WXXI AM News

Connections: Reactions to Tom Brokaw's comments about Latinos and assimilation

Feb 4, 2019

Veteran news anchor Tom Brokaw is facing backlash for comments he recently made about Latinos and assimilation. In an appearance on “Meet the Press,” Brokaw said, “Hispanics should work harder at assimilation,” and called on Latinos to make sure their children are learning to speak English. He also said he has heard from conservatives who say they are pushing against Latin American immigration because they “don’t know whether [they] want brown grandbabies.”

Brokaw has since apologized for his comments, but they've led to conversations about how people of color are perceived and what white Americans misunderstand about assimilation. As Jemele Hill wrote for The Atlantic, "Even when people of color do very American things, they still aren't seen as being members of American culture."

Our guests this hour share their views and experience. In studio:

  • Annette Ramos, community connector at Geva Theatre Center and the new artistic director of the Latinx Arts & Culture Center & Association “LACCA”
  • Samantha Parisi, Latina lawyer practicing personal injury law at Parisi and Bellavia Law Firm
  • Tricia Cruz-Irving, long-time local media professional