One has to wonder what Alabama cops have against foreign car executives anyway. Oh wait: they have no choice but to ask for papers, please.
The Guardian reports that Honda manager Ichiro Yada was arrested earlier this week at a checkpoint in Leeds, Alabama, despite being able to show police his passport, US work permit, and international driver’s license. He was not taken into custody, however, but was ticketed and released on a signature bond.
Yada’s international license was apparently not sufficient to satisfy the letter of the law, which required him to carry either an Alabama license or one issued by Japan. The charges were dismissed only when his attorney faxed a copy of his Japanese driver’s license to the judge.
The mayor of the city of Leeds defended his officers, saying, “The police are instructed to follow the law as written. People are trying to use this to make the law look bad. That’s not our problem. We’re going to enforce the laws of state of Alabama.”
And you know, when laws against interracial marriage (which by the way technically existed as part of Alabama’s state constitution until 2000 long after the Loving v. Virginia decision in 1967) and Jim Crow laws were in place in Alabama, they used the exact same excuse. Here’s a tip, man: it’s the law itself that makes Alabama look bad, not the stringent efforts to enforce it.
And yes. It is your problem as an elected official in the state. It’s a law forcing you to be a racist, reactionary douche bag. Saying “that’s the law, it’s not our problem” immediately makes it your problem.
I’m guessing at some point, these automakers and other foreign companies are just going to stop doing business with the state. Alabama’s already lost major agriculture business due to the law. It really is an example of “job-killing regulations”.
But it doesn’t matter. Gotta rid the state of the unclean and the impure.