It seems one of the iconic figures of broadcast journalism has put his foot in his mouth again, this time by making a puzzling and racist statement about the Latinx community.
On Meet the Press, in a discussion about the fallout of Trump’s government shutdown that included vile cretin Hugh Hewitt, former anchor Tom Brokaw set forth some... interesting ideas about the power of Latinx voters.
“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,” Brokaw said. “Also, I hear, when I push people a little harder, ‘Well, I don’t know whether I want brown grandbabies.’ 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.”
Just your regular anti-miscegenation fears! Normal 2019 stuff.
“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,” Brokaw said. “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.”
Ah yes, if only the immigrants would work harder to assimilate to our culture by learning “our” language and feeling “comfortable” in the communities who want them to go back to Mexico.
It may be obvious, but it’s worth noting that white Americans’ ancestors didn’t try very hard to “assimilate” to the indigenous culture when they first came to the U.S. How’d that work out for them?
PBS correspondent Yamiche Alcindor pushed back on the idea that “Hispanics” need to try harder to assimilate.
“I would just say that we also need to adjust what we think of as America. You’re talking about assimilation,” she said. “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.”
Yeah, no shit.
After the predictable reaction online to his comments, Brokaw has now responded on Twitter.
“i [sic] feel terrible a part of my comments on Hispanics offended some members of that proud culture,” he wrote. “i’ve worked hard to knock down false stereo types. in my final comment in Meet i said ALL sides hv to work harder. at finding common ground - which i strongly believe dialogue not division”
Brokaw apparently still hasn’t learned that the Latinx community doesn’t respond well to being referred to as “Hispanics.” Furthermore, he still has no idea how to tweet.
Last year, Brokaw was accused by three women of sexual harassment while working at NBC. He denies the claims.
Update, 9:45 pm: