you foreigners probably can’t even understand the words I’m saying right now, so I don’t know why I even bother. Maybe it’s the business man in me but fuck you guys because this somehow makes sense to me. Does it to you?”

  25. Alabama comes from the Choctaw language. Sorry, TJ.

  26. the saddest part about this whole thing to me is not this dude. this dude is an asshole, and a bigot (no doi!), but there’s nothing surprising about him. he’s a rich, white southerner whose dad and grand-dad were named after nathan bedford forrest (aka a confederate general and the first grand wizard of the kkk). the sad part is that i actually had to get in some commenter argument over at gawker with people who were like “well, duh, this guy’s a racist, but what’s wrong with the idea itself?”

    that said, “tim james does IT to YOU!” is a campaign slogan if i ever heard one.

  27. This guy knows what I’m talking about:


  28. Not for nothing, but if you’re going to try and make everyone speak “Anglish”, then maybe first you should try and learn to pronounce the word properly.

  29. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

    • the problem is that the line you are drawing is going to exclude, or seriously hinder, a good chunk of the american population, not just illegal immigrants, but tax paying american citizens. a mostly working class chunk at that, so that gives it the double whammy of being both racist and classist. now, logistically we can’t make accomodations for every single language that’s spoken here, but an “english only” stance is certainly not the kind of middle ground we should be working to reach.

    • My question would be what line is it that you feel has to be drawn? The line between empowering people who legally reside in this country to support themselves and discouraging it? People who do not speak English as their first language legally reside in this country in the millions, and they drive cars. Even if you want to promote English as an official national language, why start at the DMV?

    • Could you elaborate on where or what this line is and why it needs to be drawn somewhere? How does having the driving test in multiple languages affect you in any way? You’re not forced to learn these languages. To me, I see this type of complaint not as a consciously racist idea, but you can’t deny that it has its roots in xenophobia. Why else would you care what language people speak if you’re not uncomfortable with other cultures? It’s understandable, I guess, that something outside of the norm can be a bit scary and intimidating, but is that reason enough to infringe on the lives of others?

      Personally, I don’t know why anyone living in the U.S. wouldn’t want to learn English. It severely limits your opportunities here when you don’t speak it (Duh Aficionado), so it would make sense to try to make the effort. But if someone doesn’t care to do that, how does that affect you?!

      I think you really need to examine why you care about this. It is a sense of pride in your country, and you feel that in order to even live here, that you should go through some initiation process? Are you really worried that if you need to press an extra button to pay your bills over the phone that that would eventually lead to a Tower of Babel situation where thirty different languages are spoken in the U.S. and we won’t be able to understand each other which would inevitably lead to the collapse of our economy and usher in a Road Warrior-esque post-apocalyptic wasteland?

      That’s what you’re worried about, isn’t it?

    • Seanjean, thanks for giving a serious and candid answer that you know is not popular. I think that should get upvotes at least. Conversation is good.

      My response to Mr. James would be, “I’ll speak what ever language I want, son.”

      Ich habe eine kline strasse avec un chat san ropas!

      I’d also like to incorporate herein all the better thoughtout responses to this issue.

    • Line. Drawn. Where?

    • Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

      • I showed this ad to my mom the other day, because I thought she would appreciate how ridiculous it is, and she had a similar response. Then we got into an argument. When we lived in a foreign country when you were little, she said, I learned enough of that language to get by. Ma, I said, not everyone who moves here has had the opportunity to learn English first. We didn’t move to that place because of political persecution or economic desperation. Would you rather have people driving to get to jobs they have to have without licenses because they can’t understand the exams?

        It ended in a stalemate, because she refuses to see beyond her own experience, and because I could not come up with a solution in the five minutes we had the conversation, but it was all right to discuss it, I guess. Still disappointing to hear that sort of prejudice from her, though. I guess that explains why she listens to right-wing talk radio in the morning; she says it’s “to hear the other side of the argument” but it seems like those insanators are presenting her side of the argument, more often than not. At least she’s not a horrible open racist like her father was!

        • Well, plus, it’s not even really about whether or not immigrants should try and learn English. I think that 99% DO want to learn English, and a lot of them DO learn it. And that’s great. A friend of mine went to Mexico and said that everyone there wanted to practice their English on him. I don’t think that anyone is refusing to learn English.

          It’s the way it’s being phrased: “This is America. We speak English here” among many other ways I’ve heard it. That’s aggressive and exclusionary. It’s not saying, “well maybe immigrants should take a couple ESL classes.” It’s a totally different message. One of exclusion and hatred.

      • I don’t think anybody is out of line calling the guy who is trying to get votes out of white people by sticking it to the immigrants a racist. I had never heard of Tim James until a couple hours ago. I haven’t looked him up, I know nothing about him other than what is written on this webpage.

        And I’m WELL within my rights, I’m not generalizing, and I’m definitely not a pot calling a kettle black, when I say, entirely sincerely, that he’s using racism to get what he wants, and whatever his personal views about different races are, that’s racism itself, and he’s a human piece of fucking garbage.

        He’s using racism to get what he wants. it would be impossible to put together a rational argument that could refute that, because that is what he’s doing. It’s racist to fucking do that.

        Sure, discussion from different points of view is a good thing. But not about whether this is a clearly racist tactic. this shit has been going on forever. that discussion is settled.

        why, if you don’t “necessarily agree” with someone that would do that, would you muddy the issue. It’s like one of those “let’s teach the controversy” arguments creationists put forward. no. don’t teach the controversy. it’s settled. evolution. shut the fuck up about the controversy.

        and shut the fuck up about whether the people that use this tactic to get elected are racist or not. they fucking are. after hundreds of years of progress, this issue is settled. he’s racist.

        if you’re not working to fix the problem, you’re the fucking problem. it’s really simple. tim james is the problem. fuck him forever.

      • While it is certainly true that someone could support an official language and not be a racist, I believe what most people are keying into in this add is the attitude. He does not address any real, rational basis for this position, but instead resorts to “If you gonna live here, you best be doing like we do.” The mention of it being cheaper is at best ill-thought out and misleading, as has been pointed out elsewhere in this thread in full.

        I’ve known people who believed that everyone here should speak English becuase that’s the language we speak. Not one has taken this position because they believed it was cheaper or more efficient in the administration of services, but becuase they didn’t like that people could come to their country and not conform. Etc, etc, etc.

        And though I was making a comment above for a comic effect, I do believe in the end that I have the right to speak whatever language I want. What is more essential than the language we speak, the words we use. It is the first thing we learn, words are all we are. By taking away the right of people to use the language of their choice, you take away their personhood.

        • Right on. I totally agree. I think we’re mostly on the same page here people. You all get A+s! This has been an enlightening and insightful edition of politicalgum.

        • The English only stuff IS about assimilation. Nobody should be forced to only speak one language but it is important for everyone to be ABLE to speak the official language. I agree that James’s attitude is off-putting in a way that makes me think he’s kinda or a lot racist. He’s not making an argument but asserting a sort of bullying pose.

          But assimilation leads to a more cohesive society and brings immigrants into the American family more fully. I would hope everyone held onto their mother tongue. I wish my great grandma and taught her sons Welsh (too bad). But everyone speaking English would be a good thing.

          Having said that it would be pretty cool if everyone spoke Spanish too. But I mean like if EVERYBODY was bilingual. As a teacher of English as a second language (full disclosure: to Korean kids) I see first hand everyday that English immersion works really well and Spanish speaking kids would be much better off (I believe) if they were taught English that way. They can still speak Spanish at home, and hopefully they’ll teach it to their kids growing up and so on and so on. . .

        • i don’t know where to reply. but i choose here!
          i’d say, too, there is a difference between knowing some conversational english and taking a test in english if it’s not your first language. i could certainly ask someone about their day or tell them i liked their red shirt in spanish, but if you gave me a dmv test in spanish i would absolutely fail it. i struggled enough with the english one and was totally stressed about remembering which speed is for residential or school areas or whatever. if i had to try and translate in my head and come up with answers i’d fail. that doesn’t mean i don’t know how to drive.

    • From my perspective, which I will get to in a second, it doesn’t save any money or improve safety. But let’s set that aside momentarily, and imagine that it does.

      How much money might we be talking about? Very little, right? How much do you think that it would cost to get a short document translated into 17 languages? In my experience (which involves translation of surveys, fwiw), it might cost as much as a few thousand dollars per document, as little as a few hundred. This guy could pay for it all with the cost of one or two ad buys. Point is, it’s not costing the state very much at all. And how does it make drivers safer if non-English speaking drivers don’t have licenses? The benefits are hard to see.

      Now I pick my objections up again. Here in Texas, translations are paid for by civic groups, not the state. I’ll bet ca$h money that the same is true in Alabama. Second, as I note earlier, Alabama would lose matching federal funds if it offered English-only tests. Therefore, Alabama would lose money, not save money. Third, as others have pointed out, while it is in immigrants’ interests to learn English, it’s not a legal requirement. Nor is it a legal requirement to drive a car. Finally, other drivers are safer around licensed (and insured) drivers than they are around unlicensed drivers.

      Watching this commercial reminds me a bit of how I feel around hippies arguing about the awesome rope and blankets or whatever you can make out of hemp, as if (paraphrasing a site I don’t remember and hope isn’t videogum) they’re passionate spokespeople for Rope and BlanketPAC, rather than people who want to smoke some weed. Obviously, they just want to smoke weed.

      Here’s this guy, basing his candidacy for governor of a real U.S. state on an idea that might, at best if you squint really hard and ignore federal funds, tens of thousands of dollars. As if he doesn’t just want to appeal to people who want to put immigrants in their place. Obviously, I don’t know what’s in his heart, but it seems obvious to me that he just wants to appeal to people who want to keep immigrants in their place.

    • my main issue with this is there are way too many americans with a shaky grasp of the english language, their first and only language. when all these people can use the correct form of their, there, or they’re, then maybe i’ll consider their stance on forcing one national language upon all of us.

  30. I had no idea people in Alabama could speak English.

  31. surely i am not the only one reading this as jim james.

  32. Can I use this comment section to make some requests compliments?

    The level of intelligence being made in the comments the last while about some serious issues (presented in an amusing manner admittedly) on here has been really great (on the internet, no less!) and quite enlightening at times.

    Just sayin.

    • A-fucking-greed. Usually it’s all with the funny in here, but this thread reminds me that the funniest people I know are also the smartest.

  33. I’m Tim James, and I will have no less than 4 seperate shots of me entering the frame from the side in my commercials.

  34. Jeez, even in Ireland we have TWO official languages. Get it together, America!!

  35. This is terrible! This totally ruins my appreciation for one of my favourite movies…

    Fall… in love!

  36. the best part of this is that his dad is the former governor of Alabama and his name is Fob.

  37. Tim James, these are for you. You have my attention. My complete, undivided attention.

  38. In the slightly altered words of this guy, because he knows what Jim Jones is talking about: “We speak Amurican, ’cause yer in Amurica.”

    • Um… no idea where I got Jim Jones from. Good thing my comment was only marginally humorous to begin with, or this would be hella disappointing.

  39. Once I was walking downtown and I saw this fat guy holding up a sign with a picture of John Wayne that read : “Why do I have to press1 for English, pilgrim?” I thought to myself: ” Thats what made America great; people bitching about how hard it is to do a microscopically minor task”, and when I got home I found out John Wayne married 3 different Hispanic women.

  40. Now I feel the need to learn eleven different ways to say “Fobbed again.”

  41. I was all set to be fuckyouvideogum.com. . .

    HOWEVER, yes this guy is an asshole apparently. As someone who was born and raised in Birmingham I can say he’s just the latest in a long line of embarrassing governors. I can remember when George Fucking “Never Desegregate Ever” Wallace was Governor. . . During the 1980s!!!!! What the fuck!? Oh yeah, there was one time when he wasn’t allowed to run so his wife Lurleen!!! Was Governor. I am NOT making that up!

    Then in the 90′s we had Fob (is that not embarrassing enough?) Let’s Bring Back The Chain Gang (Still not embarrassed?) “We have too many colleges in Alabama” (I am dead serious he said those damn words in a newspaper) James UGH!!! For realzzz! Not too surprising his son is this fucking guy.

    Oh and let’s not forget Guy Hunt who was proud of never going to college right up until he went to jail! Then just to be bi-partisan we had Don Siegelman that is either still in jail or just got out recently. So there you go.

    Bob “The Exeption” Riley was a decent good man (I worked for him and saw it on a daily basis) But pretty much all of our governors for the last 30 years have been idiots, criminals or idiot criminals. Oh how proud I am.

    Of course the national media loves to jump on this shit and make us all look stupid with it. And you yankees wonder why we’re still pissed. . . Anyway I live in Korea now so I don’t have to deal with it or the bullshit Obamacare either. heeheeheehee

  42. This
    happenin guy does him justice

  43. Tim James IS an asshole. I found this earlier tonight:

    “In 2004, James and his brothers entered into a deal with Orange Beach, Alabama to build a toll bridge over the Intracoastal Waterway. Although analysts expect the city to profit from the deal beginning in 2014 the city is presently having to borrow money to meet the terms of the arrangement. James no longer owns the bridge but sold it to an Australian company for $70 million. As of December 2009 the city had paid the company almost twice the amount the city collected in revenues from the bridge.” *

    He clipped Orange Beach for 70 million and left them beholding to some business in a foreign country. 70 million bucks to sell something he didn’t own in the first place to someone who has no business owning it, and the residents left with nothing but the bill. I guess its good work if you can get it.

    Last time he ran, he was beat like the family mule. So he’s brought in some “insiders” this time around. John Saltsman, who was the national campaign chairman for Mike Huckabee, is a senior adviser to his campaign.

    Tim James’ bit about getting rid of multi-lingual testing would cost federal subsidies that go to the DMV for the program, so rather than saving money as he would lead us to believe, it will end up costing Alabamians more as the burden for maintaining the DMV would have to be paid from the state coffers.

    The nut doesn’t fall far from the tree, either. Fob tried to refuse Federal education dollars and seceded from the National Governor’s Association. The last time his daddy was Governor, Fob wanted to put a warning on any school textbook that taught the theory of evolution, and he threatened to call out the National Guard against the Fed when they told Judge Roy Moore to remove the Ten Commandments.

    * Ryan Dezember (December 18, 2009). “Bridge traffic declines again; Traffic on Toll Bridge drops BEACH EXPRESS” (in English) (newspaper). Mobile Register (Mobile, Alabama): p. A1.

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