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Tom Brokaw Apologizes After Hispanic Comments

He said they need to 'work harder at assimilation'
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 28, 2019 7:53 AM CST
Tom Brokaw in 2014.   (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

(Newser) – Tom Brokaw found himself backpedaling Sunday night after comments he made about Hispanics came under fire. "(I) am sorry, truly sorry, my comments were offensive to many," the longtime anchor tweeted. He added that "the great enduring american tradition of diversity is to be celebrated and cherished." In another tweet, he wrote that "i feel terrible a part of my comments on Hispanics offended some members of that proud culture." The apology came after he appeared on Meet the Press and took part in a discussion on national unity, reports Mediaite. Two lines in particular drew plenty of attention:

  • Brokaw quoting others: “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,” said Brokaw. "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."
  • His own view: "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.”

  • Criticism, I: From Rep. Joaquin Castro, a Texas Democrat whose brother Julian is running for president: "(F)or a celebrated @NBCNews journalist who spent years chronicling American society you seem stunningly ignorant of the Hispanic community in this country," he tweeted. "Unfortunate to see xenophobia pass for elevated political commentary."
  • Criticism, II: He's a "little out of touch," commentator Maria Cardona said on CNN. "I'll give him a pass because he's probably not up to speed as to where things are today and age, especially with young Latinos in this country," she said. "Latinos," she added, "absolutely assimilate."
(Read more Tom Brokaw stories.)

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