Latino leaders blast Brokaw over assimilation comments, demand action from NBC

A group of Latino leaders on Monday called on NBC and Tom Brokaw to do more to address Brokaw's appearance Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press," when he said Hispanics in the U.S. should "work harder at assimilation."

Dozens of Latino leaders within politics, advocacy groups and the media wrote a letter asking that "Meet the Press" more regularly include Latinx voices on the program and that NBC makes a "significant contribution" to the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.


The letter also calls on Brokaw, "Meet the Press" and NBC to "better educate themselves about the diversity of the fastest growing demographic in the country, including putting resources behind a series that highlights the diverse and complicated history and contributions of the community in the U.S."

The letter, which was posted on Medium, is addressed to NBC President Robert Greenblatt, NBC News President Noah Oppenheim and "Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd. 

Brokaw took to Twitter on Sunday to apologize for his remarks, writing that he was "sorry, truly sorry, my comments were offensive to many."

In Monday's letter, the Latino leaders called Brokaw's apology insufficient.

"Brokaw’s Sunday morning appearance featured comments that were completely unacceptable, and his subsequent tweets fell short of a real apology and acknowledgment of the extent of the ignorance of his comments," the letter reads.

The Latino leaders also called Brokaw's comments "more than just out-of-touch musings," saying that they are "part of a legacy of anti-Latino sentiment that is spreading freely in 2019." They also said that President TrumpDonald TrumpMyPillow CEO to pull ads from Fox News Haaland, Native American leaders press for Indigenous land protections Simone Biles, Vince Lombardi and the courage to walk away MORE and the "right-wing media" have spread lies about the Latino community.

"His comments were made at a time when the President and his allies in the right-wing media inflame his base by spreading lies about our community and he and his Administration have promulgated some of the most regressive anti-immigrant policies we have ever seen in this country. Not to mention, depictions of our community in popular culture continue to portray us in some of the most offensive terms," they continued.

They also wrote that the remarks highlight a "consistent lack of representation of regular Latinx voices" on "Meet the Press."

"We cannot let these comments pass. This has happened too many times and it’s time we not let another egregious insult to our community go by without consequence. Our response to these xenophobic attacks will not be to hide or repress who we are or to be embarrassed or ashamed of our culture," they wrote.

"To the contrary. We love this country. We are 100% American and 100% Latino. We are America, just the way we are," they added.