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WATCH: Alabama Governor Fears Having To Learn Spanish If Immigration Isn’t Controlled

WATCH: Alabama Governor Fears Having To Learn Spanish If Immigration Isn’t Controlled

Another day, another right-winger saying the quiet part aloud. We all know that the far-right gets upset about inclusiveness, particularly when it comes to languages. Well, it seems like Governor Key Ivey (R-AL) must have been going through boomer email lists from the 90s to find her political talking points, because she’s suddenly upset about Spanish.

[Screenshot via Kay Ivey/YouTube]

Remember those awful email forwards you’d get from a co-worker or distant relative, ranting about having to “press one for English” when calling customer service? Ivey is playing on the fears of constituents who do remember, and who think pressing one is far too much effort in the United States — and warning them that if they don’t support Republican elected officials, pressing one may not even be an option.

“If Joe Biden keeps shipping illegal immigrants into our states,” she threatens in a new, short campaign ad, “We’re all going to have to learn Spanish!”

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Ivey’s ad reinforces several racist and xenophobic notions, including that being bilingual is too much to ask of Americans but should be expected of immigrants; that immigrants are coming here with the intentions of ‘taking over’ and forcing Americans into their ways of life, and of course, that Hispanic people are likely to be undocumented immigrants, and vice versa.

Pacific Standard noted back in 2019 that this assumption was false, with the current largest and fastest-growing demographic of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. being those from Asian countries. In fact, the magazine reports, the U.S. conversation is so focused on Hispanic immigrants that Asian undocumented immigrants are referred to by some researchers as “the invisible population.”

Still, the southern border is a strong uniter of right-wing extremists at the polls, and Ivey is up for re-election this year, so leaning on xenophobia to win votes is unsurprising.

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