Tom Brokaw ‘Truly Sorry’ Assimilation Remarks ‘Offended’ Latinos

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Veteran NBC News personality Tom Brokaw apologized on Sunday evening after saying that he personally believed that Hispanics must work harder to assimilate.

On Sunday’s Meet The Press, Brokaw said that he has long held the view that Hispanics must assimilate more and make sure that all of their children “are learning to speak English.”

“And 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 constituent in American politics, Hispanics, who will come here and all be Democrats. Also, I hear, when I push people a little harder, ‘Well, I don’t know whether I want brown grandbabies,’” Brokaw said. “I mean, that’s also a part of it. It’s the intermarriage that is going on and the cultures that are conflicting with each other. I also happen to believe that the Hispanics should work harder at assimilation. That’s one of the things I’ve been saying for a long time. You know, they ought not to be just codified in their communities but make sure that all their kids are learning to speak English, and that they feel comfortable in the communities. And that’s going to take outreach on both sides, frankly.”

After getting backlash from the left and Latino activists, Brokaw first tweeted that he felt “terrible” that some of his “comments on Hispanics  offended some members of that proud culture.”

When his original tweet brought even more criticism and backlash, Brokaw claimed that his Twitter account failed him “at the worst time” and said he was “sorry, truly sorry,” that his comments “were offensive to many.”

Brokaw added that he “never intended to disparage any segment of our rich, diverse society which defines who we are” and again said he was sorry that he failed to convey his “strong belief” that “diversity — dynamic and inclusive is what makes America.”

He also thanked PBS’s Yamiche Alcindor for pushing back on his “troubling” remarks on the panel before host Chuck Todd said, “All right, we’ll leave it there.”

“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,” Alcindor said. “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.”
 

 

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