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Brokaw apologizes for ‘Hispanics should work harder at assimilation’ remark

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NBC’s Tom Brokaw drew swift backlash on Sunday after arguing on “Meet the Press” that “the Hispanics should work harder at assimilation.”

The comments came up during a panel discussion on how Americans’ varying perceptions of immigrants, immigration, and the necessity of a border wall.

Brokaw began by saying that Americans “on the Republican side” view Hispanic immigrants as people “who will come here and all be Democrats.”

He continued: “I hear when I push people a little harder, ‘I don’t know whether I want brown grand-babies.’ I mean, that’s also a part of it. It’s the inter-marriage that is going on and the cultures that are conflicting with each other. I mean, that’s also a part of it. It’s the inter-marriage that is going on and the cultures that are conflicting with each other.”

Brokaw they offered up his own opinion on Hispanic immigrants, arguing that they should take responsibility for integrating themselves and their children into their communities.

“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,” he said. “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 their communities, and that’s going to take outreach on both sides, frankly.”

Another panelist, PBS correspondent Yamiche Alcindor, pushed back on Brokaw’s comments at the end of the segment.

“We also need to adjust what we think of as American,” she said. “The idea that we think an American can only speak English — as if Spanish and other languages weren’t always part of America — is in some ways troubling.”

Brokaw took to Twitter later on Sunday and made several attempts at apologies.

His initial remark, saying he felt “terrible a part of my comments on Hispanics offended some members of that proud culture,” fell flat.

He tried again several hours later:

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