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Tom BrokawEXPAND
Tom Brokaw
Photo by Chad J. McNeely / Wikimedia Commons

Fire Tom Brokaw, Who on Meet the Press Said Hispanics Should Assimilate

Tom Brokaw is an idiot who understands nothing about America, particularly Miami.

Yesterday the former NBC news anchor and now a senior correspondent, looking like the broken shell of a man that he is, spoke with Chuck Todd on NBC's Meet the Press. He joined a conversation about varying sentiments on Donald Trump's border wall to say some people fear a diverse country. He added the following: “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.”

Then he offered this commentary:   

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.

Twitter reacted quickly:

Yamiche Alcindor, a Miamian who is the White House correspondent for PBS News Hour, responded, "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.”

Others, such as the political action committee Latino Victory Fund, called it "white supremacist ideology." Miamians also reacted, some against and some strongly in support.

Brokaw then apologized.

Years ago, I sat next to Brokaw at a banquet where he talked mostly about his Montana ranch as well as the writers and celebrities he knew who lived around there. As High Country News reported at the time, the influx of wealthy people such as Brokaw had raised property values and chased out locals. "Send 'em home" was the resounding response.

Despite the apology, Brokaw clearly doesn't get it. Immigrants have been arriving in this country for decades. Some assimilate quickly. Others don't. America is stronger for this.

NBC needs to dump the 78-year-old, South Dakota-born former news anchor. At this most polarized time in American history, when some Republicans and the president of the United States are stoking xenophobia, employing anyone who spouts this sort of rhetoric is simply wrong.   

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