Sunday’s episode of Meet The Press featured a wide-ranging panel discussion of the increasing Hispanic population in the United States and the controversial plans to continue construction of a wall along the US-Mexico border. During one of the segments, veteran NBC television journalist Tom Brokaw made the observation that Hispanic immigrants need to make more effort assimilating into American culture.
Off the cuff, Brokaw offered the following:
“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.”
It wasn’t long before the blowback came in hot, from forcing Brokaw to walk back his initial comments and take to Twitter to offer his apology. Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) called Brokaw’s remarks “ignorant.”
It appears that Brokaw is truly contrite for his comments, but was it really necessary for Brokaw to apologize for offering his honest take on the matter? Is the predictable cycle of media outrage and apology becoming something of a farce?
But to Brokaw’s initial point, is the concept of cultural assimilation truly an insensitive and racist sentiment? Isn’t our country”s motto “E pluribus unum” a welcoming and unifying one that emphasizes what all Americans have in common?
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