Tom Brokaw Enters Hispanic Danger Zone

Tom Brokaw Enters Hispanic Danger Zone

Tom Brokaw Enters Hispanic Danger Zone

You wouldn’t think of former NBC anchor Tom Brokaw as someone who would anger Hispanics. But he did — media Hispanics, to be precise — when he planted both feet in the Racist Danger Zone. Not only that, he also made comments that insult Republicans (so what else is new?), but more about that later.

Tom Brokaw was appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday morning, when he made these remarks. And, boy howdy, did he step in it!

“Hispanics should work harder at assimilation. That’s one of the things I’ve been saying for a long time. They ought not to be just codified in their communities but make sure that all of 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.”

Well, them’s fightin’ words to the delicate ears of the socially conscious media panel. Yamiche Alcindor of PBS was also on the “Meet the Press,” and she fired back:

“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.”

Soledad O’Brien huffed about how Tom Brokaw was “Just. Wrong,” whereupon conservative Brit Hume pointed out how no one dare criticize non-whites:

The folks at ABC’s “Good Morning America” were apoplectic:

But did you notice Tom Brokaw’s slam at those on the “Republican side,” whom he says “don’t want brown grand babies”?

“I hear when I push people a little harder, ‘I don’t know whether I want brown grandbabies.’ I mean, that’s also a part of it.”

George P. Bush, son of Jeb Bush and his Mexican-born wife, and grandson of the late President George H.W. Bush, tweeted this in response:

For the record, my son-in-law is Hispanic, of Nicaraguan-Colombian background. However, neither of my grandchildren are “little brown ones” — even my grandson, who, except for his complexion, is the spitting image of his father. He even shares his dad’s aptitude for math and science. I’ve found that genetics is a funny thing: it doesn’t always work like you learned in high school.

But even if my grandkids were “little brown ones,” I wouldn’t love them any less — or my son-in-law, either.
Tom Brokaw Hispanics
I also recall this exchange between my daughter and me when she began dating the young man she eventually married:
“Mom, do you care that Nick’s Hispanic?”
“No. I only care how he treats you.” 

She never brought it up again, and neither did I. True conservatives care more about character than skin tone.

But according to Brokaw, the “Republican side” really doesn’t like Hispanics because. . . racist. Well, of course he says this. It’s an article of faith among the elite media types that if you’re on the right, you’re a bigot. Racist, xenophobic, homophobic, misogynistic — take your pick.

Yet while Tom Brokaw is groveling all over Twitter with multiple apologies to angry Hispanics — who want their pound of flesh — he doesn’t apologize to conservatives. But we’re not demanding it, either. While Stuart Varney of Fox News didn’t care for Brokaw’s comment about “brown grand babies,” he doesn’t expect an apology:
“He said what he said. Stand by it. Don’t be swept off the scene because you offended the ultra-sensitive.”

Varney also called for a “new free speech movement.” He’s right, you know, but I’m not seeing one on the horizon. Frankly, I don’t think we’ve even hit peak outrage yet.

Featured image: cropped; Ryan Somma at flickr. Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0.

Written by

Kim is a pint-sized patriot who packs some big contradictions. She is a Baby Boomer who never became a hippie, an active Republican who first registered as a Democrat (okay, it was to help a sorority sister's father in his run for sheriff), and a devout Lutheran who practices yoga. Growing up in small-town Indiana, now living in the Kansas City metro, Kim is a conservative Midwestern gal whose heart is also in the Seattle area, where her eldest daughter, son-in-law, and grandson live. Kim is a working speech pathologist who left school system employment behind to subcontract to an agency, and has never looked back. She describes her conservatism as falling in the mold of Russell Kirk's Ten Conservative Principles. Don't know what they are? Google them!

5 Comments
  • willie says:

    Esp to Kim: “I also recall this exchange between my daughter and me when she began dating the young man she eventually married:
    “Mom, do you care that Nick’s Hispanic?”
    “No. I only care how he treats you.”
    She never brought it up again, and neither did I. True conservatives care more about character than skin tone.”

    My son after several dates with a young woman, said “Mom, she’s black. and she’s in a wheel chair”!
    well, 18 years later, my son and his bride are still best friends and my 2 beautiful grand daughters are the light of my life
    Race is an issue that keeps getting raked up when someone can make a buck or advance politically

  • GWB says:

    Brokaw is senile. It’s not a good look.

    BTW, yes, a large percentage of “hispanics” do assimilate. But keep in mind that “hispanics” covers a wide range of cultures (as well as colors, evidently), and a few of those cultures fit into the American dream very nicely, while others do not (especially if they arrive here illegally).
    (So do other “racial” qualifiers. But “hispanic” is broader than the others.)

  • rbj1 says:

    My grandmother came over here from the Netherlands and went through Ellis Island. She didn’t pass Dutch to my mother and my uncle. My grandfather (her husband — Dutch Reformed woman marrying a Roman Catholic) was born here but his whole family came from a Hungarian part of Austro-Hungary. I didn’t know until ten years after his death he spoke Hungarian.

    I wish they had taught me those languages. So I don’t have an issue with Hispanics retaining that language, but yes, do assimilate. And stop with cultural appropriation vapors. I don’t get upset at wooden shoes or bagpipe jokes (other grandmother was Scottish.)

  • jorod says:

    Brokaw id totally out of touch with reality. Latinos are hardworking, God fearing people who are better than any liberal talking head.

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