Remember Tom Brokaw? He was a major news dude when there were only a handful. Now, you’ve got news coming from everywhere — a beaucoup of channels, and people like me — typing this from a Panera Bread in an undisclosed location — all over the internet.
By the way, I highly recommend the warm chocolate chip cookies. Bonus: they sell milk. Dip if you dare; I did.
Anyway, Tom tried to sell something himself recently, and it didn’t go over so well with some. His idea? That Hispanics in the U.S. should “work harder at assimilation.”
Tom flung the idea during Sunday’s Meet the Press.. The panel was discussing what could bring the people of America together. Brokaw brokered this:
“A lot of this we don’t want to talk about, but the fact is on the Republican side, a lot of people see the rise of an extraordinary important new constituency in American politics — Hispanics, who will come here and all be Democrats. … I also happen to believe that the Hispanics should work harder at assimilation. That’s one of the things that I’ve been saying for a long time, that they ought not to be codified in their communities but make sure that all of their kids are learning to speak English and they feel comfortable in the communities. And that’s going to take outreach on both sides, frankly.”
That troubled PBS’s Yamiche Alcindor:
“I would just say that we also need to adjust what we think of as America. You’re talking about assimilation. I grew up in Miami, where people speak Spanish, but their kids speak English. And the idea that we think Americans can only speak English, as if Spanish and other languages wasn’t always part of America, is, in some ways, troubling.”
Now get ready for the watchdogs of Twitter: SIC! SIC!
.@tombrokaw, for a celebrated @NBCNews journalist who spent years chronicling American society you seem stunningly ignorant of the Hispanic community in this country. Unfortunate to see xenophobia pass for elevated political commentary @MeetThePress https://t.co/nKoLhjWdbk
— Joaquin Castro (@JoaquinCastrotx) January 27, 2019
Julio thought Tom’s comments stunk; pew!
— Julio Ricardo Varela (@julito77) January 27, 2019
— Andrea Leon Grossmann ☀️ (@AndreaLeon) January 27, 2019
Does Tom own a white hood? Possibly, according to one user. Oh, and by the way: when people say something you don’t like, call it a rant:
Tom did what, in my opinion, few should ever do in such a case: apologize. It’s always better, it seems to me, to explain. Apologizing suggests you did something wrong. That vilifies, I think, whatever you actually meant. Explaining suggests your meaning was mistaken. Better.
i feel terrible a part of my comments on Hispanics offended some members of that proud culture
— Tom Brokaw (@tombrokaw) January 27, 2019
Yeah. Bad move.
BUT: Here’s part of his quote that I saved for last. It’s the comment to which Aura Bogado was referring. And this one can certainly be filed under “Not a Good Idea”:
“I hear, when I push people harder, ‘I don’t know whether I want brown grand babies.’ That’s also a part of it.”
Why won't @tombrokaw name these people who've told him this? Why is he hanging around with and protecting them, if they exist? And why is @chucktodd having an accused sexual harasser on @MeetThePress in the first place? https://t.co/iUXJkylqCk
— Derek Hunter (@derekahunter) January 27, 2019
He didn’t say those were Republicans, Derek. In its entirety:
“A lot of this we don’t want to talk about, but the fact is on the Republican side, a lot of people see the rise of an extraordinary important new constituency in American politics — Hispanics, who will come here and all be Democrats. I hear, when I push people harder, ‘I don’t know whether I want brown grand babies.’ That’s also a part of it. It’s the intermarriage that’s going on and the cultures that are conflicting with each other.”
Aw, Brokaw; you shoulda known better.
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